Chelsea went down 3-0 to Tottenham at Wembley. We examine the main lessons we learn from the Blues’ first defeat of the season.
1. This season is about the process
Results are important this season but only to an extent. Chelsea are not going to compete toe to toe with Manchester City and Liverpool this season. Top 4 is more than satisfactory.
This season is about developing the team to play the way Maurizio Sarri wants. The transformation Sarri is implementing is extensive and it will take time. This season will have good times, bad times and indifferent times. All the while, the players will be learning which is the most important thing.
2. Sarri-ball can never be perfected with the current full backs
In order for Sarri’s system to be fully perfected, both full backs must be able to fulfill multiple functions.
First they need to be fast. Chelsea’s two centre-backs were constantly forced to venture out of position because Spurs kept their width and the full backs were not able to tuck in quickly enough.
Going forward, the full backs must be able to overlap and combine with the attackers with speed and technical precision. This threat provides the wingers in front of them with much more space and opportunity to do damage.
Neither Azpilicueta or Alonso are up to standard. They are perfectly good players but neither are suitable for Sarri’s Chelsea.