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For every game, there is usually the positive to take from it and of course the negatives. But when the negative outweighs the positive, then it means a lot needs to be changed.
The opening day victory against Brighton was a pointer that the Chelsea team isn’t fully geared for the new season, and the 2-0 to Liverpool only exposed a hidden truth.
There where quite a number of positives to take from the defeat nevertheless, such as Reece James being a beast at right-back, Kurt Zouma is looking the part in defence, N’Golo Kante is getting back form, Timo Werner is a class act and Mason Mount will definitely be a top player for Chelsea.
On the tactical side of the game, these are three areas we believe Chelsea manager Frank Lampard got it wrong.
Kai Havertz position
The decision to start Kai Havertz as a false nine was definitely flawed. The German is clearly yet to settle in the team and he’s not used to the intensity of the Premier League, so playing him as a false nine wasn’t a smart decision by the manager.
We have even seen our former superstar Eden Hazard struggle in this role, just to show how demanding it is to to play as a false nine especially when your team is sitting deep.
Not to be an egoistic critic, but I believe the gaffer got his starting lineup for this game wrong. Starting Kai Havertz as a false nine wasn’t a wise decision, and the team’s lack of pace was always going to be an issue, with Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic unavailable.
As I pointed out in my probable best line-up for the game, Chelsea needed pace, and it would have been a better gamble to start Callum Hudson-Odoi from wide than play Kai Havertz upfront.
If the gaffer doesn’t think Hudson-Odoi would have had a good game, then playing with a focal point in Tammy Abraham or Olivier Giroud, with Timo Werner out left, would have given the team a better shape.
The game seemed done and dusted when Andreas Christensen made the error of fouling Sadio Mane and Chelsea didn’t seem mentally prepared to play with a man less.
Following Mane’s quick succession of goals shortly after the restart, the game seemed over, but there was still a glimmer of hope. However, the gaffer failed to react tactically until the 79th minute. The introduction of Tammy Abraham upfront brought a focal presence and additional support to Timo Werner who seemed to be trying all alone. Tammy was even close to getting a goal in that game. I was expecting the manager to have made that sub at most between 65-70 minutes. Leaving it until almost 80 minutes of play, was just too late.
What do you think about the game and the tactical decisions made by the manager?