After Chelsea scored a valuable win over Fulham, there were no real new lessons to be learned. But there were still valuable takeaways to go over.
Loftus-Cheek has to start
Featuring in the takeaways on Thursday, Ruben Loftus-Cheek grabbed his chance coming off the bench to replace Mateo Kovacic. He showed the boss exactly why he is the best option to play in that third midfield slot next to Jorginho and N’Golo Kante. Kante has his limitations in Sarri’s system but together he and Jorginho form a solid base from which to work.
The third midfielder must be able to score and create chances. Kovacic is a technically silky player who you could watch all day but there is no end product. Ross Barkley is developing into a pretty decent player but he is nowhere near as gifted as Loftus-Cheek. Tis is his time, he deserves to start now.
2. A top class striker is badly needed
Olivier Giroud played pretty well again and he is a perfectly good option to have. But he is not that absolutely top level forward that all great teams have. The less said about Alvaro Morata today the better.
The Blues need a striker with pace, certainly with more pace than Giroud. He also needs to be a predator in front of goal. It is no wonder that Sarri wanted to bring Gonzalo Higuain to the club. He is a pure goalscorer and Chelsea need to find one in the next two transfer windows.
3. Sarri may have doubts about Alonso
Marcos Alonso recently signed a new contract and his manager called him one of the best left-backs in the world. He has played every league match and looks like a firm fixture in the team. As someone who favours Emerson over the Spaniard, I was interested to see Sarri take off Alonso after a poor performance.
Alonso wouldn’t be tired. He has had a week off and did not play internationals recently. Sarri must not have been happy about his defensive play or even all round play. Perhaps he has spotted the glaring weaknesses in Alonso’s game.