Chelsea’s patient, possession-based football may have hindered Mykhailo Mudryk from using his best asset, his pace.
According to Opta, via Whoscored, the Blues are one of the three teams in the Premier League who have yet to score a goal from a counter-attack situation, alongside Nottingham Forest and West Ham.
It was also the case last season, in which they were one of the only two teams without a counter-attack goal.
However, while Thomas Tuchel arguably did not have that many counter-attacking threats except for Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic, Graham Potter has now had Raheem Sterling and Mudryk at his disposal.
Mudryk, in particular, recorded the highest top speed in the league this season up until January.
So why have Chelsea not caused more problems on the counter?
Their reliance on short passes may be one of the reasons.
The Blues are averaging 47 long balls per game this season, the second-lowest in the league. But the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal have a similar approach, averaging just 49 long balls per game.
Yet, Arsenal and Manchester City have each scored four counter-attack goals this season.
In terms of opportunities, Chelsea clearly should have had more than these two, for example.
Potter’s men are in the top five in tackles won in both the final third and in the middle third of the pitch.
In fact, according to FBref, Chelsea have won more tackles than any other Premier League team except for Leeds United this season.
In fairness, Chelsea are one of the several teams who have not conceded a counter-attack goal this season, so their slow build-up play also gives them an advantage in this situation.
But if Chelsea want to get the best out of Mudryk, they would want to take more risks and play more directly.
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