Frank Lampard stated Chelsea is conceding unnecessarily as a crew. The gamers forward of and alongside his defenders are as a lot accountable because of the again line.
Cesar Azpilicueta is in lots of units of crosshairs this season: opponents and ignorant critics, alike. The previous are discovering him a pretty goal as a result of Chelsea’s full-pitch defensive construction by the centre and proper aspect invitations assaults in direction of Azpilicueta fairly than slowing them down, breaking them up or, on the very least, bringing efficient defenders into assist positions so Azpilicueta isn’t all the time in 1v1 or 1v2 conditions. The latter discovers him a pretty goal due to Williamson’s First Law (the precise legislation, not the Perry variant): all the things is straightforward whenever you don’t know a f***ing factor about it.
Frank Lampard is aware that soccer is straightforward in its personal approach. It’s not rocket science, contra Pep-bots. However, that doesn’t imply the floor reply is the right one. Earlier than slating a right-back for his efficiency in wave after wave of last-man conditions, Lampard is aware of you need to ask why it got here to that.
As my colleague Hugo talked about after the Sheffield United sport, Chelsea’s lack of width in assault invitations counter-attacks and stress on Chelsea’s full-backs.
Cesar Azpilicueta has been the primary supply of width within the assault. He leads the crew with seven crosses, three of which have been key passes. His presence excessive and huge, although, creates a channel for an out-ball and counter-attack.
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As soon as the play comes by that channel, Azpilicueta nonetheless recovers his positioning nicely. He’s making more tackles per game, is making these tackles in opposition to a larger quantity of dribbles in opposition to him and these are coming increased up the pitch than a final season, per StatsBomb.
The intense issues come up as soon as Azpilicueta does all the things he can in need of dispossessing the ball as issues advance deep into Chelsea’s defensive third.
Azpilicueta’s defensive cowl by midfield and into the defensive third is Jorginho. Sheffield United’s first objective was a primary instance of how Jorginho’s weak marking allowed Callum Robinson to run inside whereas Enda Stevens then ran proper by each Azpilicueta and Jorginho.
Azpilicueta ought to have tackled Stevens, however, when he didn’t, Jorginho wanted to cowl both Stevens, his move or his recipient, Robinson. He did none of that, permitting Stevens to ship a move to the now-unmarked Robinson for the objective. Jorginho was not sufficient to interdict the play as a 2v2 and even the 1v2. No different Chelsea participant picked up Robinson’s run, however, it might have been troublesome for any to take action without leaving an even bigger hole in protection in a much more harmful a part of the field.
If Cesar Azpilicueta is there to mark the huge ball-carrier, his same-side midfielder – Jorginho – should cowl the run off the ball. In any other case, a center-back wants to return off his line (dangerous) or that runner is open for a move into the field. Equally, Azpilicueta can solely shepherd the ball-carrier in the direction of the byline. He doesn’t have the choice of exhibiting the ball-carrier inside, as a result of then, he’s simply inviting the ball-carrier to run at Jorginho 1v1, which is the perfect scenario for the opponent.
That is the crux of each unmarked cutback Chelsea have given up this season. Azpilicueta does what he can to decelerate the ball service and let the Blues’ defense set up. But when he can’t win the sort out, he has to take the service to a place that opens up a move into prime capturing place as a result of the Blues should not have a midfielder protecting the defense in these positions.