Why are players still playing out of position?
Despite having both Marc Cucurella and Chilwell available on the bench, it was once again Levi Colwill, a more natural central defender, who started at left back for the Blues on Sunday afternoon. Colwill performed admirably on the left flank, tending to stay closer to the touchline than a typical fullback would, creating more room for the dangerous Mudryk to trouble Villa.
While Colwill provides stability and exhibits quality passing from the left back position, there will inevitably be lingering questions about why he’s being placed in a role that doesn’t align with his natural strengths as a player who clearly thrives in the heart of the defense. Pochettino’s decision will also naturally raise inquiries about his confidence in the more conventional left backs for the Blues, and why neither of them appear to be entrusted with greater defensive responsibilities under the Argentine’s leadership.
It’s not only Colwill playing out of position; once again, Enzo Fernandez was deployed as the No.10, behind the Senegal international rather than beside Caicedo. Cole Palmer was once again on the bench and only came on when Gusto saw red and the game became out of reach. The newly acquired Manchester City academy youngster looked bright in the limited minutes he received and it only begs the question – why isn’t Pochettino playing him even though he’s fully fit and would allow Enzo to flourish in his position? Ben Chilwell was later called from the bench to play as the left winger once again, after taking out Mudryk who looked the best out of the three attackers of Jackson and Sterling. It may be early days but Mauricio Pochettino’s tactics and substitutions are becoming extremely questionable.