Joe Cole critical of Chelsea defending in Everton loss
Joe Cole did pick out Chelsea’s centre-back pairing Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen for criticism after their performances against Everton at the weekend.
The Blues were beaten 3-1 away to Everton in the Premier League, which means they stay in fourth and are allow teams behind them in the table to close the gap.
Frank Lampard’s side weren’t quite clinical enough going forward at Goodison Park despite a wonder strike from excellent midfielder Mateo Kovacic.
It was the defending that let Chelsea down on Saturday, with Richarlison managing to power in a header in the opening five minutes to give the Merseyside outfit the lead.
Meanwhile, a total mix up between the centre-back duo in the air meant that they failed to clear the ball on the edge of the box and allowed Dominic Calvert-Lewin to profit.
Blues goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was in the wrong for Calvert-Lewin’s second goal and overall it was very sloppy at the back.
Chelsea legend Cole feels there was a lack of authority on the heart of defence and did pick out the starting centre-back pair for criticism.
“The only bit that’s a bit concerning is the pattern of goals conceded. Compete. Physicality. The balls that went up in the air the defenders (Zouma and Christensen) are both good players they are going to be disappointed and looking back there needs to be lessons learned from the pair of them,” Cole told BT Sport.
“One of them needs to go up and head it, the other one if it drops down clear it.
“In those moments when you need the physicality, particularly the two at the back and the goalkeeper, a little bit of dominance and physicality they just lacked a little bit. That’s the difference in the Premier League unfortunately.”
Zouma and Christensen have both shown on their days they can perform at Stamford Bridge, but unfortunately both let their standards slip at the same time against an Everton team coached by interim manager Duncan Ferguson.
Lampard has seen his side have a soft underbelly to them all season when it comes to defending and some may feel the January market is the perfect opportunity to rectify the problem.
Fikayo Tomori will have a strong argument to come back into the XI in midweek for a pivotal Champions League group stage match against Lille, while there is also the important return of Antonio Rudiger on the horizon.
German powerhouse Rudiger could be the ideal solution to help the Blues, as he’s a leader at the back and is arguably Chelsea’s best centre-back.