Having conceded seven goals in their last two games against Bournemouth and Watford, failing to take even a single point, Antonio Conte’s job at Stamford Bridge is under serious threat. But what makes it even tougher for the Italian, is the schedule of games coming up for the Blues.
Chelsea are scheduled to play Barcelona, Manchester United and Manchester City in consecutive games this month, a run of games that can easily decide their fate in the points table. Though the loss of star players to injuries can be a reason for the dip in form, they do have enough quality to get over teams like Watford and Bournemouth but the fact that they are struggling shows that they might need a few changes to save their season.
Be it in personnel or tactics, Conte needs to change something and change it now or Chelsea’s season can soon be in a free-fall. So how can the Italian mastermind save his job and pull Chelsea up? Here are three changes the manager should make, at least for the upcoming games against West Brom and Hull City.
Back To A 3-5-2:
The manager used a five-man midfield, in front of a three-man defence, for a few games earlier this season and to good effect. Eden Hazard played as a part of the attacking duo, along with Alvaro Morata but his absence has seen Conte shift the system. However, he should try and go back to it, maybe with Olivier Giroud and Hazard leading the line. The personnel at the club suits this system better and this is something Conte will definitely look to change this weekend.
Or Shift To A 4-Man Backline:
Back to back losses against Arsenal and Liverpool early last season saw Conte use the 3-man backline for the first time at Chelsea. Ever since he has not had to turn back but it might finally be the time that the whole system at the club changes. The likes of Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz and Gary Cahill have not done enough to keep Chelsea’s goal away from danger and it might be time that they take a more traditional approach, giving the whole side a new look. It means a central defender less but will make them stronger in other positions, which can have a positive effect on their results.
Play A Strike Partnership Up Front:
Though Morata is out for a while, Chelsea should look to use the Spaniard alongside French international Olivier Giroud in a 3-5-2 system or a 4-4-2 system. Eden Hazard can play as the furthest of the midfielders in the 3-5-2 or on the left wing in a 4-4-2, giving Chelsea a new look. Giroud and Morata have contrasting techniques, which when combined, can make one of the strongest strike forces in England. Chelsea need to shake things up and this might be the secret to success.