Our preparations for next season have gone well so far and I don’t expect it to change in tomorrow’s Rangers game.
We started a bit slow with 1-0 wins over Portsmouth and the Malaysia XI; this start didn’t please some Chels given both results were down to own goals. As the cliché goes, third is a charm and in our game against Thailand All Stars, we secured a 4-0 win.
We went on to win 4-0 against Kitchee and 2-0 against Aston Villa – so far we have scored 12 goals conceded none in five pre-season games played. Our pre-season result is solid given the squad had to regain match fitness, learn Villas-Boas’ system as well as gel together.
Every Chels I know is happy or at least satisfied with our pre-season form – I’m also pleased with our pre-season form, but I fear the wins have hidden our problems. Last season, our game was skewed to the left side of the pitch due to lacking a right winger. It was no brainer that Malouda created our most chances and scored our most goals in the league last season.
When the midfield had the ball, they passed it to Frenchman and expected a miracle. Given Zhirkov was injured and Sturridge wasn’t trusted to be rotated with Malouda, his form dropped, as did the whole teams.
We need to sign a right winger to relieve pressure on the left; this will balance our play and make us less predictable.
We still need a creative midfielder, Benayoun is a quality player but is injury prone, we will be in the same mess as last season. Once again we would have to rely on Anelka for creativity; don’t get me wrong, he is a fantastic player but he is past his peak. The more we rotate Malouda and Anelka, then the better their performances will be.
If, I was to choose between a creative midfielder and a winger, I did go for a creative midfielder. If Bosingwa finds his form, he will provide some width. I also expect Anelka and Kalou both to provide some width on the right. The priority should be a creative midfielder, if Spurs don’t want to sell Modric, we should move on to other targets.
If Arsenal are looking for £40million for Fabregas, I don’t see how Modric is worth £35 million. For that sort of money we could sign Sneijder – an immense quality. Think of the positive impact a ‘has-been’ like Deco had on our team, just imagine what Sneijder would do?
Right now, I will be happy if we sign any creative midfielder. I don’t want us to be singing our “should have, could have, would have” in January 2012 and then do what we were supposed to have done this summer. There’s still some time until the end of the transfer window, let us hope we sign someone soon.