For most of this season, Chelsea have flown high. We have recorded some amazing wins and it’s all down to the fact that we have a great team, with great players; Eden Hazard, Costa and the like. However, it is all becoming clear that we are getting too reliant on certain players in recent times.
For most of the first half of the current campaign, the special players in our squad kept us going, especially Diego Costa and Hazard. In the difficult games, it was these guys that saw us through; if not Diego Costa, then Hazard was turning up, and lately, with Costa’s goals in short supply, it’s been the Belgian who has carried the team on his back. This reality was laid bare for all to see as we took on Manchester United on Sunday. Jose Mourinho had come with a plan, ‘Stop Hazard, Stop Chelsea’, and it worked perfectly.
With the Belgian stifled for most of the game, our attack lacked bite. We were pinned and well contained by United throughout the encounter. It was a dismal display from us, and it more than anything else, underlined the fact that Chelsea is becoming a one man team, and that is never a good thing.
You take a look at teams that rely so much on one player, and you see that they all suffer when they are stifled or they are unavailable to play. Barcelona and Madrid are good examples of teams like this. It’s okay to have key men, every team does, but it’s not okay to depend on those people for wins. Chelsea is too big a team with too many talented players to be dependent on just Hazard. And the interesting thing is we were never like this. I remember the days of Drogba and Lampard, it was not like this. Everyone was a star and everyone always turned up during that era. If Lampard wasn’t scoring, Joe Cole or Drogba was. It was the perfect team, and with all of its greatness, this Chelsea team needs to be like that. I don’t know if it’s Conte’s idea to build around Hazard, but the one thing I do know is that ‘one- man’ teams always hit a brick wall when things go wrong for the man.
The game against United has come and gone, but it did expose the one weakness in the current Chelsea team, it’s not our defence, it’s not our attack, it’s just that we’re too reliant on a certain players.