Chelsea

Too Many Karats in the Diamond?

HANOVER, GERMANY - JUNE 27: Frank Ribery of France in action during the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 Round of 16 match between Spain and France played at the Stadium Hanover on June 27, 2006 in Hanover, Germany. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Timothy NCorrespondent IAugust 4, 2009

Oh the insanity, £100 million swoop is what Chelsea is rumored to be planning for Sergio Kun Aguero, Andrea Pirlo, and last but certainly not least, Franck Ribéry.

Carlo Ancelotti has made it clear that he would like to run a 4-4-2 diamond formation, but with the addition of these three players, one must ask if the diamond will be large enough to accommodate all of these players?

Will Ancelotti feel obligated to run his newly signed players considering the huge prices they may be signed for. Already Sturridge and Zhirkov have shown promise, but how would you fit in three left wingers (Zhirkov, Malouda, and Cole) with Ribery?

Pirlo would be competing with the likes of Ballack, Essien, Deco, and Mikel.

Kun would have the least competition, but when Drogba and recent Golden Boot winner Nicholas Anelka in front of you is it not a statement of depth for Chelsea?

Let us play out a scenario in which all three are signed, (admittedly very very low chance of occurring), how would you fit all these stars into a single lineup?

The midfield while the most clogged, it could be the easiest to sort out for the upper portion of the pitch.

Zhirkov and Essien would be first choice for the sides of the diamond with Lampard as the tip, but the holding role would fall to Pirlo.

Why Pirlo you ask? Assuming he is signed, the large amount of money spent on him would be a good start, but makes him a better choice is the fact he acts as a combination of Ballack and Deco.

Larger and more physical than Deco, but more skilled than Ballack, Pirlo would be the creative spark for an otherwise brawn-heavy midfield. While he lacks the abilities as a holder that Makélélé once gave Chelsea, he is still one of the best deep-lying playmakers in the game.

Also, running the diamond allows for a very stout and strong midfield, but gives very little width. Chelsea mitigates this problem with wing-backs usually, but against stronger attacking sides they lack the ability to spread the field.

Enter Pirlo. His precise kicks and range allow for the field to be spread in a virtual sense. This combination would give Chelsea the ability to spread the field almost at will.

Also, considering the fact that all three "attacking midfielders" in this formation can play box-to-box means that the wing-backs and Pirlo have more freedom to express themselves and bomb forward with less defensive worries.

Assuming that this would be the midfield formation and that it is as stout in play as it is on paper, let us work through a few bizarre forward scenarios.

Despite what Drogba and Anelka have done, if you pay £85 million for two players, you're almost obligated to find some sort of place for them.

So what would Ribery (a winger) and Aguero (a second striker) do as centre-forwards that Drogba and Anelka cannot?

Anelka and Drogba are hitmen in every sense of the word: they have pace, size, finishing ability, and are good passers for forwards.

Kun and Ribery would bring a slightly different dimension to the forward line.

While they may lack the size and power of those two, they are better dribblers and have younger legs with pace to set the pitch on fire.

Given these attributes they might not act as the big front targets as Anelka and Drogba, but they are much better on isolations and hold up play which could give space for the marauding Zhirkov, Essien, and Lampard.

Anyone that watched Chelsea's last two games knows how dangerous it is to leave Essien and Lampard with any type of space in the 30 yard box, combined with Kun and Ribery slashing and dribbling, could this crazy formation work?

Chelsea has long relied on its power and counter-attacking prowess, but have just as long lacked that technical precision and creative flair.

In recent years, Lampard has become more of a creative force from the his central role but has had no other playmakers with him.

The addition of Kun, Ribéry, and Pirlo would provide creativity and technical prowess that could push Chelsea over the top. They would have not only a rock-solid defense, but the ability to push and hold the ball in a manner that would allow them to finally get over the hill for a treble-run.

Again, while acknowledge that the chances of signing all three (or even two) of these palyers is very small, the prospect is nevertheless exciting. However, if Ancelotti is not careful, he might end up with too many karats in the diamond.

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