Charlie Nicholas thinks that Chelsea duo Reece James and Marcos Alonso are two players that do worry him somewhat defensively.
The Blues have become amazing defensively since Thomas Tuchel took charge as manager, but Nicholas isn’t convinced by two wing-backs with their backs to goal.
First of all, 21-year-old right full-back James was sent off against Liverpool in the game before the international break.
The Englishman is super going forward with his delivery, while defensively he’s extremely strong and hard to beat one-on-one.
He can definitely still improve his all-round game, but criticism of him is a slight surprise.
Meanwhile, 30-year-old left wing-back Alonso is currently keeping Ben Chilwell out of the team right now because of his form.
Raising concerns about his defending makes a little more sense given his previous failure in a back four, but he’s tailor-made playing wing-back and understands the system inside out.
“The suspicion I’ve got is, defensively, I don’t know if they’ve to a lot of cover if they got one or two injuries at the back. I think that could leave them a touch vulnerable,” Nicholas said on the Where’s Jeff podcast.
“We know Reece James is very good going forward, so is Marcos Alonso, but they’re not always as good when they’re playing in defensive roles. I see that being problematic for them.”
If Chelsea boss Tuchel decided he wanted to be extra cautious in some games, he could move Cesar Azpilicueta to right wing-back and use Chilwell on the left to give the team a more solid outlook.
However, it seems a little harsh to highlight James and Alonso as weak links.
James is only going to get better with more experience and he’s learning under the tutelage of club captain Azpilicueta.
Meanwhile, it’s difficult to critique Alonso when he’s playing like he is.
Chelsea are so well drilled at the back nowadays by Tuchel that you’d back any combination of the club’s defenders to do well together.
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