Jorginho is key, and Eden Hazard could be No 9 for Sarri-ball, says Danny Higginbotham
Danny Higginbotham looks at the key hallmarks of Maurizio Sarri’s new Chelsea side, including the key role of Jorginho, and how Eden Hazard could be used as a No 9 in the coming months.
Speaking on Sky Sports News, Higginbotham looked ahead to Chelsea’s Super Sunday clash with Newcastle, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 4pm, having won their opening two Premier League games.
I think Eden Hazard could end up playing as a No 9, having seen what Sarri did at Napoli with Dries Mertens. I think he’ll end up playing as a false 9, possibly with Pedro and Willian.
Sarri loves to move the ball quickly, and get it forward quickly. Chelsea are a team who are adjusting, going from a three to a four at the back, but there are some great players there, and the midfield is a key area.
Jorginho the key
Jorginho is the man that makes Sarri-ball tick.
Because he has played under Sarri before at Napoli – and I’m not saying he’ll become the on-pitch manager – he can help the players adjust to the way Sarri wants to play.
Newcastle vs Chelsea
August 26, 2018, 3:30pm
Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass
He’s the heartbeat of the team now, as he was eventually at Napoli, with everything going through him. He has strong runners either side of him, which creates space for him, and he’ll be that deep-lying playmaker and will be expected to be that shield too.
The first and second goal against Arsenal were really good indications of how Chelsea can mix it up when needed.
The first goal showed Hector Bellerin too far up the pitch on Willian, and Jorginho acting as another centre-back. The ball was passed to Jorginho and he released Marcos Alonso, who then found Pedro. It looked simple, but simplicity, as they say, is genius.
For the second goal, Arsenal had everyone in Chelsea’s half, and tried to stop Jorginho. If you stop him, he’ll stay away. Arsenal’s two defensive midfielders were high up the pitch on Jorginho, which meant the defence moved up, and it led to a very simple goal.
The reinvention of Kante
How Sarri transformed Rafa’s Napoli
Cesar Azpilicueta sent a ball over the top, Alvaro Morata gets the better of Shkodran Mustafi and scores. That is the problem Chelsea will cause you.
New role for Kante?
With regards to N’Golo Kante playing on the right and Jorginho in the middle, we’ve seen Kante do the middle role and is one of the best in the world at doing it.
3:00 Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal
But I think Sarri has looked at it and thought: “We need to create time and space for Jorginho, and also press high.”
Kante starts the pressing high, because he’s forward of Jorginho; that in-turn creates time and space for Jorginho.
They will have to be wary at times that Jorginho isn’t too far ahead of the centre-backs, and may need to form a triangle with Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz at times, otherwise there will be more opportunities creates as Arsenal missed on Saturday.