Defensive frailties leave Chelsea feeling blue


For too long Chelsea’s attack have been bailing out the defensive frailties of the team. A late winner here or an equaliser there, it’s amazing that the team have only just lost their first league game of the season. At Wembley the Blues lost to Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 last Saturday. A slow start by the team meant that they were 2-0down within the first twenty minutes. The team’s manager Maurizio Sarri has bemoaned the slow starts by the Blues and this week it cost the team badly.

Chelsea were lucky it was only three to Tottenham. Spurs missed a lot of chances as the Blues defence let them through like a revolving door. Usually it’s only the first 20 minutes that the team look slow, this time the team looked slow and sluggish  defensively throughout the whole game.

Central defender David Luiz cost the team dearly. It’s hard to believe there isn’t anyone in the Chelsea squad that can replace the Brazilian player. The player’s positioning is non-existent and if he is one on one with an attacking player, the attacker has already won.

Players out of position

Last week Chelsea signed midfield star N’Golo Kante to a new contract, a contract which was fully deserved. However, the Blues aren’t using the Frenchman to the best of his ability. The position that made Kante famous is the holding midfield role where he stopped everything in his tracks.

But in Sarri’s 4-3-3 formation, Kante is used as a wide man in the midfield three with summer signing Jorginho as the holding midfielder.

At the start of the season Jorginho was playing well but at the most recent game against Tottenham, the midfielder looked overwhelmed and lethargic and could do with a rest for a couple of games. With the hectic Christmas schedule coming up then it may not be the worst idea. They have the perfect replacement in Kante.

Early Signs

This isn’t the first time that the defensive frailties of the west London team have come into question. Chelsea’s last match against Everton was fraught with mistakes and the Blues were lucky to escape with a 0-0 draw. If you go back to the second game of the season against Arsenal, from being 2-0 up the Blues allowed the Gunners to pull back to 2-2 before eventually end up winning 3-2. A late slip up against Liverpool cost the Blues a crucial victory too.

How to change it

The good news for Chelsea is that in six weeks there is a transfer window open.

They can dip into there and find a defensive talent that can help the team. Borussia Dortmund defender Christian Pulisic has been linked, as well as Elseid Hysaj from Napoli.

The bad news for the Blues is between now and the transfer window there are seven league games to be played plus European and cup games which could make or break a season. It’s not the most difficult of schedules for Chelsea as they only face one of the top eight, but with so many games within a tight window there could be a surprise with a leaky defence.

Another way to change the frailties is to make changes to the starting line-up.

Although he isn’t a spring chicken anymore Gary Cahill is not even on the bench most match days, only making one appearance this season against West Ham United and he kept a clean sheet.

Young Danish international Andreas Christensen is waiting in the wings on the Chelsea bench. Italian Davide Zappacosta has had chances for the Blues as well. These defenders may not be long term answers, but they could help up until the transfer window when Sarri could strengthen. The current defensive line up is not the answer.

As the American Football cliché goes “offences win games, defence wins championships” and with the state of Chelsea’s defence they won’t be winning any championships any time soon.

Unless they make changes to the defence sooner rather than later, than they could be left behind the top teams. The lack of defence for the west London club could make the attacking players leave the team in the transfer windows.

Eden Hazard for example is constantly linked with a move away. With Arsenal having a good run of form lately the Blues could suddenly see themselves out of the Champions League places and playing in the Europa League again next season.


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