Maurizio Sarri has brought a possession-based style of play to Chelsea and his brand of football has been appreciated by lots of football fans.
Sarri should be applauded for his start as Chelsea boss as the Blues went undefeated in the Premier League for 12 games before the 3-1 loss to Tottenham in November.
The loss to Tottenham was a painful sight for many Chelsea fans as the Blues could have easily lost by a bigger goal margin. Tottenham were wasteful and Kepa Arrizabalaga was impressive in goal, making some important saves.
One of the reasons why we lost against Tottenham was due to the lack of protection the midfield offers the defence. Sarri has preferred Jorginho as Chelsea’s deepest midfielder with Cesc Fabregas as the number two man in the role.
Fabregas was drafted in for his first Premier League start of the season against Wolves with Jorginho rested after starting every Premier League game this season.
Fabregas is excellent in possession but the 31-year-old has never been known for his defensive ability. He was excellent for 45 minutes against Wolves but struggled once Wolves upped the tempo in the second half.
Just as Jorginho struggled with Tottenham’s intensity, Fabregas also struggled to cope with Wolves intensity in the second half.
Just like Tottenham had done at Wembley 10 days ago, Wolves were all over Chelsea’s faces in the second half and exposed the lack of protection in front of Chelsea’s back four. With Wolves upping the tempo in the second half, N’Golo Kante seemed wasted in the right of Chelsea’s midfield where he couldn’t get the tackles in.
For Wolves’ first goal, Gibbs-White beat Fabregas completely before setting up Jimenez. Kante would have stopped Gibbs-White if he was playing as Chelsea’s defensive midfielder. Kante is born to make tackles and it is sad Sarri insists on playing him in the right-side of Chelsea’s midfield. Kante isn’t known for his ability to create or score goals but his ability to stop opposition attacks.
Sarri doesn’t have a plan B and I think that is also costing Chelsea points this season. With Chelsea struggling to cope with Wolves’ intensity in the second half, one would have expected a change in system to counter Wolves. Sarri instead opted for a change in personnel on the pitch.
When the 4-3-3 isn’t working for us, I think Sarri should be flexible enough to try out another formation. Sarri just seems bent on playing the 4-3-3 and this isn’t a good sign. I watch teams play with two or even three formations in a match as they try to win games and I would love to see Sarri do that at Chelsea.
Chelsea should have a Plan B when things aren’t working well on the pitch. Things must change quickly if Chelsea must end the season in top four.