An unusually unimpressive preseason outing, coupled with a not too impressive display against Arsenal on Sunday in the FA Community Shield- the league’s traditional season opener – have raised more questions than answers about our readiness to fight, and retain the title this season.
We only won one of our official preseason fixtures- the match against Arsenal in Singapore, and lost the following two to Bayern and Inter Milan respectively. Arsenal then beat us on penalties in the Community Shield on Sunday. Now, football analysts are of the opinion that we may not be ready to compete this season because we “do not have strength in depth”.
There are also suggestions that there may be a disagreement between Conte and the management over transfers, a statement fuelled by Conte’s comments after the Arsenal game. I hope this is really all speculation, because we can’t afford another upset at the club. The last one took us a few months to get over.
Conte did mention he needs more arrivals at Chelsea, but is this the case? We have acquired a number of new players this summer, including Rudiger, Bakayoko and Morata. It would be wrong for Chelsea to buy just for the sake of buying because other clubs are buying. The positions I think Chelsea should strengthen are the wing-back positions.
Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso have both done well in the wing-back positions but Chelsea lack cover in those positions.
Morata and Batshuayi would do a job for us in attack and I suggest Lewis Baker be given a chance in the first team instead of signing Danny Drinkwater from Leicester. Bakayoko, Kante and Fabregas would give Chelsea the experience we need in central midfield and Baker can do a job for the team when called upon.
Eden Hazard’s absence is being felt by team. The team misses his dashing runs and trickery but Musonda and Boga can provide cover for Pedro and Willian until Hazard returns.
Signing new wing-backs to compete with Moses and Alonso is what we need at the moment. We aren’t really lacking strength in depth as many in the media claim.