Undrafted – The Network

Chelsea – Champions League Afterthought’s

The Champions League is back!

I absolutely love this competition. There is nothing more special than hearing the Champions League anthem actually in person. Thats a fact! Night games under the lights give it that extra spice too.

I actually did my homework to find out what the lyrics were when translated into English.

They are the best teams
They are the best teams
The main event

The master
The best
The great teams
The champions

A big meeting
A great sporting event
The main event

Chelsea vs Sevilla

Chelsea were held to a 0 – 0 draw last night in their opening Champions League encounter against a well organised Sevilla side. I was relatively happy with the result and welcomed the cleaned sheet.

Sevilla are masters of Europe having won the Europa League again last season so it was a tricky tie for Chelsea. With FC Krasnodar and Rennes making up the rest of Group E Chelsea and Sevilla you would think are fighting it out for 1st and 2nd place. But take nothing for granted in Europe.

So in game of few chances what did we learn last night?

Mendy cements starting spot

Lampard confirmed after the game that Edouard Mendy is now Chelsea’s choice keeper. But why?

“I think the way he has played in the three games since being here, he has played very well,” he said. “So at the minute, yes. I said when he came in it was good for competition.

“We knew his qualities and he is showing them already. So as it stands, yes it is.

“But that always remains something that is up for grabs, so that is why you have competition at clubs. The way he is playing I am very happy.”

Frank Lampard in his press conference

Mendy has done great since he came in. When he plays he looks commanding at the back and dominates his 6 yard box with his huge frame. He makes saves to. Something we’ve been missing for the last few months. When you’re on the back foot and the opposition gets in behind or the ball deflects towards goal you need your keeper to be alert to the situation. The clip below shows a save he made last night, getting a strong left hand to push the ball back out to safety.

Thiago oozes class

The defence looked noticeably more secure after the return of Thiago Silva against Sevilla last night.

The 36-year-old was a composed and experienced presence in a back four that looked shaky only a few days ago as Frank Lampard’s side surrendered a lead to draw 3-3 with Southampton.

Image Credit – Evening Standard

It was a performance from Silva that suggested he could help Chelsea improve significantly as a defensive unit. What impressed me most was towards the end of the game when Chelsea were searching for a winner. Mendy looked to play it short from a goal kick but Thiago told him to kick it long. He’s been there, done it and got the t-shirt. He knows what it takes to win football matches at the highest level. Sometimes playing it out from the back brings unnecessary pressure and with the amount of unforced errors Chelsea have made lately, Thiago was there to make sure one didn’t happen again.

It’s up to Lampard now to manage Thiago and ensure he’s fit for the whole season. With a game at the weekend to Manchester United hopefully he has enough in the tank to play.

Zouma lacks concentration to be the best

Yet again Zouma made some questionable plays against Sevilla. One that comes to mind was a clearance from a ball into the box that he sliced into the path of an oncoming Sevilla attacker.

Image Credit – Football London

I’m so sure its down to concentration because he has everything else in his locker to be a top level centre back for years to come. He is still very young but he needs to learn quickly before he finds himself back on the bench a place he knows well.

Playing next to Thiago though will help improve his game long term. Zouma looks 10 times better when playing next to him compared to Christensen.

Havertz dropping too deep

Havertz’s positioning last night in the Champions League was all wrong. He was 10 yards too deep for my liking. All the clips I’ve watched of him in Germany he played right up alongside the striker and this is where he is most effective. He’s an accomplished finisher and a threat in the opponents box. The closer he plays to Werner or Tammy when he plays the better.

Werner more suited to the striking role

Werner looks a lot more comfortable down the middle than out on the left. It’s great to have the option that he can play out on the wing, but you lose that threat in behind. His runs are phenomenal. I took my eyes off the ball during last nights game and watched his movement during open play (you should try this). He’s always on his toes, looking to stretch the defence and exploit open space. He’s a completely different striker to anything Chelsea have really had so it’ll take the whole team time to adjust to play to his strengths.

One things for sure though…Werner is going to score buckets of goals. I love him already.

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your opinion on anything Chelsea. So swing by our Instagram and drop us a dm.

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