When we are in a bad place as a club everyone wants to try and hone in on one particular issue or blame one person, but you will find that it is never just down to one thing or one person.
I didn’t expect to be writing articles like this at all after six games in this season, but we cannot ignore the fact that five points from our first six games is far from good enough.
So with our squad build being pretty much done, why are we in this frustrating position right now other than the fact they are all young players and need time to gel/mature?
For me, it’s a number of reasons, more than what I will even cover in this article. But the ones that stand out are:
- Our mass injuries
- Ignoring experience/proven players in our summer recruitment
- Pochettino’s team selections
I’ve seen some people throw entire blame to Pochettino and think he should be sacked already, which I do not agree with at all. I still think Pochettino is the right man for the job and the right man to lead this unique group of young players. They all really like and respect him, and that’s so important.
I’ve seen some people throw all the blame on our directors and owners for making too many mistakes and ‘not having a clue’ whilst squad building. I’ve also said before they have made mistakes and I still think mistakes have been made as recent as this summer, but again, you cannot pin all the blame on them.
I’ve also seen the opposite end to this and people wanting to put all the blame on the players we have missing out injured. And whilst that is a big factor, we cannot say that the players we’ve had out on the pitch still could not have beaten Nottingham Forest or Bournemouth lately? Not hearing that.
So lets go though each issue that I am seeing.
This has been huge for us and none more so that Carney Chukwuemeka. Before he got injured he was stepping up as a talisman and we have really lacked that profile and player since he has gone.
Our injured centre backs are hurting us. I’ve been defending Thiago Silva big time but I’ve also been vocal that I would not start him in a fully fit Chelsea team, no way. Benoit Badiashile and Wesley Fofana have been big misses.
The captain is out. Reece James, whilst not the most vocal, IS a very influential player for us on and off the pitch. Malo Gusto has been great but Reece James is Reece James.
Romeo Lavia has not even made a squad for us yet. Huge setback. Lavia alongside Enzo and Caicedo looks like a dream midfield if used right.
Armando Broja. Lacking firepower has been huge for us this season so far, and we all know that a fit and firing Broja would certainly add firepower to our attack and a different option to the struggling Nico Jackson.
Noni Madueke was also missing from the squad again on Sunday, and that’s been an on and off thing. His flair and directness was the one positive from a bad season last season, and I think we have missed his spark and him being an option to come on/start.
And finally, Christopher Nkunku was arguably the biggest setback of them all. A huge loss. Losing him AND Carns was massive.
So of course all of these injuries have really effected things negatively, but we cannot use them as an excuse.
Not buying experience
I was vocal on this all summer and I knew it would be a problem, or at least have potential to be a problem. I am not saying that buying experience and proven players guarantees you success. We saw last summer how that backfired. But we should absolutely have had more balance with experienced and younger players with our recruitment in the summer and I’ll never agree with only buying U25s.
We desperately needed, and still do need as is being badly shown right now, a proven and experienced striker this summer, and we didn’t provide it. Get one in January no debate.
It makes little sense to me when we were hearing all summer from every reliable outlet that Pochettino was keen to add Premier League proven, or experienced players, to his squad, yet he didn’t get it.
Our squad has HUGE potential it really does, but it was also always going to be a risk, a risk that could have ended up paying off and it still might pay off. But the bottom line is it was always going to be a risk signing young and unproven players unsure if they would bang, or how long it would take for them to bang. Just one, two, or three more experienced and proven players added in this summer would have made such a difference in my opinion.
Pochettino’s team selections
This one is frustrating me, because I back Poch to be the man for this job and I haven’t changed my mind on that. But he needs to change his ways here and I fear that he might not and stick with what he is doing.
Whether it is to ‘protect’ Thiago Silva or not is debatable, but Levi Colwill must STOP being played as a left back immediately. I’ve spoken a lot recently on why I think this, but it’s just obvious.
Play a back four with proper full backs and then select your two best centre backs available. Because you cannot pick between Disasi and Silva, you are forcing Colwill to play out of position and look uncomfortable.
Start Cole Palmer. He’s our only real creative player who can make a difference from midfield right now. Start him, he can and will make things happen and he also has a VERY good shot on him and a goalscoring threat, and hey, we’re lacking goals no?!
We have a mouthwatering double pivot and if they hit top form and consistency, could easily soon become one of the best double pivots in the world. You are using a 4-2-3-1 formation so pick your two best pivot players available, Enzo and Caicedo, for those positions. I cannot keep seeing Enzo play as a 10 he is so uncomfortable there, how can anyone not see that?
And when Armando Broja is fully ready I’d also take Jackson out of the firing line right now as he looks very lost and down on himself.
All of us can see the above and I find it hard to understand why anyone with a football brain doesn’t think this is the best way to setup right now.