Date: 3rd March 2013 at 1:23pm
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For a second match in a row Gary Cahill did not play and for a second time Chelsea were able to keep a clean sheet.

This brings Chelsea’s record to an a 75% clean sheet ratio in League games when Cahill does not play. There were a lot of questions on the last article that I wished to address in regards to this theory.

JackSufre said, ‘No, he is not playing as lone centre back is he? Is he the class of great defender? The answer is not yet. Yes the stats shows he is the problem but if you look at every goals we conceded, is it his fault? This is where stats don`t paint the whole story.’

Now of course not every goal conceded was his fault and he doesn’t play as a loan centre back. Naturally the stats don’t paint the whole story but they are also a great starting point for seeing Chelsea’s defensive success with different centre backs on the pitch.

SameX said, ‘Humza has said it all. He is a good defender but he makes mistakes due to his poor positioning but recovers quickly and cleans it up. Terry is not getting any younger, Cahill is still learning, Luiz is a joker and Iva is getting worse and worse. Why not bring back Omerou?’

I think Cahill is a fine defender but I think he either hasn’t developed great chemistry yet or isn’t the ideal fit into our defensive blue-print. He was brought in for AVB’s high-line rather than RDM or Rafa’s more defensive tactics.

As for Omerou, I loved him well before the AFCON, but I think he needs more physical strength before he’s ready.

colourtheisblue said, ‘What a worthless article! If you are going to start by using Middlesboro to support your argument why not talk up how much better the defence appears to be by the introduction of Ferriera. Very simply, we played Boro when their confidence and goal-scoring is at low ebb. Bit of a difference to Man City wouldn’t you say?”

I respect the opinion and of course Middlesbrough is different from City but Chelsea also did keep a clean sheet earlier this season against City when Cahill didn’t play. Cahill played incredibly for 62 minutes and stood there as Yaya scored. He didn’t exactly look great against a lower league Brentford team that isn’t much better (if they are any bit better) than Middlesbrough.

Desmondadonis said, ‘There is no need to say the article is stupid, he asked if Cahill is the reason we are conceding goals like a sieve at times, and backed it up with available stats, which I am sure he didn’t invent, all we can do is agree or disagree, to call someone’s work stupid will only discourage that person from writing another time, sorry if it irks u, just my 2 cents’

I appreciate the comment and nothing will really discourage me from writing about Chelsea. I’ve been watching the team for almost 20 years now and I know that criticizing an English player never goes over well no matter how much data you have to back it up.

@Mq said, ‘Food for thought, who would the author prefer at CB between Terry and Cahill?’

My first choice would always be Terry given how dramatically different we looked in the Liverpool game the moment he went down. I think that was where we saw the difference between having Cahill and Terry on the pitch.

I would like to thank everyone for their comments, both positive and negative. We’re all here supporting the same team and naturally we all have different opinions on what’s best for them. I think what was missed in my last article was my praise of the things he had done well, something that was overshadowed by the statistical analysis of the team’s success when he is on the pitch.

I’m extremely happy that Chelsea were able to keep two clean sheets in a row no matter which players were playing in the back. I hope that trend continues and Cahill is able to raise that clean sheet percentage a little. I think he’s a very solid player and I hope that he can show that the stats don’t paint the full picture.