Despite 76 percent possession against Wolves, Chelsea struggled to break them down and could only manage a 1-1 draw after a late Eden Hazard goal.
Chelsea legend Pat Nevin admitted to facing those kinds of opponents during his days as a player and he revealed our creative players like Eden Hazard, Pedro, Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi must be on the ball in the last 30 yards of the pitch and not getting the ball on the halfway line with ten players behind if we must break a stubborn defence like that we faced against Wolves on Sunday.
He also believes the ball should be moved faster just as Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri insisted after the game against Wolves.
“When I played it mostly happened in international games when lesser nations turned up with the simple notion of keeping the score down. There might have been the odd break but you knew that every time you got the ball there would be a wall of nine, 10 or usually 11 players packed in and around their own penalty area. Getting through that mass of humanity was never easy, but with their limitations you usually found a way eventually,” Nevin told Chelsea’s official website.
“We need to find ways round this problem more often if we are going to make the top four and the fans are just as frustrated as the players at it being so close yet so far because of this.
“One of the ways is obviously to do what Man City do in the same circumstances, continually get their creative players on the ball in the last 30 yards of the pitch.
“Eden Hazard getting the ball on the halfway line with 10 players between him and the goal is suboptimal. He obviously wants to get involved and he can glide past two or three players with ease, but by then he hasn’t even got close to their back line and he has usually been fouled half a pitch away from the goal.
“Pedro, Willian and the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi are the same. They have to get possession where they can hurt the opposition more quickly. This means moving the ball far more quickly when the opportunity arises. Maurizio Sarri says as much after each disappointment.
“Clearly it is easier said than done but City do it expertly every week. It is not a dig at the players mentioned, or their team-mates or the coaching staff, but it is imperative to find an answer to this conundrum between them all.
“Take a look at when we did score. Eden picked the ball up 20 yards out from goal, not 60. He still had a huge amount to do but fouling him there is more dangerous with our talented free-kick specialists on the prowl, and quite simply there is less ground for him to travel before having a pop at goal.
“I watch Callum trying to learn this as he goes along and he realising how much harder it is against better teams, with better players and better-organised systems. He has the ability like Eden to beat anyone, but he is much more dangerous receiving it further up field. When he did get it in the right area he put in some wicked crosses. When he didn’t he got caught on the ball a few times and Wolves were able to break dangerously.”