Chelsea on so many occasions in recent years have relied heavily on the shoulders of an individual when the going gets tough, and that begs the question; how many of Chelsea’s big moments in recent seasons have come outside of the structure or as a result of a systematic deliberate approach or owed to some luck or individual brilliance to deliver? This basically feels like it’s been “Hazard will do something” sort of football for a very long time.
This approach sort of lends to the argument that that’s why you bring in a manager like Sarri to make sure more quality moments come out during matches as a result of a deliberately planned structure, unfortunately that hasn’t been the case, it’s been mostly a different way of achieving the same outcome. Chelsea’s match against wolves yesterday saw a lot of static attacking play, and that was partly due to his approach. I sometimes feel for Sarri because in his approach, he expects players to do a lot movement on and off the ball, this type of approach suits how he wants his team to play with Jorginho as the anchor and focal point.
However, that lack of movement from the Chelsea players has often made Jorginho look very average and poor in a lot of matches. Like players get into pockets of space with their backs to goal ready to receive the ball to play it first time to a third man runner or similar, but the run never comes, and the whole build up of play breaks down. So sometimes, it’s not about systems, it’s poor execution but within a bigger question too. In as much as I agree that there is not enough quality in this current Chelsea squad to be able to perfectly execute Sarri’s kind of football, I think has been stubborn and the orchestrator of his own problems.
For the very first time he changed tactics against wolves yesterday by introducing Willian for Jorginho and switched to 4-2-3-1 was actually very instrumental in Chelsea getting a point in that game, it freed Hazard from multiple players marking him, and he should have done that in other games.
It’s obvious that teams will set up like wolves did yesterday against the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City, the difference however, is that city have the quality to break such defenses down, but Chelsea don’t have, but for the magic of Eden Hazard coming to the rescue again, which he has done on an uncountable times. Chelsea have scored 50 goals in the Premier League so far this season, Eden Hazard has scored 13 of those goals, assisted 11 goals, he has been directly involved in 48% of the goals. That spells his importance to the team at the moment. Where will Chelsea football club be without his contributions and are they prepared for his imminent departure this summer? How long will the club continue to rely heavily on one player to deliver?