'Don't understand': Agbonlahor says Tuchel played 22-year-old Chelsea star in completely the wrong position last night
Gabby Agbonlahor has criticised Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel for playing Reece James at centre-back in last night’s 4-2 Premier League defeat to Arsenal.
The Blues suffered another humiliating result at Stamford Bridge by losing again in a home match.
A lot of minds may already be on next month’s FA Cup final against Liverpool, but the team still needs a few results to maintain third in the league and get over the line with a top-four finish.
TalkSPORT pundit Agbonlahor highlighted the tactical selection with James against Arsenal as one of the major issues.
The 22-year-old England star continued on the right of a back three, something he’s done recently in big games to nullify quality attackers. However, he’s traditionally a wing-back that offers a great deal going forward.
Agbonlahor definitely feels James should’ve been start last night’s contest further up the pitch at right wing-back.
“I just don’t understand Thomas Tuchel sometimes. Reece James in that centre-back position has done well in certain games. When you’re playing against Vinicius [Junior] and you’ve got these quick players, I understand it, but last night wasn’t the game to play him there,” he told talkSPORT.
“You’ve got [Cesar] Azpilicueta playing right wing-back, Reece James is one of the best right-backs in the world. You’re losing him going forward. His tactics were wrong yesterday.”
Nailed-on Chelsea starter
James is one of the few individuals right now you always expect to be in the Blues XI.
The fact he’s got the versatility to play at centre-half or wing-back is a massive tick against his name, but you don’t want that to become a negative.
He was as influential as any Chelsea attacker earlier in the season when he was flying high at wing-back before his injury.
It’s great to see his one-on-one defending improving, as well as how comfortable it looks dropping into the backline. Most Chelsea fans want to see him tormenting opponents in their own half, though.