Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has an incredible hunger, an ambition to succeed, an aspiration to make his club the best, most feared, most attractive club in the world and this season sees the beginning of the transition.
This summer he has spent out on some of the most exciting creative players around, spelling out his ambitions once more. Sources say that Abramovich wants his Chelsea team to play in the same style as Barcelona, also known as 'The Spanish Way'.
Both Barcelona and Spain play what most pundits have described as 'tippy tappy football'. It's basically a formula used in training to create a team who keep the ball, pass the ball, move it at pace and are incredibly comfortable passing it around tight areas. It creates an attacking force that is both intimidating and wears down the opponent.
Some people have critisised this style of football, especially recently after Spain decided to play without a recognised centre forward during the European Championship's, preferring to use a 'fake number 9' in the shape of Cesc Fabregas. The reason for this is they didn't feel that using an out and out striker would be beneficial, after all they don't flood the box with crosses or high balls, nor do they often look for striker runs off the last man. They prefer to pass the ball as much as it takes to get them in to a scoring position, sometimes being described as 'passing it into the net', hence the critisim it has recieved.
But of course, if you can see past the 'boring football' that critics like to claim, you will see that this tactic can actually be hugely affective, after all, Spain are the best national side in the world, there is no debating that. Barcelona are also very much considered by many as the best club side in the world, although that will be debated. You can't argue the fact that they strike fear into their opponents, they play attractive, creative and fast football that can be a temendous joy to watch.
Roman Abramovich wants this and he wants it bad, sooner rather than later. He has told manager Roberto Di Matteo to complete this transition during the course of this season and he has thrown him the personnel to do it. The likes of Eden Hazard, Marko Marin, Victor Moses and Oscar are all full of creativity and pace, they have joined up with Juan Mata, Lucas Piazon and Kevin De Bruyne who are also the type of players who can slot into this new system. It is already a scary looking attack on paper.
Last season Chelsea won the Champions League, they were resiliant and defiant, but had to defend for their lives to win the tournament. This season, they are looking to be the team to avoid, the Barcelona of the pack, they want to win it in style.
We all know that in every quality attacking side, you have to have a back bone, so the transition may take a while as Di Matteo experiments with different defenders and holding midfielders to provide the freedom to the attacking players to do what they do best. The likes of John Terry, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard aka 'The Old Guard' are still to be very much involved in this transition and will be important for the whole squad to stay disciplined.
Both Spain and Barcelona attack from all directions, they have eleven men who are all 'football playing' players, they are all comfotbale on the ball, capable of a defence splitting pass and will be as good at attacking as they are defending. Chelsea are looking to do this, David Luiz is quality on the ball, add to that the attacking left backs of Ashley Cole and Ryan Bertrand, plus new Spainish international right back Cesar Azpilicueta, you can see what is being created here.
Di Matteo is creating a monster, it will be slow at first, but when it starts running, there will be no stopping it. They have already shown glimpses of class and 'tippy tappy' football already this season and it is clear for all to see, they want to play this way and they want to do it affectively.
Only time will tell whether the normally defensive minded Di Matteo can pull this off, but with Jose Mourinho waiting in the wing to try his hand in the transition, Abramovich will want this done fairly quick as Chelsea's managerial hero of last season will be spurred on to succeed by the blues faithful.797357