Prior to our game against Bournemouth, many expected both tactical and personnel changes to the team, especially with Diego Costa and N’golo Kante suspended. As assumed, Cesc Fabregas replaced Kante while Conte decided to play a triumvirate of Pedro-Hazard-Willian with the Belgian playmaker as a false nine. The system relied more on sharp movements and quick pass interchanges between the front three in order to destabilise the Cherries defence. Credit to Conte for creating a system that delivered result. The decision to delay Michy Batshuayi’s chance to start despite Costa being suspended might be more harm than good to the team and player.
Here are 3 reasons:
MATCH FITNESS CONCERNS:
Antonio Conte, during his press conference cited the need for the young Belgian to be fully adapted and acquainted with the league before he can get on the team sheet. But how can a player do this when being given limited opportunities to prove he is ready. Let’s remember Jose Mourinho’s assertion that he needs only 10 minutes to judge a young player’s readiness to make the transition from the academy to the first team. There will be growing concerns about Batshuayi’s inability to perform when introduced in certain games because he might just become rusty, experience poor form and become out of sorts.
CONFIDENCE DROP AND FEELING MALIGNED:
How many times have we had players who felt they weren’t given much opportunities or lost their place in the team and so left the club? I could name a few: Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Ryan Bertrand, Petr Cech and I could go on. When a player isn’t playing, he doesn’t feel part of the team and so cannot share in team bonding. The player feels so maligned, undervalued and does not also feel his manager’s trust and confidence in him. This leads to an alarming confidence drop in the player’s game which could affect the manager-player relationship. Issues of bust-ups, player unrest and transfer requests to leave become headliners that follow suit.
TRANSFER VALUE DEPRECIATION:
One major problem that ensues when a player hardly gets playing time is a significant drop in resale value. Despite Batshuayi being 23, his transfer value cannot skyrocket into a significant profit for Chelsea, except the bid is from China. His relative signing fee of £33m is a huge outlay for a second choice bench-warming striker with only less than half the total number of games played this season. His progress will be suitable for both player and club if he gets more playing time for him to prove his worth and increase his market value. More so, in keeping his forward options fit and firing on all cylinders, Conte could use both in a strike partnership capacity as a subtle firepower strategy in our title challenge.
Let’s hope for the best… Cheers!