Chelsea’s defensive record marred by poor attack

Thiago Silva of Chelsea (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Thiago Silva of Chelsea (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) /

Chelsea’s season has been awful from the start. A side that has failed to make a mark in any competition. Recently, knocked out of Europe by Real Madrid, eliminated from the FA Cup and EFL Cup by Manchester City, and lacklustre performances in the league, leave it very tough to find out any positives.

The whole team has lacked passion and intensity this season, and everyone has to share the blame for the state the club is in at the moment. The players’ work ethic has been questionable, and everyone has struggled to perform. Some things stand out and show that it’s not the defense but the attacking phase of CFC that is troublesome.

The West Londoners have the third best defensive record in the league with 33 goals conceded so far. Only Man City (28) and Newcastle United (25) have a better record. The backline for The Blues along with a solid defensive record have also been very diligent in their duties and have avoided accumulating bookings. None of the Chelsea defenders are in the top 10 for bookings received or fouls conceded. Kalidou Koulibaly ranks 114th in the league with 22 fouls.

‘O Monstro’ Thiago Silva has been sensational even at the age of 38. The Brazilian is second in the league with three goal-line clearances. Silva’s highlight reel would include perfectly timed tackles, well-read interceptions, and clearances off the goal line. He also boasts a 92% passing accuracy with the league’s highest being 94 per cent. 1,727 players amongst Europe’s top 7 leagues have contested more than 100+ duels so far and the 38-year-old has the highest win rate of 73.3%.

The west Londoners are the only team in EPL that is yet to give away a penalty. The defence is putting the right step forward. However, the same cannot be said about the attack. The team’s transition from defence to attack is horrendous, with zero goals scored from counterattack. Battling relegation  Nottingham Forest is the only other team that hasn’t scored on the counter.

The Blues have attempted 17,100 passes, 4th highest in the league, and have completed 2nd most passes(67%) into the final third. The goals are not to be seen for all the passing. With 30 goals Chelsea sits 16th in terms of goals scored. Their xG is 43, a difference of 13 points. 13 goals if put away could tell a different story for the club.

Forward, Kai Havertz is the league leader in fouls conceded(54). It can be argued that the German presses from the top to win possession and create chances, but it clearly isn’t working as the ball doesn’t end up in the back of the net enough. Havertz has missed 13 big chances and has also been caught offside a league-leading 27 times.

It cannot always be pointed to Havertz timing his runs poorly but could also be that the pass wasn’t timed right, either way, it’s something that the attacking phase of the team needs to improve on. The capital club (69) is only second to Liverpool (71) in total offsides.

Raheem Sterling(4) , Kai Havertz(7) and Joao Felix(2) have 13 goals together. The forwards surely need to step up like the defenders on the team and take the chances they get. This is something the new coach will have to focus on from the get-go, as CFC not putting away their chances has been a problem for a long time.

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Mauricio Pochettino is the favorite to take charge at Stamford Bridge. Under Pochettino Tottenham Hotspurs played an attacking brand of football, and the hopes among Chelsea fans would be the same. The Argentine has Premier League experience and can work well with forwards as he did with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.