Chelsea midfielder N’Golo kante has been hailed as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, and the France international has starred in that role for the past three years.
However, the 27-year-old has been deployed in a different role under current boss Maurizio Sarri. Sarri deploys Kante higher up the pitch and Jorginho is the one who sits at the base of midfield and dictate the team’s play.
After Chelsea’s defeat to Tottenham on Saturday, Jorginho who had a bad game has been criticised for his performance, and Sarri has also been criticised for his use of Kante.
Journalist Gabriele Marcotti has defended Sarri and insists that the Chelsea manager has the right to use Jorginho as his anchor in midfield.
He told The Game Football podcast: “If you’re gonna play Kante in a defensive midfield position, which is where other managers have played him, that’s fine. Then get a different manager who plays in a different way from Maurizio Sarri.
“It’s a bit like saying: ‘Oh well why doesn’t Pep Guardiola have a Plan B where he brings on a Peter Crouch type and just starts lumping balls to his head?’ Because he doesn’t play that way.
“This is like clockwork, right. Chelsea play badly or they lose, which was their first defeat of the season of course, and all of a sudden it’s like ‘oh look isn’t he thick, he should be playing Kante there. He’s got the best defensive midfielder in the world.’
“That’s fine. Go play Kante there. And then you don’t go and you don’t build chances because Kante can’t do what Jorginho does on the ball. There’s a reason he does that.”
Marcotti also believes that Jorginho’s poor performance was caused by his teammates who didn’t press higher up the pitch.
“You can get away with Jorginho in that role if you do the work further up the pitch. If people have to pass the ball when they’re not under pressure then, yeah, any dope can go and hit the ball in the channel and some roadrunner like Son gets onto it.
“It just strikes me as such a futile debate. It’s like saying: ‘why doesn’t Tony Pulis play out from the back?’ Well, because he doesn’t. It’s a different brand of football.
“Then you can debate ‘well, is Sarri right to play this way?’ Chelsea obviously thought that he did achieve great things playing this way with Jorginho in that role, and that’s what landed him the Chelsea job.
“So the least you can do is go on for it.”