Chelsea news: Back-to-back draws highlights old issues as Potter fights to overturn form of attacking players.
The wheel hasn’t been reinvented, Graham Potter is working with the same players Thomas Tuchel was and his struggles may well be similar.
It’s too soon to draw effective conclusions from Potter, especially as it has only been eight games, but also because it was all looking up before the last week where an old head reared itself at the worst time. Chelsea are still unbeaten though and in a promising position, but you perhaps wouldn’t have thought that was the case such has been the reaction to back-to-back draws.
In context, Chelsea drew the final of three away games after taking maximum points before that on the road and then fell foul to a last minute equaliser against Manchester United. Not the worst going but made more frustrating by Arsenal and Tottenham also dropping points over the week.
The table at this stage is not the real bother though, and Potter will remain process orientated, looking towards what his side’s performances deserve. Until Aston Villa they had been pretty good, things dropped this week though.
Tuchel’s first eight matches had six wins and two draws, scoring 10 and conceding two. Potter has won five, drawn three, scored 14 and conceded two. Not a bad comparison, but after seeing the German’s side slowly fizzle out on the attacking front, fans are concerned by the drop off in goalscoring and chance creation against Brentford and Manchester United.
Speaking on TalkSport, former Blues player Tony Cascarino admitted that’s where the frustration for Potter will lie. “He is going to be bothered by the ability of his forward line to get goals,” Cascarino said.
“Aubameyang has not really got going, yes he has had his couple of moments. He was totally off the pace yesterday. Sterling is not playing particularly well, where he is running into defenders more often than not.
“Again these are top players, these are players that you expect so much more from. Apart from Mason Mount’s double last week at Villa Park, they don’t look like they have got goals in their side. They have lost Reece James, which is a big outlet on the right-hand side for them, but generally they don’t look [like] a side that’s going to have a load of goals in them.”
Raheem Sterling is yet to score since Potter’s first game against RB Salzburg and has been uncomfortably shifted across the team to wingback. Aubameyang has finished the chances on offer but struggles to create them himself. Mount’s return to form has been timely but if the rest isn’t clicking into gear then he is in essence the only player serving up chances in the current team and even that isn’t getting the best out of him.
A lot of this comes down to having an unbalanced, unfit set of midfielders not set up to create chances whilst losing Reece James amplifies the point even more. The individual form of players is worry as well and Potter must find the holy grail and a way to structure his team whilst getting the balance right at both ends of the pitch.