The Blues have impressed in recent weeks under Graham Potter, but they have been warned about the tactics.
Chelsea manager Graham Potter has had his tactics questioned, despite making an ideal start to life at Stamford Bridge since making his switch to the club. The Blues are yet to lose under the Englishman, who has managed to see the side propel up the league as well as earn qualification through the Champions League.
The move for Potter from Brighton was seen as a change in direction for the new Boehly-Clearlake regime, who have clear ideas as to the future of the club. The head coach is well renowned for his quick thinking and tactical mindset that saw the Seagulls punch above their weight with some attractive football too.
His goal will be to do the same with the Blues, though former Premier League player Danny Murphy has questioned his tactics in recent weeks. He told TalkSPORT: “The only thing that concerns me, is that the best teams over the years to win the league, have basically had one way of playing and mastered it.
“You can very quickly identify what formation they played. Arsenal’s invincibles: 4-4-1-1. Chelsea under [Antonio] Conte: 3-4-3. The great Manchester United team: 4-4-2. Liverpool and Manchester City in the last few years: 4-3-3. He’s [Potter] tweaking and tinkering the formation and personnel a lot. I’m all for adaptability, it’s not a bad thing but the best teams don’t tend to adapt every week for the opposition.
“I think at the moment it’s understandable because he’s trying to find his best formation and what players he trusts in certain positions. But moving down the line I would expect a more consistent best team and best formation and having confidence in that side.”
It suggests Chelsea could be in for the first loss under Potter soon, though he has already explained as to why he makes such drastic and unexpected changes in his shape each week. “Well changing the formation – we don’t see it as the end goal, it’s about how the team is playing. The team needs to look consistent no matter what the formation is,” He told Amazon Prime ahead of the Brentford game.
“Then it’s about the personnel, how you want to attack, defend – these are the things we consider. Hopefully, there’s things that look the same even though the shape changes.”
So while the Blues may struggle to have an identity in terms of formation, there’s still consistency throughout the squad. Gone are the days of thinking of formations as guaranteed ways of playing or a consistent shape, but rather a fluid lineup with players in a context to win a game.