In his first article for the Chelsea Fancast, Bryce @Bvans97, takes at look at Chelsea’s inconsistent defence.
In the last few matches, Chelsea has been on a roller coaster of form. Beating Manchester City just to turn around and lose to West Ham. Since the restart, Chelsea have scored 2 or more goals in all of their Premier League matches. While the attack hasn’t been perfect, there has been production. Oliver Giroud scoring with incredible consistency, Willian in decent form, and Christian Pulisic becoming Eden Hazard with a more direct eye for goal.
These are all reasons to be, at a minimum, satisfied with Chelsea’s output. However, Chelsea’s defence has been a crumbling wall, a fragment of what was once a proud anchor of the squad. Gone are the days of repeated clean sheets.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has been bad and our center backs have been worse. The Chelsea defence has been inconsistent at best. Antonio Rudiger put in one of the worst defensive shifts I’ve ever seen against West Ham. Capping it off by allowing Yarmolenko to open up on his strong foot and win the game for the Hammers in the closing minutes.
Andres Christensen has been strange. He was great against Manchester City, providing a strong anchor to our defence and playing calmly under pressure. But then he turns around and is horrid against West Ham.
Against Crystal Palace, he almost single handedly gave the game away. Losing concentration and drifting off of strikers in the 6 yard box, not once, but twice in critical positions. All of this has been hard to watch. But there is one player that has given me a reason to believe. Kurt Zouma.
In crunch time of a game where we absolutely needed all 3 points; Zouma darted to the rescue after a lapse in concentration from Christensen.
Saving Chelsea from dropping points with a thunderous tackle. I’ve been on the bandwagon since his days at Saint-Etienne with Aubameyang. But it’s not too late for you. Zouma has always shown this potential. It was difficult seeing his knee injury right as he was starting to come into his own as a Chelsea defender. The tide is turning.
Now he’s back. Once again returning to form. He has been a rock, cleaning up mistake after mistake that Christensen has allowed. His game saving tackle against Crystal Palace really shows how much he wants to win. It hurts to see that there are rumors with him leaving for PSG, but I trust Frank will not allow that to happen.
His performances have been crucial when he has played. He has been absolutely bossing it for the Blues. Frank Lampard might have bemoaned our lack of height, but Zouma’s aerial presence has been sorely missed when he hasn’t played. He has been the lone saving grace in our HORRIBLE set piece performance.
All of this to say. More than we need Kai Havertz, as nice as it would be, a partner for Zouma has to be priority #1. A GK is a close second, I have defended Kepa since day 1, but the time for defending is done. Our championship window is opening and we simply can’t win the Premier League with a keeper who is as inconsistent as he is. The Chelsea defence needs help.
I’ve seen rumors with Declan Rice, who impressed in our match against West Ham. A CB can be the difference between good and great teams, and we have all seen the impact that Van Dijk has had on the Liverpool squad, we can only pray for a player that has half the impact he has had.