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lets talk about our defence


Jackbuchanan
Chelsea Megastore
Chelsea Megastore

Chelsea Megastore

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I thought i'd begin a new topic discussing our defence in general. Obviously tonnes of exciting things going on from an attacking perspective, the signing of Ziyech, Werner, the rumours of Havertz and obviously the emergence of some great young players in midfield and forward positions. However there is a big elephant in the room... our defence! I'd be interested to hear others opinions on this and what they would like to happen.

I think everyone would agree RB is sorted! For CB Rudiger is great, i do rate Tomori as a good player for the future and think Zouma is quite good, but do we want either of these to be starting week in week out? As for LB, i rate Alonso massively going forward and think Emerson is a good enough back up, however both are riddled with inconsistency especially Alonso defensively. Now for goalkeeper 🙄, is Kepa any good? I think we can all agree he is not shown £70m worth, but do we replace him or give him another season, after all De Gea was crap in his first season for Man U? 

So where would you start? I see a few options...

1- replace Alonso with a more solid LB and give Tomori a real chance to establish himself a partnership with Rudiger.

2 - get a quality left sided CB that can cover Alonso allowing him to utilise his attacking threat.

3 - buy nobody and hope and pray Tomori turns out to be the real deal and that Alonso can somehow be coached how to defend 😬

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Sell Alonso to Newcastle if their takeover materialises and spend big on a top quality LB. If Lamps thinks that is Chillwell, so be it, although i'm not convinced. Emerson we either keep as a backup or move him on and use Maatsen/Azpi as backup.

Bring in a veteran CB to play alongside and mentor Tomori for a year. T.Silva will be available for a free this summer and then reassess the situation next summer when hopefully a new CB will have appeared and shown he's worth buying.

I think we have to keep Kepa for another season, possibly swap goalkeeping coach?

RB we're sorted for a decade.

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1 hour ago, RIP Mourinho said:

Sell Alonso to Newcastle if their takeover materialises and spend big on a top quality LB. If Lamps thinks that is Chillwell, so be it, although i'm not convinced. Emerson we either keep as a backup or move him on and use Maatsen/Azpi as backup.

Bring in a veteran CB to play alongside and mentor Tomori for a year. T.Silva will be available for a free this summer and then reassess the situation next summer when hopefully a new CB will have appeared and shown he's worth buying.

I think we have to keep Kepa for another season, possibly swap goalkeeping coach?

RB we're sorted for a decade.

Agree with this take.

I would argue that for CB that we could bring in someone like Skriniar and offload Zouma instead of Silva.

RB we need to find better back up, RJ definitely should be starting but not sure who is backup outside of maybe Azpi playing there, but he's at the tailend of his career now

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Agree with this take.
I would argue that for CB that we could bring in someone like Skriniar and offload Zouma instead of Silva.
RB we need to find better back up, RJ definitely should be starting but not sure who is backup outside of maybe Azpi playing there, but he's at the tailend of his career now
There's a strong argument for Reece James being our best RB by now, but denying Azpi even has back-up quality goes a bit far in my opinion...
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I believed Jackbuchanan has rightly pointed out the positions we're lacking in and that RB is our least concern out of all defensive positions.

It's a bit tricky really... In all of these positions we could end up being just fine but in any of them we might just as easily curse ourselves for not acting in the summer.

I do believe LB is the most urgent though, because I simply see no potential for improvement there. It would be interesting to see which LB our club would rather let go of, as they both have qualities to offer (Emerson as an all-round solid back-up and Alonso as an attacking weapon).

If a brilliant CB or GK is available it could take us on another level but in theory all of our CBs plus our GK have strong potential that could finally materialise (permanently) next season. Might be a bit illusional but the possibility is there.

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We conceded 39 goals in 38 games last season with broadly the same players. 

Improving our LB and developing Christensen Zouma and Tomori to improve should be enough if our midfield can hold onto the ball. 

I don't see the need to spend loads of money on a CB until we fix the midfield. 

 

As an aside, goalkeeper needs improving. Kepa has been found out. 

Edited by bisright1
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I think a top quality Centre back should be a priority, Stick with Alonso, he was excellent the month before the season was curtailed, probably our best player, The Napoli Saga with Koulibaly could resurface, but get Çağlar Söyüncü from leicester instead of Chilwell.

