Mark Lawrenson has spotted a noticeable change in the confidence levels of Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Speaking to Off the Ball, the former Liverpool defender highlighted the lack of poise currently being demonstrated by Mendy.
The Senegalese international has so often been a figure of calm and composure between the sticks for the Blues.
More often than not, whenever the team’s rear-guard opens up, his 6ft3in frame is on hand to clear up the danger.
His clean sheet record speaks for itself; 36 in just 64 matches since joining Chelsea for £22m (BBC) last summer.
Mendy in the firing line
Yet, Mendy’s marble-like solidity has taken a few hammer blows lately.
Especially by West Ham United, who gave the ‘keeper a very uncomfortable afternoon at the London Stadium.
He conceded the penalty that allowed the Hammers a root back in the game, before allowing an unusual Arthur Masuaku strike to beat him at his near post three minutes from time.
Rare mistakes have coincided with an equally infrequent lack of clean sheets.
In the past four Premier League matches, Mendy has let in eight goals.
Before the 1-1 draw with Manchester United, the 29-year-old had forfeited just four goals.
“The goalkeepers not helped. I think he’s starting to look a little bit scatty,” said Lawrenson on Chelsea’s current defensive issues.
“I think it’s a classic case of when he’s had really nothing to do, he’s occasionally come out of his area and tried to do things and win balls and you are kind of thinking ‘just stay where you are.’
“Fortunately, he’s gotten away with it.
“But generally, he’s started to look a little bit nervy and that will affect people that play in front of him because then you are thinking ‘’what’s he going to do next?’”
Chelsea leaking goals
Chelsea’s reputation of being water-tight at the back under Tuchel is now under threat.
The last few weeks have proved that the once impenetrable fortress can be breached.
10 times the Blues’ net has been rippled since the 4-0 win over Juventus in November.
That’s 22% of all the goals the Champions League holders have let slip with Tuchel at the helm.
They need to retrace their steps and rediscover the defensive mindset that made them such awkward opponents to face.
Otherwise, Chelsea can wave goodbye to their title hopes.
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