You might be thinking that with the potential signing of Higuain almost complete that the solution to Chelsea’s recent woes will just disappear. I would certainly hope so but my mind does not settle at that thought.
My problem with the Chelsea set up for two years now has been the almost predictable concentration of play emulating from our left-hand side and recognising that most of our weaknesses lie on that side too.
You see, we know that Eden Hazard is by far the best player in the league and he leads our onslaught at the tip of the left hand. He is also expected to come deeper as the play dictates and start creative moves from the left of midfield. Two years ago he was also expected to cover the left back in the defensive phase.
Now everyone that knows me, knows that Hazard is my favourite player and I love his skill but a defender he is not and never will be.
To compensate for his lack of defensive attributes, we need a skillful player on the left of midfield to have an intricate understanding with Hazard. Very much like he has with Kovacic. But this skillful player also needs to a bite in the defensive phase and that is something that Kovacic does not have.
Kovacic also seems to lack the stamina required to bomb up and down supporting both Hazard when in attack or our left back when defending.
In our present left-back Alonso, we have one of the slowest players on the pitch who rarely beats an opponent with skill or pace and scarcely puts in an inviting cross for our centre forward to feed on.
We have all seen Hazard exasperated because Alonso fails to make fundamental passes or supporting runs. And yes, I recognise and accept that Alonso has chipped in with some glorious and well-timed goals. But a goal scored or created every 10+ games is not what is required when our most creative player, Hazard, is expected to produce something every time he touches the ball.
Finally, this left-sided midfielder presently Kovacic needs to be able to create and score goals out of nothing. Being on the left usually means either a left-footed player going on the outside of the opposition or a right-footed player cutting in and shooting with his right foot.
We are of course running around searching for a suitable player to replace Fabregas but I think we have solutions in our midst that Sarri needs to show more faith in. I’ll go into this another time.
No, what I am thinking about is this current Transfer Window and how we look for specific players and clearly have a “one out, one in” policy to comply with FFP. There is nothing wrong with running a business prudently. We just need to learn not to panic buy and end up with more Drinkwater’s, Papy Djilobodji’s, Hector’s, Zappacosta’s to name a few.
It is good that we seem to have backed Sarri by getting in Higuain and are now frantically trying to offload another misfit in Morata who started so well but deteriorated so quickly that it was frightening. I hope he succeeds in getting his transfer and that he does well wherever he ends up.
So here goes with my usual controversial debate, given that Barcelona seem to be interested in Morata and given that we do not wish to give them Willian (I do not know why), why don’t we ask them to swap a player of theirs that plays exactly where our left-hand side of midfield needs upgrading and has all the attributes needed to fullfil the role?
Philippe Coutinho for Morata, anyone?
Contribution by Navid Deen
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