Chelsea urged to change formation to get the best out of summer signing

Pundit Paul Merson believes Chelsea should consider changing to using three at the back to get the best out of their current crop of centre-backs.

The Blues have struggled for some time now with defensive issues, and things don’t seem to have improved over the summer, despite the arrival of the highly experienced Thiago Silva.

MORE: Chelsea transfer news: Blues confident of signing £40m star, Arsenal deal increasingly likely, loan move for defender

The Brazilian had a shaky Premier League debut in Chelsea’s 3-3 draw with West Brom, with ex-Blue Alan Hudson giving a damning assessment of his performance to CaughtOffside.

Merson has also raised concerns about Silva, writing in his column in the Daily Star that the 36-year-old won’t have been tested like this during his time in Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain.

Merson also feels Chelsea could find some joy by playing with more of their central defensive options than they have been, partly because it would also ease the pressure on Silva in that area of the pitch.

“Frank Lampard needs to change his tactics or Chelsea can kiss goodbye to Antonio Rudiger,” Merson said.

“Chelsea have got five centre-backs and that’s too many unless you’re playing three every week – and I think that’s what Lampard should do.

“At the moment he’s playing a back four and someone is always going to miss out. Right now it’s Rudiger, which surprises me.

“I thought Kurt Zouma or Andreas Christensen would go this summer because Rudiger is better than both of them.”

He added: “If Lampard switches to three at the back with wing-backs, he solves the problem and gets the best out of Thiago Silva, who won’t be so exposed in that system.

“I’ve always been a big fan of Thiago Silva and signing him on a free was a no brainer. But at PSG he only had to exert himself four or five times a season.

“In the Premier League, it’s relentless. He needs to play in the centre of a three for me. And playing that way means Rudiger stays.”

More Stories Andreas Christensen Antonio Rudiger Frank Lampard Kurt Zouma Paul Merson Thiago Silva


  1. Godwill tayerera says:

    Merson, lampard seems to be obsessed with christensen when he is chelsea’ s worst defender. zouma and rudiger are almost the same. forgive me for this one, Lampard prefers christensen maybe because of colour. but when it comes to giroud and cesar over abraham and james its about nationality. this maybe the reason why for the first time maybe in 15 years there is an influx of local players the purchase of chilwell and persuance of rice bears testimony. this is is because Lampard is a local coach. however, im not sure whether these are quality players who should be selected ahead of players such as cesar and giroud. im not sure if Lampard can emulate Sir Ferguson who went for more of local players and achieved a lot

    1. AG111 says:

      so do you think Lamps will put his job and reputation in line and select players based on color and nationality. Most of the players bought by Wenger and Zidane r French, most of the players we r hearing from Barcelona after Koeman becoming manger r Dutch. Do you mean they are also doing the same? Lamps should have chosen Timori in place of Christensen if it is Nationality or he should have chose Giroud if it is color.. u can’t have both ways… Other than the red card, Christensen so far did good. If Thiago hasn’t had that one mistake, everyone would have said Chelsea got a great defender for free. You can analyse the team selection, setup or game plan and like/criticize Lamps but saying that lamps is choosing based on color and nationality is utter rubbish

  2. Jonathan says:

    It’s very obvious to me that Lampard is much obsessed with the preference of Christensen and Mount over Rudiger and Odoi.
    Christensen is not rugged centre back and plays out of position most times. I could understand the choice of Mount, the young lad is improving with game time and which obviously Odoi would have as well.
    Lampard needs to stop being sentimental and study Klopp and Pep, if he needs to see the light in premiership

    1. ag111 says:

      Every Manager has his own style. and Pep has struggled even with top players last season and already lost to Leicester this season. So what is there to copy now? When every position in the team has top players, it is easy to win. Man City is also struggling with bad defense. Liverpool were lucky to get top defender and Goal keeper, but nothing is permanent. Odoi was given enough chances but couldn’t take it. no blaming others for his failure. Teams will not wait in-definitely for a player to improve esp if they have other good players.

  3. Jb says:

    What is killing Lampard is his desire of wanting to see the local players rise.

  4. Jack says:

    I think Lampard silently hates Rudiger and the only way of telling him go is by freezing him out.

  5. Ayeght Brightics says:

    I love lampard as a legend but not as a coach. Many of us may nt see his weakness coz he is our all time topscorer! I think lamps just want to develop the national team, but also he doesn’t like dark skinned players. The likes of odoi, tomori, zouma, tammy(for werner and giroud) kante(and thats y he wants rice) and am praying hard that mendy doesnt make a mistake coz he will be dropped to third choice! I dont really know wat he need? Why let odoi leave in favour of mount? They both need game time! I think he will be sacked if he still want to bring in racism in business!
    “He is just a manager not the owner”

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