The Chelsea captain has called it as it is. Frank Lampard might be listening.
Over the summer, Chelsea spent £220m during the recent transfer window as the arrivals of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, and Hakim Ziyech grabbed the headlines.
The conventional wisdom is that scoring goals win games. But in the case of Chelsea, it’s arguable that the rest of their recruits will have a greater significance on their season because, in practicality, it’s the signings of Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, and Edouard Mendy that the club really need to be successful.
At present, Frank Lampard’s side are seventh in the Premier League and have won only two of their opening five games. In many ways, Chelsea are a carbon copy of what they showed last season in Lampard’s maiden season as manager.
Brilliant going forward, wildly erratic defensively.
The Blues have conceded nine times in five Premier League games this season and their recent match against Southampton was a microcosm of their problems.
Having gone 2-0 and 3-2 up against Southampton on Saturday, they ended up drawing 3-3. Last month, Chelsea came from 3-0 down to draw against West Brom.
Speaking ahead of their opening Champions League game of the season against Sevilla, Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta said their defensive issues are so bad that they need to score several goals each game just to stand a chance of winning.
“When you’re weak defensively sometimes we feel like we have to score three or four each game. I see football as a collective. When we don’t score, as a defender I think how can we put our attacking players in better situations. Through a season you are not going to be winning 3-0 or 4-0 every week. You have to work to get results and at the moment we have to improve that,” said Azpilicueta.
Granted, the poor form of Kepa has been a major contributor to their shaky defensive unit, but Frank Lampard is aware that his side needs to improve defensively.
“I’m aware of the stats and the other stat is we’ve conceded the second-fewest shots. It helps to narrow down the issue. It’s something we’re aware of with recruitment and on the pitch with the players to make sure we set up well. We want to concede less, as do all teams at the moment,” he said.