The Moses effect: How Victor Moses fits Chelsea's 3-4-3 perfectly
It was beginning to look like a disaster for Chelsea. Another new manager, defeats to rival teams, sliding down the table, even the often calamitous David Luiz had returned. The 3-0 defeat to Arsenal however, seems to have turned into a catalyst as the Blues season transformed dramatically. A change in formation to a 3-4-3 allowed for new players to come in, and for many of the players, they haven’t looked back, resulting most recently in an exciting 4-0 win over Manchester United.
Victor Moses has travelled around much of the Premier League since he joined Chelsea in 2012, including having been a part of Liverpool’s Luis Suarez inspired title-bidding season. In his quest to finally gain a spot in the first team squad, the 25-year-old has had to wait over three years. Finally, in an away game to Hull in the early part of this season, Antonio Conte’s new formation allowed for Moses to start the game after positive performances coming off the bench in the previous few fixtures. He hasn’t single-handedly transformed the side, but the new formation fits his ability, desire and playing style perfectly, becoming the right man at the right time for the Blues.
Since then, Chelsea have scored nine goals, gained nine points and not conceded a single goal. The move to this formation allowed Moses to start as a right-sided wing-back, offering as much going back as he did going forward. In the three games he has played, he has cleared 12 attempts, and made over seven interceptions. His willingness to defend and help-out the back-three of Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta was summed-up against Manchester United in their 4-0 win, when he made six clearances and six interceptions in the game alone, as well as blocking two vital attempts.
Going forward, Moses has brought a consistently committed attack on the right-hand side. He has the highest shot accuracy in the whole Chelsea team, with a total of a 75% accuracy from his five shots. He also has a pass accuracy of around 84%, consistently finding his team-mates in attacking positions. Importantly, the Nigerian is putting crosses towards Diego Costa and co, with 16 crosses put in to positions in three games. During the 2-0 win over Hull, Moses put eight crosses into the box.
His ability to take-on a player has also come in helpful. Seven take-ons against Hull and four against Leicester could be a key factor in Chelsea’s now free-flowing football, him being more a provider than a goal-scorer with only the one goal since his return to the starting 11.
It is clear however, where the Moses factor has really come to effect Chelsea. The change in formation provided the need for a wing-back who was willing to run the length of the pitch to attack and defend and Moses has answered that call perfectly. His ability to self-sacrifice himself and defend was pivotal in recent weeks, and summed-up with his 100% tackles rate against Leicester. Add-in his effect going forward and he is the right man for Conte and his new look Chelsea side.
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