Chelsea season preview 2018/19 – Tactics, Key player and Predicted finish
Seeing a new manager every two seasons isn’t a new thing at Stamford Bridge, especially under Roman Abramovich’sownership. Antonio Conte was finally put out of his misery this summer when Chelsea sacked him and hired another Italian in Maurizio Sarri.
Now, the problem for the new manager is the lack of time and dispersed arrival of the squad at different times due to World Cup engagements. This has reduced his chance of completing a series of training sessions with the full squad. Furthermore, the system preferred by Sarri is quite different from what Conte deployed in his two seasons incharge.
Sarri’s System – Chelsea players must adapt quicker
It was evident against Manchester City that Chelsea were struggling to adapt to the philosophy of the manager. The back four was all over the place and the midfield looked out of shape and confused.
Sarri is known to prefer a high-intensity game with high-press and insane work-rate, which requires more time because of what Conte did with the team. The likes of Cesc Fabregas, Ross Barkley and the front line need to understand this system and play accordingly. Otherwise, the formation will be disjointed, just as it was against the Premier League champions.
David Luiz looked out of depth in a back-four defence, letting runners go beyond him and displaying lack of pace while making recovery runs. Now, Sarri faces a huge problem as to whether he should continue deploying the Brazilian or play an aged Gary Cahill there.
Even the full-backs need to adapt to their new roles and ensure they don’t get caught while moving forward in possession.
Key player – Jorginho
Chelsea haven’t done much incoming business this summer which might affect them during the season. However, getting Jorginho was an important signing as the former Napoli man knows what Sarri’s playing system is all about. They both were together at Napoli, meaning the player should be able to adapt quickly in the fast-paced Premier League.
Jorginho has to learn to not take much time on the ball and also be positionally aware against pacy runners behind. All in all, he could be the ideal partner for N’Golo Kante, allowing Chelsea to dominate the midfield a bit more.
Predicted Finish – 5th
If Chelsea do manage to keep their best players, they have a good starting XI. However, their strength in depth is where the question marks arise. Sarri might find it tough to handle the demands of the league and European football on Thursdays. For this reason, we cannot expect them to finish in the top-four.