3. Chilwell doesn’t work hard enough in defense
One observation—well, you could call it a concern—I had from this game was that Ben Chilwell’s work rate on the defensive side is worryingly low. Especially in a four-man defense.
When Chelsea play with three at the back, and Chilwell slots into that left-midfielder/wingback role, while it hasn’t happened much, it still works fine because there is a player on the side to cover for him. He can move up the pitch without really having to worry about defending or tracking back. While he has to do it, it’s not as important as doing it in a four-man defense. Now, I’ve tried to notice his movement up the pitch, and his tracking back all season. It hasn’t been that great. One time, it was so bad that it cost his side a goal against Manchester City. He got caught jogging toward his own goal during a Manchester City counter-attack.
It was just like that this time around. He didn’t look like he wanted to defend, or track back in transition. I noticed it so many times against Leeds. Sometimes, he was nowhere to be found. Luckily, Leeds didn’t really exploit it.
Chilwell is a really good offensive full-back, there’s no doubt about that. However, his transition defense is something he needs to work on if he wants to become a regular starter for a top club like Chelsea. In fact, the only game in which I saw him track back well was when he played as a wingback in a 3-4-3. He has to change it as soon as possible, because since Tuchel has arrived, Chilwell hasn’t played much. The German coach obviously prefers having Marcos Alonso there. There’s a lot left to prove for Chilwell; the good thing is he has time. Another good thing is, Chelsea plays a three-man defense more than a four-man defense. Either way, he needs to improve big time in the defensive areas.
What were some lessons you learnt in the match? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!