 

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2 hours ago, Luiz4Chelsea said:
3 hours ago, driller97 said:
Agree with this take.
I would argue that for CB that we could bring in someone like Skriniar and offload Zouma instead of Silva.
RB we need to find better back up, RJ definitely should be starting but not sure who is backup outside of maybe Azpi playing there, but he's at the tailend of his career now

There's a strong argument for Reece James being our best RB by now, but denying Azpi even has back-up quality goes a bit far in my opinion...

Not saying Azpi isn't good enough, but I figured he would be used more as a backup for LB if we are to get rid of Emerson and Alonso.

No point buying a new LB, selling both Alonso and Emerson and having to have Azpi cover both LB and RB in case of an injury or something.

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1 hour ago, bisright1 said:

We conceded 39 goals in 38 games last season with broadly the same players. 

Improving our LB and developing Christensen Zouma and Tomori to improve should be enough if our midfield can hold onto the ball. 

I don't see the need to spend loads of money on a CB until we fix the midfield. 

 

As an aside, goalkeeper needs improving. Kepa has been found out. 

I think having a world class CB is probably the most important thing right now. Our midfield is pretty stacked once Ruben comes back in

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1 minute ago, driller97 said:

Not saying Azpi isn't good enough, but I figured he would be used more as a backup for LB if we are to get rid of Emerson and Alonso.

No point buying a new LB, selling both Alonso and Emerson and having to have Azpi cover both LB and RB in case of an injury or something.

To me it seems way easier to only sell one of Emerson / Alonso rather than selling both, using Azpi as back up on his less natural side and having to buy a new RB as well.

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15 minutes ago, driller97 said:

I think having a world class CB is probably the most important thing right now. Our midfield is pretty stacked once Ruben comes back in

By fix the midfield, I don't mean signing anyone. 

I genuinely think 

Left back

Havertz

Goalkeeper

 

In that order. 

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2 hours ago, Ballack & Blu said:

I think a top quality Centre back should be a priority, Stick with Alonso, he was excellent the month before the season was curtailed, probably our best player, The Napoli Saga with Koulibaly could resurface, but get Çağlar Söyüncü from leicester instead of Chilwell.

 

Soyuncu would be a great signing. Would way prefer this than Chilwell! I know Alonso has his weaknesses, but going forward he is way better than anything on the market right now!

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The jury is still out on Kepa i think frank will give him the remaining games to prove himself. There is no way we are getting anything close to what we paid for him covid or not. The Ajax keeper seems the most likely option if hes to be replaced. 

We really need a world class centre back but there are very few of them about at the minute. Koulibaly seems to be the stand out player at the minute but hes 28 and would cost 80 million with no resale value so i cant see us going for him. i think we may wait to see how players develop over the next 12 months before purchasing one.

Chilwell seems to be the player we are linked with on a daily basis in the media. I haven't seen that much of him but the reports seemed mixed and he would cost upwards of 60 million. Any reports I've seen the club seem to like Maatsen and hes one for the future if this is the case David Alaba is a world class left back he's one year left on his contract he would be the perfect signing with Maatsen as his understudy.  

 

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These last remaining games are a good opportunity for Kepa, Alonso and Emerson. At least one of the three can show some quality. I like the idea of keeping Alonso as a backup, when he runs forward he makes things happen.

Zouma and Christensen are still not in their prime but I would put a question mark there, I'm not sure if they can develop further more. Christensen has been looking the same for years now so I wonder if this is his max level of play, he's still good enough to be in the rotation but I have my doubts about if he can actually become world class.

A world class LB would significantly improve our backline, that should be the first thing to upgrade IMO. I must say that Azpilicueta did a good job at that position, at the very start of the season he wasn't playing that well if I remember it correctly but he really showed class later on and stayed in good form till the break regardless if he was on the left or right.

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13 hours ago, Luiz4Chelsea said:

To me it seems way easier to only sell one of Emerson / Alonso rather than selling both, using Azpi as back up on his less natural side and having to buy a new RB as well.

Yeah thats fair, but they both seem likely to leave and neither one of them wants to sit on the bench and be a backup player. So we either sign another low level LB, or we start one of these 2 when neither is good enough. I wouldn't mind having one of them as backup as they have shown glimpses of being really good at times, but I just dont think they want to play second fiddle.

13 hours ago, bisright1 said:

By fix the midfield, I don't mean signing anyone. 

I genuinely think 

Left back

Havertz

Goalkeeper

 

In that order. 

