What could be the secret of Chelsea’s recent strong defence? Chelsea legend ponders

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From being a team that conceded 54 goals in the Premier League last season, Chelsea started the season in similar form, as the Blues conceded 9 goals in the first five league games of the season.

The Blues have now gone on to keep a clean sheet in the last four games in all competitions, and Chelsea legend Pat Nevin is wondering what could be the secret of Chelsea’s recent defensive form.

Nevin wrote in his column for the official Chelsea website: “A month ago, we were shipping three goals against the likes of Southampton and West Brom. Since then, however, there have been four games and over six hours of football without a single leak at the back. Obviously there are a variety of reasons for this. English football certainly seems to have calmed down a bit in general since those wild scorelines at the start of the campaign, but it has to be something more than just that.

“Maybe it is the full-backs. Ben Chilwell one side and either Cesar or Reece on the other has a rather rock-solid look about it. Square pegs in square holes and each perfectly capable of adding something special in attack alongside their specialities in defending.

“Maybe it is the goalkeeper who has made the lion’s share of the difference? His stats right now are superb, only one goal lost in six games at the club and that was from point-blank range against Spurs.

“Goalkeeping still isn’t always the place that people look at first when thinking about clean sheets. Attention is just as likely to focus on the centre-backs, and surely by now every Chelsea fan has figured out just how special, calm and talented Thiago Silva is. It is a pleasure to watch him every week and he is certainly having a huge effect on the form of Kurt Zouma.

“Thiago Silva spent eight stellar years becoming a legend in France has quite an influence on Frenchmen Zouma and Kante in front. Then there is another Gallic triangle behind featuring Silva, Zouma and Mendy. The communication and comfort between all four looks very good at the moment.

There is a multitude of reasons for the improved defending and of course it involves the entire team in the end. It also has to involve the work done on the training ground by Frank, Jody and the rest of the coaching staff, even if that time is severely limited with the amount of games going on and travelling being done.”

Indeed, while Mendy and Silva could be hailed for what they have added to the strong defence, the team is generally getting into top gear and playing as a unit.

About the Author

Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.