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Jorginho - Keep or Sell?

This will assess the importance of Jorginho and how Billy Gilmour has saved us £60 mil freeing us up to splash the budget on Sancho pr...



This will assess the importance of Jorginho and how Billy Gilmour has saved us £60 mil freeing us up to splash the budget on Sancho propelling us back into contention for titles – Thank you, Lampard. If you’ve got regista in your username, you may want to go back to watching complication videos.

The purpose of this article is to make you think about football a little bit differently. Before you close this - I promise it isn’t all about Jorginho so trust me and you might learn something.

Problem – Solution

For every concept, there is another concept waiting to nullify it.

Football is a complicated and chaotic game involving 22 people, simply put it is an invasion game where one team try to invade the space of their opponents. With each team trying to pose problems for their opponents in attempts to score or stop the opposition scoring. What is crucial is the cyclical nature of problems and solutions, interconnected by the chaos. One second a team tries to create a problem and the next second that problem can turn into a solution.  

A problem could be a team setting up with a low block out of possession with the team in possession looking for solutions. Alternatively, the low block could be a solution to problems caused by the team in possession. A smaller-scale example might be a 1v1 situation where an attacker has the problem of trying to beat their opponent. The attacker could try a skill as a possible solution, that skill then becomes a problem for the defender to solve.

Problem – solution…… on repeat.

Take the Arsenal game. We played 3-4-3, against spurs our 3-4-3 was the correct solution to deal with their runs down the sides of centre backs. 3 Centre backs means less space down the side as the 3 can cover more space. Also, our wingbacks caused problems for Spurs and they couldn’t find a solution. Whereas Arsenal overloaded our midfield 2 with 4 players dragging our centre backs out of position. Cue Jorginho and 4-3-3. In that game, the 4-3-3 was the solution to the problem Arsenal created. In response, Arsenal couldn’t solve the problems we created by playing a 4-3-3.

Jorginho and the 4-3-3

Jorginho is a good player, he is. He’s got an eye for an interception, is good at picking up second balls on the ground and he is a calm penalty taker. But he isn’t in the same bracket of Fabregas or Pirlo. *Cue gasp from anyone with Regista in the username* He likes to drop into central areas in possession and point where he wants the ball to go. But he doesn’t have the range of pass or the ability to control the tempo like Fabregas used to do for us with Mourinho and Conte. Not to mention he’s only ever done well in a system and style of play purposely designed for him.

Jorginho is the only player who can play in that particular position in our squad, so whenever he plays that is how we play.  Sometimes the 4-3-3 is a correct solution, but only when teams try to press our midfield and leave space in between the lines. The example being the Watford game where Jorginho, Kovacic and Mount cut through their midfield throughout the game. In games where we can’t dominate possession, it is not a correct solution. I’m thinking about Man City away 6-0 with Higuain high pressing, I mean, lightly jogging in the vague direction of a man city player. And the same fixture this season where for large parts it seemed there was a chasm in front of our defence.

As discussed in a previous article about breaking down a low block he doesn’t offer enough in possession. This was evident when we played Arsenal and despite being having a man advantage we looked better against 11 men when Arsenal weren’t sat deep.


What I am trying to make you think about is that Jorginho offers one potential solution in a sport where we need to have many possible solutions.

Other solutions

This season we’ve seen Frank Lampard use many different formations with basic principles being ever-present regardless of formation or personnel. Mainly consisting of variations of 4-2-3-1 with the occasional dabble with a back 3. In the future I expect us to be a 4-3-3 with a rotating midfield 3 regularly playing through the lines quickly.  A limitation of Jorginho is he can only play in a 4-3-3. Compare that with:

Kante who can play in a midfield 2 and won the league with 2 different clubs playing different ways and won the world cup as a sitting midfielder.

Kovacic who can play in a 2 or a 3, showing this season he can do far more than what Sarri was asking of him. 

Mount who can play as an attacking midfielder or in a box to box role and wide in a front 3. This young player is special.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (providing he regains fitness) has shown potential in a midfield 2 or 3, played in front of a midfield duo as an attacking midfielder and played wide for Crystal Palace.

Gilmour who has shown he can break lines in midfield with ease with a variety of passes, along with being more progressive he is also more mobile to help shield the defence. As shown against Liverpool when he robbed Mane in the box.

Those five players also offer us solutions through their versatility. In addition, they also can dribble, pass, create, score and defend. These attributes give us more solutions to possible problems along with posing more problems for our opposition. 

Add in Barkley and Ampadu as possible midfield options, I haven’t mentioned them as I am not sure what their future holds with the club.

Combinations

Relationships are key in football. Jorginho has played in a 4-2-3-1 before with mixed success. United away should be an example of why Kovacic-Jorginho isn’t a suitable option, it may be aesthetically pleasing but it is largely ineffective. Watford away was a classic example of when Jorginho could work as Watford pressed our midfield freeing up Mount to receive in between the lines. But he still managed to give away a penalty letting Watford back into the game, make of that what you will. A Kovacic-Kante pairing offers the most solutions especially for big games as Kante can go back to defending in systems that suit him more and Kovacic has been sublime this season with freedom under Lampard. Throw in Mount or RLC in between the lines receiving passes and we have a midfield ready to battle with the best.

Surprisingly, a duo who have achieved success is Mount and Barkley. Both have the energy to press and like to receive in between the lines not to mention they have success in duels as well. This is an option we could use more as the season progresses as Barkley is in good form but Barkley shouldn’t be in our future. Once our midfielders are fit he shouldn’t get minutes as he’s inconsistent and will need to perform against some top teams to change my mind. At least selling him in form means we could get over £30mil, add in £60mil for Jorginho and we have money for a top centre back. 

What this does show is the unbalanced midfield we have missing a defensive midfielder in the mould of John Obi Mikel. Someone capable of sitting in front of the defence breaking up opposition attacks and using the ball quickly with the mobility and strength to handle the big games. Ampadu could be this player for us as shown for Wales in a double pivot often dropping into false full-back positions. Or Gilmour could be deployed as a 6 as he was against Liverpool and the first hour against Everton. In some games, we would need more of a physical presence but pair him with Kante or Kovacic and invest in a commanding Centre back and Goalkeeper we might be able to cope.

To summarise, football is a game of problems and solutions. This Chelsea squad has the potential to adapt to solve many problems offering various solutions. Jorginho is a good player and offers us one solution. But I can’t see Jorginho playing for us in the future. Following his agent's comments saying; “Anything can happen in the transfer market” and “We could also evaluate leaving Chelsea in July.” With the emergence of Gilmour, all signs look like Jorginho can be sold and with the replacement already at the club, we can use the funds elsewhere to improve the squad. Jorginho is not required, non-necessario.

Written by - @BenBell98
Edit by - @KristenPulisic

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