RAMIRES: POSITIONAL PLAY

Posted on: Fri 05 Oct 2012

After dropping back into a more familiar midfield role in recent weeks Ramires has flourished, and the 25-year-old is aiming to build on an impressive run of form, both individually and collectively, when we welcome Norwich City to west London later today.

Having started the season as one of the three advanced midfielders, playing wide on the right - much like how he finished the last campaign - the Brazilian was moved into a deeper defensive role for the 1-0 win against Stoke City two weeks ago, a position he has maintained for the ensuing three matches, against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Arsenal and FC Nordsjaelland.

With the Blues winning all four games following the switch, and Ramires receiving plenty of plaudits - including the man of the match award against Arsenal - Roberto Di Matteo's decision appears to have proved mutually beneficial, both for the player and team.

'I'm very happy as it's my natural position,' he says. 'We've been doing well and I just want to stay in there and do whatever I can in order to help the team.

'I just want to play as often as possible and keep improving. Whether I play on the wing or play a more defensive midfield role, my main objective is to play as well as I can.'

Since moving to the club from Benfica at the beginning of the 2010/11 season, the versatile midfielder has been used in a number of different positions, arguably more so than any other player.

Having started out on the right of a midfield trio in a 4-3-3 formation, he then, albeit for a short time only, played as an out-and-out right winger in a 4-4-2 following a successful stint in a 2-1 home win against Manchester United under Carlo Ancelotti.

Towards the end of last season he was then deployed as a wide attacker, mainly on the right but also, at times, on the left - most notably in the 4-1 home win against Napoli in the Champions League - before his most recent transition.

'I like to play in midfield, where I am able to take possession of the ball and distribute it to my team-mates,' he explains.

'I'm happy to play on the wing, especially when the team needs me to, but I like to be more involved in the game so I'm better suited to playing in midfield.'

Two away wins in the space of four days see us head into today's game in good spirits, but while the visitors are yet to win a league game this season, Chris Hughton's side will provide a different type of test than the one we faced at the Emirates a week ago.

Historically, teams at the lower end of the Premier League tend to come to Stamford Bridge and defend in large numbers, a tactic in itself which can pose its own problems, as Ramires admits.

'Preparation will be slightly different, but every week we tailor our training to the opposition we are up against,' he says. 'No two games are the same so it's only natural that the way you prepare for them will change from week to week.

'It's important to win every game, particularly at home, in order to accumulate points early in the season. We have some tough tests when we come back from the international break but for now we are focusing solely on the Norwich game which will be a difficult test.'