For anyone who watched the game between Chelsea and West Brom on Saturday evening they would have come to the conclusion that either the baggies have dramatically improved over the close season or Chelsea are not the team they once were. Depressingly for Blues fans, whilst West Brom are much better than their league position currently suggests, and are a solid side under Roy Hodgson, they should not be making Chelsea look positively ordinary and having to scrape a victory in their first home game of the season.

When deciding Chelsea’s starting eleven, there are three major decisions to make. Firstly who to partner the ever present John Terry with at the heart of the defence. AVB chose to go with Alex for the second successive game. Alex subsequently made a mistake for the West Brom opening goal and was hauled off during the second half after a lacklustre performance in place of Ivanovic – who has made more than a decent case for being the one who should partner Terry.

When David Luiz regains fitness he will push for that place, and on the back of excellent performances for the majority of last season deserves a chance to make his mark again. Chelsea’s defence is still better than most, and when looking at the problems that may arise due to injury to Cech, this is something that cannot be helped, and whilst unfortunate is just something that Chelsea will have to cope with and hope that Hillario can man the posts in his absence. Against Norwich this should not be a problem, but should Cech fail to recover in time for the match against Manchester United, this may be a problem.

Secondly, who should support the main striker up front. Again AVB seems to prefer Kalou, yet most people would agree, whilst Kalou makes a decent sub, he is not really one for starting a game, and does not really offer enough over the course of a game to warrant a place instead of Malouda – who was put on in place of Kalou just after half an hour had passed. Clearly AVB realised he had made an error, and Malouda should have started the game. Once the French man came on, Chelsea looked brighter – which is not saying much – with Malouda the scorer of the winning goal.

Finally, the debate that has all Chelsea fans crying with boredom. Torres or Drogba? With Torres the chosen one yet again after a positive performance during the opening game of the season, the big Ivorian was on the bench. No matter who you feel should be starting up front for Chelsea, the fact of the matter is Torres needs to build up his confidence and be shown support from the club and management. By starting him, AVB obviously succeeds in doing this.

Where he then went wrong was by subbing the Spaniard after 59 minutes for Drogba. This shows such a lack of faith in the striker, who whilst did not score again, looked lively and like he was becoming more confident. By replacing him this will undo all of the above, and again leave Torres focusing on the fact he has still failed to score. If AVB choses to start with Torres he at the very least owes the player the chance to have at least 70 minutes on the field in which to attempt to make himself cost less than £50 million per goal.