CHELSEA entered the fifth round of the FA Cup this afternoon, but it was far from convincing.
No absent manager Thomas Tuchel after the German tested positive for Covid-19, The Blues had to work hard against League One Plymouth Argyle.
What the Pilgrims lack in big-name stars, they make up for with tactical technique and hard work.
And this started with rookie boss Steven Schumacher identifying the perfect plan to neutralize Jorginho.
The Italian was brought on at the base of the midfield, as the Blues stuck to a 4-1-4-1 formation that served them well up front. Tottenham before winter break.
Tuchel and Co will want Jorginho to run the game from the front of the four defenders, to adjust the tempo by passing the ball quickly and intelligently.
But Argyle saw this coming.
Striker Luke Jephcott was asked to sit on the Euro 2020 winning bench when Argyle lost control, not allowing him any space to comfortably hold the ball and perform Chelsea tick.
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And just like that, the man who finished third in last year’s Ballon d’Or was not an entity in the game.
If a team in League One can do it, it’s safe to assume Premier League or Champions League teams can take part.
In this system, if you stop Jorginho, you stop Chelsea.
And what top managers have been able to realize with increasing frequency, is that the 30s are achievable.
Today, Chelsea’s quality finally speaks and they can overcome Argyle’s commendable effort in extra time.
But in the long run, this midfield problem will cost the Blues the opportunity to win the Premier League, even under Tuchel’s excellent management.
And it appeared Tuchel also want to trump the England team – so it may be time for the Chelsea board to listen to their coach and secure the signature of The Hammers’ hottest property.
It is possible that Tuchel wanted to play back four during his time at Chelsea, even before he was no longer playing.
But for it to develop properly, he may need a player with Rice’s thrust on the ball.
This season’s Prem title is gone… but Blues fans will be praying they can sign a difference-maker to try to win it next year.
Rice is that man.
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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/4620676/chelsea-verdict-plymouth-jorginho-rice/ Plymouth shows key to nullifying Jorginho.. Blues need Declan Rice to win Premier League next season