Last season saw Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea side set up in a very precise way, and focused on playing a certain style of football. Although the Italian would tweak formations from 4-3-4 to 4-2-3-1 on occasions, he predominately stuck with what he knew, even if the Blues were chasing a winner.
Some supporters grew frustrated with the lack of adaptations in some matches, but Sarri trusted his methods and was adamant they would work eventually. Of course there were signs of this happening, but it looks like Chelsea fans will see a much more pragmatic approach from new head coach Frank Lampard this year.
The former England international has already flirted with three different formations during pre-season, using 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, and perhaps more surprisingly, a 4-4-2 diamond that has gathered praise from some supporters.
Lampard has explained his thinking behind this in a recent interview via the clubs official website.
Lampard explains “We want to be adaptable, whether we need to change something in-game or for games. That’s the way we train and I want the players to have that. We know we’re not bringing any players in so we need to find little ways in pre-season and we want to try to make it difficult for teams to play against us.
“It went really well in the first half (against St Patricks using 4-4-2). We had a lot of bodies in midfield and they dominated the ball in there, as they should do in this sort of game. As we get fitter, train more and the combinations get better, hopefully we’ll see more of that.”
Chelsea continue their pre-season in Japan this week, where the experimenting will surely be continued by Lampard and his coaching team.