Chelsea

Antonio Conte is the reason behind Chelsea’s biggest problem this season

According to Sky Sports pundit Tony Cottee, Antonio Conte is to be blamed for Chelsea’s struggles in front of goal this season

Chelsea cruised to an easy 2-0 win over mid table Brighton and Hove Albion. Marcos Alonso and Alvaro Morata registered their name on the scoresheet in the second half at Stamford Bridge. The result meant that Chelsea have now scored 34 goals in the league. That figure is joint-lowest among the top 6 along with the Arsenal who have played a game less. Hence, it can be said that Chelsea dismal title defence can be traced back to their goalscoring troubles.

Marcos Alonso, Chelsea's left-back is their joint second highest goalscorer in the Premier League behind Alvaro Morata

Marcos Alonso, Chelsea’s left-back, is their joint second highest goalscorer (5) in the Premier League behind Alvaro Morata (12)

Sky Sports pundit Tony Cottee recently said that Antonio Conte is responsible for Chelsea’s lack of goals. When asked whether scoring goals is Chelsea’s biggest problem, the former West Ham striker said, “Yeah, without a doubt. But it doesn’t help if you are not playing a centre-forward, does it? Morata’s been brilliant. If he doesn’t play Batshuayi’s sitting on the bench.”

“Antonio Conte obviously doesn’t fancy him, Batshuayi, if he doesn’t fancy him then just move him on in January, get someone in.”

Alvaro Morata was brought in this summer by Conte after a public spat with Diego Costa. The Spaniard has been consistent since moving from Real Madrid and has formed a lethal partnership with Eden Hazard. However, he has missed games due to injury. In those cases, Conte prefers to use Hazard as a false 9 instead of deploying Morata’s direct replacement Michy Batshuayi. While Hazard is a great playmaker, he does not have the same presence up top as a classic No. 9.

Michy Batshuayi attracted crticism for using hot water bottle while sitting on the bench during Chelsea's 1-0 loss to West Ham

Michy Batshuayi attracted crticism for using hot water bottle while sitting on the bench during Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to West Ham

Cottee did accept that it might be difficult to bring someone in when the players knows that he’ll be playing the role of a backup. However, he also added that it is imperative that Chelsea bring in a centre-forward as soon as possible. A new striker is a must if they are to make a proper showing in the second half of the season. He said, “I know it’s difficult because if you’re trying to sign a player you’re going to say ‘come to Chelsea and you’re going to sit on the bench behind Morata’. I understand all that, but there must be someone out there who he can have a little bit of faith in.”

He added, “They’ve got incredible midfield players, all those chances and not to score a goal, it just lets Chelsea down. The end product is missing.”

“West Ham beat them the other week and it was the same thing. If they want to push up the league and challenge for the Premier League every year, you’ve got to have at least two top quality strikers, otherwise, you’re not going to win it.”

Author’s Take

Chelsea definitely need another centre-forward and I think that the coach realizes that. Chelsea went for Fernando Llorente in the summer but ended up losing him to Tottenham. Conte knows that his team is not suited to play with a false 9. If they are to save their season then they must go in for a player like Richarlison who can provide a trustworthy backup to Morata.

Michy Batshuayi, on the other hand, showed a lot of promise before moving to Chelsea. The young Frenchman needs to move out of Stamford Bridge as soon as possible to reinvigorate his faltering career.

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