Chelsea following Barca prototype

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Andre Villas-Boas's free-flowing tactics could lead to a Barcelona style revolution at Stamford Bridge, according to former Chelsea favourite Pat Nevin.

With the Portuguese seemingly intent on adopting his favoured 4-3-3 formation that served him so well at Porto last season, offense takes on a greater importance than defence.

When Chelsea have the ball, Jose Bosingwa and Ashely Cole have been given licence to operate as auxiliary wingers, while the Blues centre-backs maintain a high line.

It was evident against Norwich that these tactics provide the opposition with more goalscoring chances then Chelsea fans will be accustomed to seeing their side yield.

However, Nevin believes this is the way the game is changing, with Barcelona setting the trend for other sides to follow.

"It could be a very exciting period that the club is entering into, a period that may see a few higher scoring games than we are used to," he wrote on the official Chelsea website.

"This would be nothing more than a reflection in a step change in the culture of the game at the highest level.


"Driven by Barcelona, the slow deliberate build up, by a very structured side intent on defending first and ensuring security, is quickly losing dominance."

But, says Nevin, this system can only bear fruit if all players are willing to work as hard as each other, and may also lead to more frequent squad rotation.

"To play this way takes energy, legs and a willingness to put in the miles," he added.

"It also means utilising the entire squad, so maybe it will have to be Didier [Drogba]sometimes and Fernando [Torres] others, with [Romelu] Lukaku and [Daniel] Sturridge not spending months on the bench either without getting a few opportunities.

"That should relieve the boss of at least one or two of his decisions for a while."

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Pat Nevin
Premier League

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