I was excited about Maurizio Sarri’s appointment at Chelsea. The reasons weren’t far-fetched. The Blues were known for being notoriously defensive. It seemed their legacy was built on a perceived “negativism in football”. Roman Abramovich wanted to play different. Football was moving on. Nobody wanted to “suffer” again.
He was supposed to be the knight in shining armor. And he was, at least for a moment.
White Hart Pain
I know Spurs don’t play at the Lane until at least March, but this topic seemingly fits the bill. Chelsea have traveled to Spurs twice. They have lost on both occasions. The first was the end of Sarri’s unbeaten streak. For many, the loss was not the problem.
It was the manner. It revealed subtly the flaws of Sarri’s system. For some, it was a mere blip.
Then Wolves happened and then Leicester.
Sarri’s arrival came with the entrance of Jorginho. The Italian much coveted by Pep Guardiola. His arrival at the Bridge was meant to help the ease of “Sarriball” into the Bridge. It did until their opponents discovered the trick.
Furthermore, he may have yet to make an assist despite clocking 2000 passes. But Chelsea owes Jorginho a lot of pre-assists.
Stats are like Bikinis
Jorginho is the conductor that dictates the tune of Chelsea’s orchestra. If control is taken from him, the Blues cannot make beautiful music.
The Spurs and Arsenal league games embodied this point to the letter. Once bitten should be twice shy eh? Fool me twice? Any manager worth his salt should consider a change, tweak the system
Chelsea have only played one formation this season: the 4-3-3. Maurizio Sarri is immensely wedded to this style. Judging from the loss against Arsenal, there are no signs he’d change anytime soon.
The Premier league is unforgiving, when you are gotten, you should seek an alternative.
Cesc, an older and superior deputy was sold because of the insistence on this system. A younger but inferior replacement will be gotten to supplement an ailing system.
Exploring the 4-2-3-1 or its variants should be well considered. Kante should be allowed to pair Jorginho and give him the protection he deserves to scheme things.
The Frenchman’s marking duties would be better served that way. He is currently winning the ball in the second third. But there is nobody to carry the ball from there. He is doing both and is finding it hard to cope.
The Blues create tons of chances and are said to need a striker but perspective matters a lot.
Higuain is the perceived solution to this problem. However, you wonder if that’s what they REALLY need.
Against Arsenal, Chelsea had 13 attempts in total.
Only one was on target.
Was it because Hazard played a false 9? Maybe not. The stats reveal something else (These stats eh?).
Chelsea have created an average of 2 big chances per game this season. They have converted less than one. They’ve netted 40 times too, the least of the teams in the top 6.
A rewind to August would remind why maybe the strikers are floundering. Morata may be missing chances,but he is not the only guilty party. Willian has been a huge culprit too. Sarri said that the aim was to get Hazard closer to goal, that’s reminiscent of Messi and Ronaldo. Their strike partners suffer in a system like that.
Higuain’s conversion rate since the start of last season is similar to Morata’s. The Argentine is 31. There are concerns about his adaptability. Narrowing down the solution to Chelsea’s problems to him might see us in for a shocker.
Sarri needs to look within. Should Higuain arrive, the style won’t change.
If the Blues are to be considered serious contenders in the league, Maurizio Sarri needs to learn to adapt.
Do you think otherwise? Do you have any additions or subtractions? Drop your comments and join the conversation.
Author: Tosin Adesina
A football purist.