The three things Graham Potter did wrong against Arsenal — It came back to hurt the Blues
At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea fell to Arsenal in a discouraging loss. The difference in quality between the two teams is not indicated by the score (1-0). From passing and tackling to having the desire to win, Chelsea came in second place practically everywhere today.
The players who played today weren’t up to par, but Graham Potter, the head coach, should take the blame for the loss because his team wasn’t properly set up today.
The Englishman erred in the following ways.
Today, Potter made the choice to adopt a four-at-the-back shape. With three central midfielders and Havertz in a hybrid No. 10/false 9 position behind two forwards, Sterling and Aubameyang, he completely swamped the middle.
What could have gone wrong when Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Martinelli, and Odegaard were faced with only two center-backs? The Gunners’ forwards frequently exploited the Blues’ defense. The gaps left by Cucurella and Azpilicueta on the wings and Jorginho and Loftus-Cheek in the middle were well exploited by the opposition.
Here is a prime illustration of Chelsea’s misplaced defensive positioning. Cucurella and Jorginho are positioned far from the action, as you can see:
In relation to Chelsea’s anticipated goals. Everyone is eager to shoot Auba and Sterling, but midfield was the real problem.
Potter deployed a large number of men in the center of the field, but the Blues’ midfield, which included Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Mount, and Havertz initially and Gallagher, Kovacic, and Jorginho later, was comprehensively defeated by Arsenal’s Xhaka and Partey pivot.
Chelsea’s only alternatives were back-passing and lumping the ball forward in the hopes that Auba or Broja would manage to beat Saliba and Gabriel to it because Arsenal prevented Chelsea players from combining and closed passing lanes.
Here’s a fantastic illustration of how Chelsea’s midfield isn’t operating effectively. Defenders behind Jorginho are the only available passing spots; everyone else is marked.
If you pick the right players, even if you choose the wrong strategies, your team still might manage to win. Unlike Potter,
Why would Potter start Sterling, who has so far demonstrated practically nothing under Potter? Why, considering his current form, does Havertz deserve to start? What must Zakaria accomplish to be chosen over RLC or Jorginho? What justifies delaying the use of Kovacic and Gallagher?
We want Potter to respond to these queries because his choice today was so egregiously incorrect.
With the rest giving us dreadful individual performances, Thiago Silva and Chalobah are possibly the only outfield starting who can hold their heads up tonight.
Aubameyang is a notable—or not so notable—example of Potter’s selection gone bad. The Gabonese player made eight touches, had a booking, and stopped a shot against his former team after appearing in a contentious “nothing personal” commercial. The Arsenal supporters will be joking around like they should.
Although rating someone’s attitude and behavior may seem unusual, there was a noticeable difference between Graham Potter and Mikel Arteta’s actions on the touchline during the game.
The Arsenal manager would frequently be captured on camera yelling, gesticulating, and shouting at his players and possibly referees. As if he were a tourist watching a game between two teams he doesn’t particularly care about, Potter typically stood still with his hands on his chest.
Arteta may occasionally irritate, but there is no denying his love for Arsenal. His body language conveys that he will stop at nothing to ensure that his side wins. One wonders if Potter even cares given his phlegmatic behavior.
Although a manager’s touchline antics are undoubtedly not the most crucial factor, Arteta’s players seemed to be electrified as a result of his passion for the game. Maybe Chelsea’s lackadaisical style of play is a result of our head coach’s excessive composure and control?