Former Blue spot on with Chelsea concerns

5 Min Read

Unfortunately, former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf has hit the nail on the head with his latest comments about Chelsea’s issues over the past few years.

Frank Leboeuf was one of the players who I would probably list inside my top ten players who I enjoyed most whilst watching Chelsea when I was growing up. He played the game with ease and with class. His long passing vision and switch balls were a thing of beauty, a real majestic player but also a good captain and a good leader. He knew the game well and could read it perfectly. His footballing mind has always been clear for all to see. He played with bravery and was never afraid to hit that pass.

This is why I appreciate hearing his views on the game still now, and he’s delivered some damning words on Chelsea recently.

Frank Leboeuf: “Even though Chelsea’s build up play is getting better under Graham Potter because they are more vertical than they were under Thomas Tuchel, they still seem more interested in keeping the ball rather than hurting the opposition.

“That seems to be the mind frame, not losing the ball rather than risking an incisive pass. A lot of backwards and sideways passes with no risk and the stats will show a high pass completion ratio but I want to see more progressive passing.

“My main concern for Chelsea is I don’t see many players who will risk missing a pass and play more vertically. Everything is too calculated. Football is a game of intuition in order to make something special happen and surprise the defence.

“It’s been the same problem for the last three years, providing a supply line to allow someone to consistently score goals. Chelsea have tried Romelu Lukaku and it didn’t work out and now it’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

“The problem is that Chelsea don’t consistently serve them because the football they play is more horizontal passes and keeping possession rather than trying to score goals quickly like Liverpool do for example.”

This is exactly it. These have been our issues for the last three or four seasons at least. The nail on the head bit is players not wanting to take risks. Chelsea ultimately do lack the quality to do this on a regular basis, on the whole.

We have all seen that our forwards have lacked the service. Timo Werner used to make the runs on a weekly basis, always being ignored. Same thing with Romelu Lukaku, and again now with Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, as Leboeuf has mentioned.

Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Image

Everything is calculated, as Frank says. We are too predictable. When we play the 3-4-3, we are too predictable.

But the bottom line is that we have lacked the quality to open up defences and play quick one touch football. Nobody has wanted to take the responsibility to make that killer pass or take players on. Because for me, creativity isn’t just from making passes, it’s also players beating two or three men at once and opening it up. We have a few players who can do that, but again, they just aren’t doing it enough and we need more.

When I read these quotes, everything seemed so obviously true to me, and to many other of us fans. So why has it not been obvious to managers, coaches, and owners at Chelsea over the last four years? This has held us back immensely.

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