Thursday, September 5, 2019

Lack of Urgency? Poor off-the-ball shape? Uthman Adebayo gives his verdict on Chelsea's disappointing draw at home to Sheffield united.

The blues hosted the blades at Stamford bridge for their fourth premier game of the 2019/2020 season after claiming their first premier league win away to Norwich city in the previous round of games. One thing that would be on the Chelsea players mind on that fateful afternoon was getting back to back victories against the blades and claiming their first premier league home win of the season. It all appeared smooth when Chelsea raced to a 2-0 lead in the first half but collapsed to a brilliant peg back from the blades in the second half who ran away with a point at the end of the encounter. So what went wrong?

Experienced players are letting the team down: One might say that the younger Chelsea players are learning their trades but what about the more experienced players in the form of Cesar Azpilicueta. The Chelsea captain lost possession 20 times more than any player on the pitch and was beaten down his own wing for both Sheffield united’s goals. The Spaniard failed to cover in himself in glory in a defence which fielded two inexperienced centre-halfs .  Azpilicueta does appears to be on the wane and manager frank lampard would be licking his lips at the prospect of having  reece james back to his team after a series of disappointing displays from the captain and the sale of davide zappacosta.

Mason Mount doesn’t look comfortable out wide: No doubt, Mason mount is a talented player but his best position is centrally as shown in his performances against Leicester and Norwich. However, Lampard deployed him as a winger against the blades but the youngster struggled out wide and could been seen drifting in from out wide into a more central position as majority of the blues attacking play came in the middle of the park.

Lack of urgency: Many might have thought the blues look good for their lead as they raced to a two goal lead but it all came from defensive mix-up from the blades goalkeeper and their centrebacks in which tammy Abraham took advantage of and pulled the blues clear. Chelsea were too slow in possession and gave the ball away in numerous occasions while their attacking play lack no real urgency to cause havoc for the blades’s defence. Majority of the blues attacking display came centrally as  Mount and Pulisic drifted centrally to create openings for the blues but their matched by territorially by the blades who deployed a five-man midfield thereby making the midfield congested and tight for the blues to work their way into.

No real threat from Pulisic: Is pulisic a pacey winger? Yes but has he got penetration? I don’t think so. The blues lacked penetration out wide against the blades and it was up to pulisic to provide such. However, the American International doesn’t look up for it and perhaps lacks the physique required to create problems for fullbacks in the premier league. Not overly Good from the 22 year old.

Off-the-ball shape: Frank lampard likes to play the high press possession based game but the positional shape of his players have been alarming in this opening few weeks of the premier league campaign. The blues look so exciting when they are on the front foot playing a unique brand of attacking football but getting caught high up the pitch often plays into the hands of teams who play ruthless  counter attacking football such as Manchester United and that was the case four weeks ago as the reds tore apart the blues at the theatre of dreams . no doubt frank lampard’s team will continue to score goals but they haven’t got the right balance. An alarming off-the-ball shape is set to cause Frank lampard some problems in the next few weeks.
Written By Uthman Adebayo Date: 03/09/19

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