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Chelsea, the New Manager, and the Transition to the 4-6-0

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Chelsea, the New Manager, and the Transition to the 4-6-0
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Hi, I would like to greet everyone out there and thank you for stopping by for my first ever Bleacher Report article. Today I will be doing a theoretical outlook on Chelsea next season given the new manager Carlo Ancelotti and a few transfers that have been rumored to take place.

First things first, the new manager. While many point to his lack of English speaking skills and only one Scudetto trophy, I think that he is more than capable of lifting Chelsea to their long standing dream of being European Champions.

As an American viewer accustomed to knock out tournaments, the Champions League is the ultimate club soccer title, far ahead of the winning the EPL, but again, it is a personal bias.

With that said, he has won the tournament twice, and reached the final stages on a number of occasions, and has been practicing his English skills along with having a great translation staff.

Next, the transfer rumors, since Roman A. took over the club, Chelsea is always linked to all players in the world, period.

It's almost laughable reading the amount of rumors surrounding their transfers, but there are a few concrete things coming out that point to Drogba, Anelka, Carvalho, Deco, Malouda, and Kalou leaving for Inter, AC Milan, and Arsenal.

The rumors that seem to be absurd are the ones concerning swapping Essien for old playmakers at Milan; despite any loyalty Ancelotti might have to his old players, he's a keen tactical mind and knows that dropping a player of his quality for older players without the pace to play in the Premiership could be disastrous.

As for incoming players, Yuri Zhirkov to replace Malouda and playmaker Kaka are real possibilities considering the ties that Ancelotti and new technical director and ex-coach Guus have.

But with these transfers, the question is: "Who will be the out and out strikers?"

My answer: No one, the big 4-6 will be coming to London in a magnificent way.

A quick examination of the recent history of the 4-6 lead to Manchester United's winning squad from last season and even for the Champions league defeat where they ran their "Fabulous Four" out on the field together.

However, a better lineage would be Roma's stunning use of it over the past two seasons which showed that it can be a fine tactical system given the proper personnel. When it comes to Chelsea however, the question must be: "Why abandon their successful 4-3-3, especially in light of Barcelona's triumph?"

The answer: If the transfers hold true, Chelsea will be without their top forwards, but will have an influx of two outstanding in prime playmakers, along with the return of arguably the most creative English player in Joe Cole.

That would give Chelsea outstanding playmakers on their wings to play with their bombing fullbacks in Ashley Cole and Jose Boswinga. In the middle they can run Mikel as their deep lying play maker, and Lampard and Essien up and next to each other.

With Cole and Zhirkov on the wings, that would leave Kaka in the center which at first glance would essentially be a 4-3-3, the difference however, would be the depth and channels.

In possibly the best modern 4-3-3, Barcelona have three strikers, including two notorious hitmen in Eto'o and Henry, and their superstar playmaker/forward/Napoleon in Messi on the wing with Xavi and Ineista pulling the strings and Yaya Toure as a defensive midfielder.

In this new Chelsea 4-6-0, the wingers would be equally wide, but not as far in front giving Chelsea a a stiff defense all over the field, while Kaka instead of sitting and waiting for balls like Drogba or Anelka, would track further back and pull strings letting shooters like Lampard and Essien get loose and use their outstanding physical and aiming talents to the fullest.

In essence, this is almost a rejection of the "Wingless Wonders" of 1966 England and the 4-4-2, the 4-6-0 would want to stretch the field with playmakers on each wing and free the center three players to express, run, and shoot at will.

In conclusion, this is merely a theoretical exercise in the possible evolution of Chelsea from superstar also-rans to outright kings, the transfers this summer will be critical to determining what will occur, along with Ancelotti's soon to be in-depth analysis of Chelsea's strengths and weaknesses, including depth and youth.

I hope you enjoyed reading and I'm very open to constructive criticism. 'Til next time, Go Blues!

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