Lazy Chelsea players called out for “lethargic tracking back” by official Premier League site

Adrian Clarke’s column for the Premier League official website is an interesting preview for tonight’s match against Everton.

The former Arsenal defender looked back at our efforts last week against Sheffield United to assess where we’re at as a team. What he noted was some shocking defending from the team as a whole, as we twice let a lead slip.

He accused Mauricio Pochettino’s charges of “not doing the basics” as they let the Blades equalise in extra time.

Despite the fact that he was writing for the Premier League’s official site, Clarke didn’t hold back in his criticism of the efforts he saw from our players in last week’s game. A combination of laziness, inattentiveness and just plain poor defensive positioning has been costing us all season, and in his analysis of our play in that game, Clarke noticed all three.

He accused Chelsea of “not doing the basics well enough without the ball.”

“You can pin three goals leaked across the last five matches on lethargic tracking back in wide areas,” he explained, before going into detail on a number of examples.

Our “duels won” has dropped below 50% in our last 3 games, and Clarke thinks this could be a major factor against Everton:

“Pochettino’s players have had a habit of being tentative in key moments defending their own penalty box, sometimes paying a price for failing to win those critical duels,” he wrote.

One shining light

Clarke did have major praise for Malo Gusto and the season he’s having though. The Frenchman didn’t play in the game last week, and while he’s not known for his defensive acumen either, his presence as a fearsome attacking threat down the right should help the whole team simply by putting the opposition onto the back foot.

He returns tonight, and we will need him at his best to threaten Everton.

Chelsea News