Our home form is doing my head in but what’s more annoying than not being able to get a win at home is the fact that Scolari doesn’t have a clue what to do about it.
With just three wins from nine at home now, including another draw at home to West Ham yesterday, Scolari admitted, “Yes it’s difficult. When we play here it is different than when we play away. Away we have more space and we play more with the ball, maybe we are now thinking ‘this is not our home’ and we are not scoring goals, I don’t know what is happening.”
Er hello! Change of formation maybe?
For a start he left Drogba on the bench yesterday and went for a 4-5-1 when that hasn’t worked at home this season. I’m not suggesting he drop Anelka either because to be fair, he’s totally earnt his place but the point is, Anelka does better in the games away from home because he relies on his pace.
Away from home we’re up against teams who have to give us a bit of a game, so it’s faster, more open football and that suits Anelka. At home though, probably because of ‘that record’ the opposition have learnt how to play us, they put men behind the ball and shut us out. That’s where Drogba’s strength and physical presence are a must. Ok, we might have to revert to the ball over the top, but if it works, so what?
Whilst we’re on the subject of Anelka, where did he play most of his games last season and how effective was it? Yep, slung out wide with his chin dragging along the floor because he hated it and no wonder—he isn’t as good there, he’s not a wide player so why play him there?
On the second half yesterday even Scolari admits it didn’t work, stating “With [both Drogba and Anelka] yes, but also before because when they come on I lose my middle.” And yet he goes on to say “We need to train with that system a lot more because when we only have two forwards and one winger like today I play a genuine 4-3-3 for the second half [with Joe Cole used as a striker], but lose my middle—so it is difficult for me.”
So what’s wrong with 4-4-2 at home? Worth a try surely?
Kalou and Malouda are useless, so we’d have to rely on Bosingwa and Ashley Cole to do the business up and down the wings. Keep Mikel in front of the back four—for me he’s doing a steady job there this season. Then it’s a diamond formation with Ballack and Lampard either side and Joe Cole sitting behind Drogba and Anelka. I wouldn’t even bother with Deco in these home games unless Joey’s injured because he just doesn’t look up to it to me.
Defensively, we really need Ricardo Carvalho back because there’s no doubt about it, we’re weaker without him and god knows we’ve missed Essien this season. But for now at least, Scolari needs to address this run of bad form at home and sticking with formations that aren’t working isn’t the way to do it.