TO UNDERSTAND the importance of Chelsea’s new-look attack, you must go back to Frank Lampard’s time at Derby.
What Lampard did not get enough credit for during his spell with the Rams was how organised their collective press was.
With the likes of Mason Mount and Harry Wilson, they pressed from the front and were able to spring their attacks from high up the pitch.
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This is now exactly what the likes of Timo Werner, Tammy Abraham and Hakim Ziyech are doing consistently and effectively for Chelsea.
When you bring in the amount of players Chelsea did this summer, it will always take time to adjust.
Frank did well not to just throw them all in together at the same time.
And he is now seeing the benefits, firstly on his defence.
Yes, Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva have had their impacts, but the collective press, starting from that front three, is where it all starts.
It is why in the last eight games in all competitions, they have kept six clean sheets. That is a good base to work off of.
And when they do win the ball back, the embarrassment of riches they have up top is finally showing.
The beauty of the players Frank has brought in is they can attack in a number of ways.
With the 4-3-3 that Frank seems to be settled with, Ziyech can sit deep and pick that pass over the top, while Werner uses his pace to get in behind or drag full-backs out.
Mount can capitalise on the latter, darting into the corridors created by Werner in between the full-back and the centre back.
And with Tammy, he showed just what he can do with Chelsea’s first goal away to Rennes in the Champions League, dragging centre backs away from goal to create space in behind.
And to make it even harder for defences, now that they are all on the same wavelength, they constantly interchange and intertwine to pick holes.
It is similar to what Manchester City did in the first few seasons under Pep Guardiola, and it is working just as effectively right now too.
This Chelsea team has incredibly intelligent players, and against a side like Tottenham under Jose Mourinho who are likely to sit back, they have options to rip you apart.
Chelsea’s Premier League squad
Full squad, in number order…
Andreas Christensen – homegrown
Tammy Abraham – homegrown
Fikayo Tomori – homegrown
Mason Mount – under-21
Callum Hudson-Odoi – under-21
Ben Chilwell – homegrown
Billy Gilmour – under-21
Reece James – under-21
Kai Havertz – under-21
In particular with Werner and Ziyech, expect them to cut inside inbetween the back four and the midfield if Mourinho sticks with the low block that has been successful for him.
But on the flip side, arguably one of the most important players on the pitch will be that sitter in the midfield three, which is likely to be N’Golo Kante.
He has to remain attached to his two central defenders to stop Harry Kane dropping off and dictating the game from deep.
Nullify him, and Chelsea’s front three can cause serious problems up the other end.