Sarriball very much a work in progress.
Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end as Spurs comfortably beat Chelsea 3-1 at Wembley. Sarri went with his tried and trusted lineup with Kovacic making up the midfield three and Morata and Willian accompanying Hazard up front. The game was in Tottenham’s favour for the whole 90 minutes as there was not a single period where Chelsea looked like they would dominate the game. Alli opened the scoring in the 8th minute via a flicked on header from a Erisksen cross. The question was whether Kepa could have saved it but in my opinion the pace on the cross was too much. Kane then doubled the lead in the 16th minute after trying and audacious shot from long range which David Luiz chose to avoid blocking, the result was that Kepa was wrong footed and the ball went in. The final Spurs goal came in the 54th minute after Son was turned into Messi as he dribbled past Alonso and then Luiz who just stood his ground. There could have been several more goals for Spurs but Kepa made some brilliant saves to keep the scoreline at three. Giroud then added a consolation goal in the 85th minute but it was too little too late.
So Sarri’s unbeaten start came to an end, it was bound to happen and similar to how Spurs ended our 13 game winning run under Conte, they ended this run as well. Chelsea might still finish above Spurs and also manage a trophy this season while Spurs have probably got a memorable moment to base their season dvd on. The pressing problem for Sarri and Chelsea continues to be the lack of determination that Chelsea showed and how Jorginho and Hazard were marked out of the game. The determination problem was apparent under Conte as well, his tactics were defensive but no matter what style of football you play if you are not up for it you will lose. Jorginho was marked out for the second game in a row and while this might not be the first time it has happened Sarri will need to find a solution. Could Sarri change the lineup to a 4-2-1-3 with Kante and Jorginho playing alongside each other or he could also switch Kante to the center position and play Jorginho on the right side of the midfield. Jorginho being marked out means that Chelsea have to play out wide and Sarriball and attacking football only works when there is pace or talent out wide. Chelsea have Alonso and Emerson in the left back position. Alonso is a goal threat but lacks pace and so is caught out several times, it might be time to give Emerson a run in the team. At Right back we have Azpi, Zappacosta and potentially Moses. Azpi lacks pace but is solid defensively while Zappacosta has pace but is questionable in defence. Moses has a bit of both but Sarri has preferred to play him at the winger position. In my opinion I would play Moses at right back for now and bring Azpi into the centre back position alongside Rudiger, next season I would try to integrate Reece James into the team at right back. Luiz has been at fault for 7 of Chelsea’s 11 goals that have been conceded and his lack of pace has been a major issue. Christensen has been shaky but when given a run in the team we saw what he could do under Conte. My opinion is that we bring Azpi into that position I would have liked Zouma to have stayed and played there but that is not the case, hopefully next season that could be an option. That leaves us with the front three, Hazard is exceptional and there is no question about his position but what happens when his marked out. Chelsea need a player of similar calibre at the right wing position and Willian and Pedro are not that. Hudson-Odoi could play there but Sarri does not trust him yet and that is why Chelsea need to dive into the transfer market. Options are there for the taking Pulisic has been linked but I would rather see Chelsea chase Dembele or better yet Thorgan Hazard. Thorgan has been exceptional for Monchengladbach this season and getting him would also boost Hazard’s chances of staying. Thorgan would not want to sit on the bench and he would not as he is clearly better than Willian and Pedro at the moment. Finally it comes down to the striker, as much as I want Morata to play well he has not been doing that and his inconsistency is worrying. Giroud is great but he does not score enough goals we need a striker. We had Michy but loaned him out and getting Icardi or someone at the price range is a pipe dream, could Chelsea potentially go for Martial to play upfront that would be interesting.
No fan should panic, City’s first season under Pep is a perfect sample for Chelsea’s progress but City went out and bought the players to compliment Pep’s style and they spent heavily on the likes of Walker, Mendy, Sane etc. Chelsea could do that or hold out and bring in Reece James, Zouma, Hudson-Odoi, and Mount next season. Chelsea might need to buy a left back and hopefully Thorgan Hazard, and a striker to really get the team flowing. Chelsea’s next fixture is against PAOK at home in the Europa League and hopefully Sarri plays around with a formation a bit especially with Kante and Jorginho.
COME ON YOU BLUES!!