1) Diego Costa
Diego Costa was brought in to Chelsea to be the new Didier Drogba. Finally the club were meant to have a top class striker in their ranks after the chronic failings of Fernando Torres. Costa was very good in the first half of last season and scored 20 goals overall. The problem is that he did quieten down a lot in the second half of the season and began to miss a lot of games through injury. This season he hasn’t looked fit. He’s been terrible, only scoring 3 in 9 appearances and generally speaking looking completely incapable of scoring.
2) Tactical set-up
The 4-2-3-1 is definitely problematic in terms of attacking. The formation is reliant on a flat back four which means that there is little attacking input from the two full-backs. The full-backs are not helping or overlapping and providing any width, this makes it difficult for them to create space in the attacking third at times. Further to that, the 2 in behind the 3 need to be on great form, with one needed to be a playmaker. Cesc Fabregas has been way off form though and hasn’t been linking the play successfully at all. Fabregas’ drop in form has had severe consequences for the side and for Diego Costa.
3) Eden Hazard off form
Eden Hazard had a good game at Stoke but generally speaking has been very poor this season. Usually he is Chelsea’s main attacking creative outlet, capable of creating chances for his team-mates but also for creating space by running at defenders and beating them. This season he hasn’t been doing that and also hasn’t scored a goal this season, which is further cause for concern.
4) One-dimensional approach
Chelsea lack ideas. They’re boring going forward, there is no spark or creativity. They tend to pass the ball around the opposition box without any penetration or urgency. Part of this is down to a lack of form for Fabregas, who can thread the ball through the eye of the needle into space. But this is also partly down to the tactical set-up and the players themselves. The players aren’t making the runs, they aren’t taking enough shots. A lot of the time it opens up but instead of shooting a player will merely pass it sideways for another player to fail to take responsibility.