After Chelsea’s desperately disappointing 1-0 defeat to Leicester, we ask what we learned.
1. These defeats are Sarri’s fault
Maurizio Sarri has done well since his appointment. However, he is testing the patience with his baffling stubbornness in continuing to pick some players who are absolute deadwood.
Marcos Alonso and Willian do not deserve to be in the team. They have added nothing all season and the same was true today. Emerson and Callum Hudson-Odoi should be playing in their positions. It is extraordinary that Sarri, who pays so much attention to detail has not seen the same thing.
2. Loftus-Cheek needs to start.
The Englishman was not exactly great when he came on. But he does offer what that midfield desperately needs; goals and assists.
Neither Kante or Kovacic offer this threat while the Blues do not have a goalscoring number nine. The only goals are coming from Hazard, Pedro or a set piece. For this alone, Loftus-Cheek is needed.
3. Kovacic must also play
Despite what I just said about Loftus-Cheek having to play and Kovacic’s lack of goalscoring ability, the Croat also needs to start.
Clear cut chances were infrequent in the first hour when Kovacic was doing his work but the Blues had a lot more control.
When he goes off, nobody carries the ball forward from midfield, plays into the forwards then collects the ball again further up the pitch. Jorginho is always deep and Kante is pretty poor at this part of the game. Loftus-Cheek’s strengths are dribbling and arriving in the box to score, not keeping the ball.
The obvious candidate to miss out so that Loftus-Cheek and Kovacic both play is Kante. As crazy as this would have sounded a year ago, it is now a glaring option.