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I know it sounds illogical, but I want to get the Havertz signing out the way first. He's generational and would be class for us for several years to come, another Hazard even.

Then I think our priority should be CB and then LB. But CB only if we are going to sign a proven world class player, if not then I would prioritize LB

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2 hours ago, driller97 said:

Yeah thats fair, but they both seem likely to leave and neither one of them wants to sit on the bench and be a backup player. So we either sign another low level LB, or we start one of these 2 when neither is good enough. I wouldn't mind having one of them as backup as they have shown glimpses of being really good at times, but I just dont think they want to play second fiddle.

In that case I don't see why Azpi - cemented starter for more than 5 years and let's not forget our captain - would be more willing to be our back-up LB than Emerson or Alonso.

In fact, if Emerson or Alonso - whoever were to stay with us - have any trust in their own abilities, any 25m Tagliafico type LB transfer won't make them give up on the first team spot for a second. Even Chillwell shouldn't. I actually believe Alonso is one of the most confident players in our squad, always seems completely unbothered by any prior tactical decision of the manager when he's playing again.

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1 minute ago, Luiz4Chelsea said:

In that case I don't see why Azpi - cemented starter for more than 5 years and let's not forget our captain - would be more willing to be our back-up LB than Emerson or Alonso.

In fact, if Emerson or Alonso - whoever were to stay with us - have any trust in their own abilities, any 25m Tagliafico type LB transfer won't make them give up on the first team spot for a second. Even Chillwell shouldn't. I actually believe Alonso is one of the most confident players in our squad, always seems completely unbothered by any prior tactical decision of the manager when he's playing again.

Because we need 2 fullbacks to cover both the RB and LB positions. RJ/Azpi on the right with New signing/Alonso on the left for example. As good as Alonso is attacking wise, his defending really is poor and a lot of the times we concede its because of him. If we do sign Chilwell, then having Alonso as backup is no issue at all for me. Its just Alonso and Emerson have constantly been linked with moves away so if they both leave it might leave us a bit screwed.

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Actually our defence is pretty awful and gets exposed often, partly because we haven't been using Kante in the holding role or having a proper holding player who can tackle as well as intercept. So teams counter attacking get straight through to the CBs. Unfortunately none of the centre backs are good enough IMV, if you want a top top team -

zouma and Rudiger are like twins, big strong and can tackle - but positioning not great and get exposed on the ball when under pressure - I would sell both

Christiansen - more of skilful ball player than the others but hasn't improved and his lack of physical power requires him to read the game better and use his knowse - no leadership on the pitch either - keep as a backup

Timori - early doors but has shown good awareness, reading of the game and has the raw speed so has potential to be first pick - keep

so we would need two more CBs - I would go for Mings as he has the leadership and presence on the pitch for the left side CB and is being coached by the best. And Kouilbay if we could afford him, or Declan Rice has he can play CB and holding role

if you don't agree then suggest you watch the villa goal, whole back line ball watching, oh and look at the games lost total of 9 which is worst for many years

KEPA also not not top class either, another day to cover that one

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12 hours ago, ws6blue said:

Actually our defence is pretty awful and gets exposed often, partly because we haven't been using Kante in the holding role or having a proper holding player who can tackle as well as intercept. So teams counter attacking get straight through to the CBs. Unfortunately none of the centre backs are good enough IMV, if you want a top top team -

zouma and Rudiger are like twins, big strong and can tackle - but positioning not great and get exposed on the ball when under pressure - I would sell both

Christiansen - more of skilful ball player than the others but hasn't improved and his lack of physical power requires him to read the game better and use his knowse - no leadership on the pitch either - keep as a backup

Timori - early doors but has shown good awareness, reading of the game and has the raw speed so has potential to be first pick - keep

so we would need two more CBs - I would go for Mings as he has the leadership and presence on the pitch for the left side CB and is being coached by the best. And Kouilbay if we could afford him, or Declan Rice has he can play CB and holding role

if you don't agree then suggest you watch the villa goal, whole back line ball watching, oh and look at the games lost total of 9 which is worst for many years

KEPA also not not top class either, another day to cover that one

agree with a lot of that, but i really dont rate mings. Villa havent been great defensively this season, mings is part of that. He isnt better than Zouma or Rudiger imo. 

I like idea of Rice at centre back though, although he hasnt been used there much in the premier league, i watched the wolves game and he was good. 

Trouble with buying from english sides though is the price. 

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