I say NO!
I shall try to explain my conclusion.
Everyone that knows me, knows that my favourite player used to be Charlie Cooke, then it was Pat Nevin, followed by Zola and now, of course, it is Hazard. The similarities in my choice are obvious.
I love skilfull ball players and all four were/are exactly that. They also took a lot of physical punishment from opposing players that simply are not able to understand artistry at work.
The goal that Kante scored was poetry in motion.
The goal itself certainly was not a one-off attempt or the last resort “hoof it and see” that we might have tried in the past. The move was attempted at least three times in the game and afterwards, both Luiz and Kante said that they had worked on the move. It did not look like Sarriball to me but an alternative plan.
We all know that whenever opposing teams “park the bus” against us it usually takes a Herculean effort from an individual and that individual is usually Hazard.
In order to execute the Kante goal, both the passer and the interceptor have to be in unison (no not the Trade Union). Totally together.
In a recent article, I questioned what Jorginho did that Luiz couldn’t.
Perhaps I should now ask whether Jorginho could have made the Luiz pass?
This is what I was alluding to me my previous article.
Jorginho is a wonderful player for Chelsea and his role is to marshal the positioning of the team. That is why we hear his voice above all others during the game. I have my opinion on that but that’s for another day. He does not, however, create or attack going forwards simply because his role does not require him to do so. He plays simpler first-time passes and maintains positional continuity.
Therefore, Luiz appears to have taken up the role of the creator from deep.
To make that pass, Luiz and Kante had to judge trajectory, speed, momentum, velocity, mass and everything else required to combine and execute the goal.
If you look carefully, Luiz does not look at Kante and Kante does not look at Luiz. Kante does not raise his hand calling for the ball and throughout the move, he does not break stride. It was done in one smooth flow.
We know that Luiz can make the passes but we do have a player willing to attack the ball at speed as Kante did? We do now!
Willian, Pedro and the brilliant Hazard would not have made that run at that speed, run directly to confront the opposing defender (knowing that there was a real risk of injury) and still have the capacity to control and shoot to score. Sometimes you simply have to enter the lion’s den to take what you need.
Look around and please let me know of any player presently in the first team who would have made that darting run into the goal area. I am not saying that other players are not good but it takes a player of courage, skill and self belief to score a goal like the one we saw on Sunday. I wonder why the media didn’t place more emphasis on this bit of magic.
Kante is in my opinion, our most precious asset and he’s getting better.
Our defence and defensive phase is weaker for him not being in his rightful position BUT;
It was a wondrous goal.
May I take this opportunity to wish all football supporters and especially (naturally) the Chelsea family a Very Happy and Peaceful New Year.
The above article was submitted by Navid Deen
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