DON'T change a winning formula as the saying goes - and it appears that shoehorning a £50million player into a winning team is not a good idea either.
Old football wisdom also rightly tells us that teams who play with width, create more space for their attacking players down the centre. At Chelsea, the old wisdom should not be discarded; including Didier Drogba, yesterday starting on the bench as Fernando Torres got another opportunity, albeit limited by a lack of service from midfield.
Would Chelsea fans already have preferred Torres had never been signed? The initial high it gave the supporters able to lord it over Liverpool fans on transfer deadline day, could have been very fleeting.
Think of Chelsea’s players and teams of recent years and two words spring to mind; "power" and "drive". This is a team built for the Premier League and built to steam roller over English midfields and defences. Now, attacking players are being asked to receive possession while facing away from goal, in tight spaces with little room to pass or run.
In other words, asked too much to play the Arsenal way, the Spanish way, the way that Milan players like Andrea Pirlo thrived upon under Carlo Ancelotti‘s management.
When a team stops scoring, thoughts naturally jump to players like Daniel Sturridge, with three consecutive scoring appearances for Bolton. But largely forgotten is that Nicolas Anelka did the same in the three consecutive league wins just before Torres arrived; games in which Chelsea had 7 different scorers in total. Clearly, this suggests tactics and formation are the problem, rather than just the players.
David Luiz did prove that not all the money spent in January was wasted, filling the vital centre back role alongside John Terry which has been a problem for much of the season. He seems to have that inexorable ability to read the play and intercept the ball, which possibly hasn’t been seen at Chelsea since Claude Makalele left to join PSG.