One of the sure signs of a champion is the ability to win games when not at your best. If Chelsea are able to secure their fourth Premier League title, that cliche will, once again, ring true, as the west London side have been able to pick up seven of nine available points despite an uneven start to the campaign.
Despite the fact that Chelsea are doing well on the surface, questions remain. Against newly-promoted Norwich City, the Chelsea attack was again punchless with another uninspiring effort by the mid-field. Even Chelsea's back four, which had been solid in the first two fixtures of the season, struggled. Henrique Hilario, stepping in for an injured Petr Cech, did nothing to help the shaky performance and was ultimately to blame for the Canaries' lone goal.
While Petr Cech will eventual get back in goal, helping the defense to regain its form, Chelsea's attack has not inspired hope thus far. Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba, starting together for the first time this season, failed to impress. There were moments where the two strikers looked as if they would link up, but those opportunities went begging.
Juan Mata's introduction into the game added some life to the Chelsea attack, and the diminutive No. 10 almost got his friend Torres going with a brilliant cross. While it wasn't on par with Sergio Aguero's debut, Mata's performance has given hope to the Blues' attack. As did Romelu Lukaku's debut. The young Belgian did his best Drogba performance, holding the ball nicely and getting his head on the end of crosses.
And now that Mata is ready to go, Andre Villas-Boas has the personnel to play his favored 4-3-3, with Mata and either Nicolas Anelka or Drogba flanking Torres on the left and right, respectively. Even Lukaku could, conceivably, play to the right of Torres; after all, he spent most of his limited time on the pitch on the right of the box as Anelka tucked in.
Villas-Boas has many different looks he can go with but will need to find an identity if Chelsea is to challenge for trophies, both domestically and abroad.
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