Chelsea are storming ahead this season and look to have the Premier League in the bag, with ten points on second-place Spurs and the same on third place Man City with just eleven league games left to play.
While the title is not a done deal yet, it seems likely the Blues will regain their place as champions – unless fortunes take a serious turn for the worse.
After a humiliating tenth place finish last season which culminated in a change of management and some major team changes, Chelsea are right back on form and showing why they deserve to be at the top of the league.
But what has made the team such a force to be reckoned with this season – or more specifically, who?
Victor Moses: a shining star at Chelsea
One of Chelsea’s key players for the 2016/17 season simply has to be Victor Moses. While Costa and Hazard are big names who attract plenty of attention, it is 26-year-old wing-back Victor Moses who has shown the most improvement and potential this season.
He has been instrumental in many plays over the season, and has even picked up three league goals along the way. So what is it that the player brings to the team? We take a look at Moses’ stats and form this year.
Starts first for a better score
The £9 million midfielder has worked hard to secure his first team position, and he has appeared in the majority of games this season with an average of 87 minutes on the pitch per game.
Chelsea have only lost three of their games this season, with a further three drawn. He did not play during the team’s 3-0 defeat at Arsenal late last year, and despite a couple of recent draws he is helping Chelsea retain a great season record that includes 13 consecutive league wins.
Moses has contributed three goals and two assists, set up a further 18 chances, and games he has played in have a 2.1 goal average across the season. The figures don’t lie: with Moses on the pitch, Chelsea are a more successful team.
A player who goes from strength to strength
There has been no real dip in what Victor Moses can achieve: he keeps on developing and improving over time. Multiple loan spells seem to have helped shape the young player into a formidable opponent with impressive control over the midfield and an eye for passing play that has a 78% success rate.
Since Conte shifted Moses to the right side and starting taking advantage of his eye for timing and staging his attacks. This has helped Victor Moses grow into a strong player who makes a great playing companion for the famed Eden Hazard.
He is also proving himself to be an important member of his national team, playing the full 90 minutes of the final at the African Cup of Nations to help seal the victory for Nigeria.
A great wing-back player
Victor Moses can move swiftly from the role of wing back into the forward moving attacking midfielder which Chelsea found themselves lacking at times last season. The manager has adopted a 3-4-3 which relies on Moses to pull up the right side and create a centre five which can slow or stop an opponent’s attack.
This show of strength has proven highly effective this season, shutting down sudden runs on the ball before switching to counter and cutting through the opposing defence to steal the goal. It has made a big difference to the end results: Chelsea are certainly picking up more goals.
They already have 57 in the bag with another twelve games left; last season saw just 53 scored through the entire season, and even their title-winning 2014/5 run had just 73 total goals. The influence of Moses on the wing is making a big difference to the shape of the team overall – and the results are falling well for the Blues.
Defends effectively against opponents
Switching from attack to defence is the mark of a good midfielder, and Victor Moses has been instrumental in holding off attacks and keeping clean sheets this season. Just 20 goals have been conceded by the team over the course of the season.
Through the 3-4-3 positioning, Moses is able to move back and forth to close gaps and to move in on potential attacks, closing them down before they can get out of the centre field.
Working with Marcos Alonso to support Hazard, Pedro and Costa, Moses has shown time and again how powerful a flexible wing back can be to an organised team that knows how to communicate on and off the ball.
Time will tell whether this is Chelsea’s sixth year as Premier League champions, but it certainly seems likely that they will be. Whatever the result, they will make a top four finish and regain their place in the Champions League: a welcome relief after last year’s falls from the top!
Fans should expect interest in their beloved winger from other clubs, as Moses has had a sensational season and is looking very sharp as his great form continues.
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