‘Should be trusted more’: BBC pundit says Chelsea star has earned right to start regularly following West Ham win
Garth Crooks has insisted that Trevoh Chalobah should be part of Chelsea’s first-choice XI following his performance against West Ham yesterday.
Chalobah was the only member of Thomas Tuchel’s squad to make Crooks’ BBC Team of the Week, having only just scraped past the Hammers at Stamford Bridge.
Nearly another set-back for the Blues
The European champions needed a 90th-minute winner from Christian Pulisic to seal all three points in the derby and end a run of three successive home defeats.
It looked for all the world that Chelsea’s unwanted streak in South West London would be stretching to four matches, until the final 10 minutes.
West Ham defended defiantly throughout the fixture, with Craig Dawson the standout protector of the pack.
However, his one major error nearly proved costly.
Romelu Lukaku managed to spin away from Dawson, causing the centre-half to drag back his marker inside the box.
After a VAR check, Michael Oliver decided to change the yellow card handed to the Hammer to a red instead.
Jorginho stepped up to the spot, but could only pass the ball into the grateful arms of Lukas Fabianski.
Despair rung around three-quarters of the stadium.
However, this anguish soon turned into celebration, as Pulisic made up for his teammate’s error with a last-gasp winner.
Chelsea’s unsung hero
Whilst the American and Jorginho undoubtedly grabbed the headlines for quite opposite reasons, Crooks wanted to praise Chalobah for his largely unheralded efforts on Sunday.
“What Chalobah did against West Ham was precisely what Andreas Christensen should have done against Arsenal,” said the former Tottenham Hotspur striker.
“The Danish centre-back’s inability to keep his concentration long enough to eliminate the number of mistakes he made against the Gunners was telling.
“Christensen arguably started the rot against Arsenal in midweek with an appalling backpass which let in Eddie Nketiah for the first of his two goals.
“Chalobah, on the other hand, was the central defender against the Hammers who took the responsibility often taken by Antonio Rudiger when he plays and looked impressive for much of the match.
“Christensen has been at Stamford Bridge for quite some time now but I haven’t seen the sort of development in the defender I was expecting.
“Chalobah, however, looks an exciting prospect and should be trusted more in the bigger games.”
Chalobah was actually not even meant to face West Ham, which makes his contribution even more impressive.
Christensen had initially been in line to start, but was forced to pull out just before kick-off because of an illness.
Having suffered in mid-week against Arsenal, the Dane could probably do without another afternoon of disappointment.
Thanks to this latest absentee, Tuchel’s defence had shrunk considerably.
Antonio Rudiger and Reece James were already missing through injury, meaning a makeshift rear-guard was all that could be used.
Yet, Chalobah, alongside Thiago Silva, mainly held off David Moyes’ men and managed to secure a first home clean sheet since March.
With a trip to Manchester United on the horizon, Tuchel would be wise to call upon the Chelsea academy graduate once again.