Marcos Alonso is no longer good enough for Chelsea Football Club

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05: Marcos Alonso of Chelsea acknowledges their support after the Carabao Cup Semi Final First Leg match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on January 05, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05: Marcos Alonso of Chelsea acknowledges their support after the Carabao Cup Semi Final First Leg match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on January 05, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images) /

The two matchups between Chelsea and Manchester City this season have shown that on the surface, there is little difference between the two sides. The Citizens won both meetings by an aggregate score of 2-0 via a Gabriel Jesus deflected goal and a Kevin De Bruyne worldie. However, the season in its entirety has told a vastly different tale. Pep Guardiola’s machine is on pace for its fourth Premier League title in five years while the Blues find themselves in the thick of the top four struggle once again.

The difference in the two sides this year has been the situations. Man City has hardly been impacted by injuries, COVID-19 or any other ‘outside’ factors; whereas Chelsea was hit particularly hard. The Blues held their own in the title race for months, but once a few key players went down, the house of cards came crashing down. This is largely because of the difference in squad depth. Chelsea has been unable to fill the void left by Ben Chilwell’s absence in the starting XI and this just goes to show that Marcos Alonso is simply no longer good enough to play for the Blues.

Related Story. Chelsea’s wingback pursuits were only ever going to end in disappointment. light

The harsh reality is Marcos Alonso is no longer good enough to start for Chelsea

This may sound harsh but Man City hasn’t risen to power in the Premier League by taking players’ feelings into account. I find that the comparison between the two clubs is most accurate—even though Chelsea is more closely comparable to Liverpool at this moment in time—because the Citizens are what the Blues are striving to become. They are the reigning Champions of Europe and there is simply no excuse as to why they’re struggling to nail down a spot in the top four as February comes along once again. Man City is two-deep in every position, Chelsea is not.

It’s easy to forget Alonso started the season brilliantly. He was very good against Villarreal in the Super Cup, playing 120 minutes and scoring his penalty in the shootout, before notching his first goal of the season in the thrashing of Crystal Palace just three days later. The Spaniard managed to keep Chilwell—who was admittedly struggling with his mental health and match fitness—out of the team for the early part of the campaign. When the Englishman did return to the starting XI, he was superb and he changed the way in which Chelsea played as a unit.

Alonso’s early season form had many in high spirits even after Chilwell’s season-ending ACL injury. Chelsea supporters believed their side had a capable replacement within its own ranks, but those fans were mistaken. The 31-year-old has been anywhere from subpar to dreadful in a majority of his appearances over the last two months. The Blues’ hierarchy has yet to back Thomas Tuchel in the transfer market, which means the German gaffer is left with an aging wingback in poor form. That is the short-term issue the club faces. In the grand scheme of things, Alonso has shown over the last eight weeks that he is no longer capable of playing at the level Chelsea requires.

The Blues need a proficient all-around wingback to occupy their left side. Alonso has been a liability—albeit his deficiencies are often over-exaggerated by spectators—for the last few seasons in defense. He’s known for his attacking capabilities. Alonso is known to score some fantastic goals at opportune times, which means that while I write this now, I must acknowledge I will more than likely be celebrating the Spaniard finding the back of the net against Spurs on Sunday. However, even his attacking output has been relatively poor this season.

Alonso’s goal against Crystal Palace on the opening day of the Premier League campaign that was mentioned earlier in this piece is actually the only one he’s scored all season. He’s added two assists in the English top flight and another in the Carabao Cup across 27 total appearances in all competitions. Compare that to Chilwell, who has three goals and one assist in 12 games, and the differences are night and day. The latter also has more discipline when defending, which explains his zero yellow cards to Alonso’s seven. It’s not a huge factor overall but it is worth noting.

The point of this piece is not to compare Alonso to Chilwell though. There is a clear reason that the 25-year-old starts for Chelsea when he is fit. The point is to discuss Alonso’s inconsistent tendencies. The Blues have been OK with holding onto the Spaniard over the years because he’s capable of producing occasional moments of brilliance. However, there is a reason that three of Alonso’s managers in SW6 have preferred another left back (whether it be Chilwell or Emerson) to him. The Antonio Conte acquisition is too streaky nowadays to be considered a key part of Chelsea’s day-to-day football gameplan, much less its future.

The Blues’ hierarchy is finally on the back end of a complete squad overhaul that saw many of the old guard that was managed by individuals like Conte and Jose Mourinho pushed out the door. Its next task should be ensuring that Chelsea has adequate squad depth similar to fellow title contender, Man City. This starts with the left back/wingback position.

Guardiola has two individuals in Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko who many would consider very capable left backs, certainly better than Alonso. The Blues need to bring in Alonso’s potential replacement sooner rather than later for numerous reasons. First, as this article strives to point out, Alonso is no longer consistent enough to effectively play regularly for Chelsea. His poor play is beginning to have a negative impact on the entire team and its results. In addition, he’s got just one-year remaining on his contract. Marina Granovskaia needs to cash in on the aging defender while she still can, a contract extension would be worst case scenario at this point.

Alonso is still a phenomenal footballer who has a lot of time left to play at the top level somewhere in Europe. Unfortunately for him, that time will likely not include playing alongside fellow European Champions at Chelsea for too much longer. Alonso is seemingly a shell of his former self. Although he’s been a faithful servant to the club over the last five-and-a-half years, it’s time for the two sides to finally say goodbye to one another sooner rather than later. If the Blues do not split with Alonso and players in similar situations, they run the risk of falling further behind Man City while continuing their run of mediocrity in the Premier League.

Next. Chelsea in talks with Championship side over left back transfer. dark

What do you think Alonso’s place is in the team? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!