Chelsea v Arsenal: Pictures
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Chelsea boss Graham Potter suffered consecutive defeats for the first time since his September appointment, seeing his side defeated by Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. The Blues were poor in the 1-0 reverse, just as they were in their 4-1 humiliation by Potter’s former club Brighton last weekend. Express Sport looks at what the manager needs in a bid to steer results back on track.
Raheem Sterling to hit form
There were strong expectations of Raheem Sterling when he completed his £50million summer move from Manchester City. But the England forward has endured a slow start to life at Stamford Bridge.
Sterling has scored just three times in the Premier League this season, and struggled to get into the game against Arsenal. The Gunners largely kept the 27-year-old quiet.
That Potter has yet to settle on a position for Sterling has not helped the former Liverpool man’s cause. He has found himself at wing-back and in all three positions across the forward line. Appearing to play on the right against Arsenal, Sterling was given a tough time by Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel.
READ MORE: Arsenal star Gabriel fires back at Aubameyang with savage tweet
A new striker
Despite a strong start after his move from Barcelona, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is no longer looking like the player who starred in Arsenal’s team for four years. To the delight of Gunners supporters, Aubameyang was hauled off just after Gabriel’s goal.
Potter’s attack seems disjointed partly because he does not have a young, dynamic forward able to press effectively. What Chelsea do not need, then, is Todd Boehly’s reported pursuit of a lumbering, soon-to-be 38-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo. The Stamford Bridge hierarchy must be bolder.
Chelsea have assembled a vastly experienced recruitment team. The main January agenda must be a new striker.
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To settle on a consistent system
One of the most striking elements of Potter’s first two months is his tinkering with systems. One week, there will be a 4-3-3. The next there will be a 3-5-2. Another time, there will be a diamond midfield.
The 47-year-old’s success at Brighton was built upon a foundation of having two distinguished formations.
But Potter is yet to stumble upon the best system for his players. That might be because the squad has been built by several different managers and Potter is yet to have a transfer window of his own. The changing system is having a negative impact on performance, though, and a consistent formation needs to be found.
Big players turning up in tough games
Sterling, Aubameyang, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz have not played well enough in Chelsea’s biggest games this season. Potter will certainly expect more from his key players, who let him down against Arsenal.
January could present the best opportunity for Potter to sign some more big-game players to get Chelsea over the line in the second half of the season.
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