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21. Ben Chilwell


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Finally played the ball with first touch and made an assist immediately. Before that he had like 3 similar situations and took way too many touches and way too much time before playing it to team mates.

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Tears in my eyes. Finally a proper left back. 

Don't want to kneejerk too soon but if he keeps this up this will be my worst misjudgement ever, and I've made some in my time.

On 25/04/2021 at 09:40, Milan said:

Finally played the ball with first touch and made an assist immediately. Before that he had like 3 similar situations and took way too many touches and way too much time before playing it to team mates.

Yeah it is infuriating at times.

The best fullbacks know when to go first time, when to take a touch and put it on or when to recycle it. 

Chilwell is guilty of taking too many at times, his delivery is usually not bad but the extra touch or two ruins the momentum of our moves and allows people to close him down.

Have been impressed with how hes bounced back though, Alonso at the beginning looked like he would be more regular out of the two but Chilwell is slowly growing into the wingback role.

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1 hour ago, OneMoSalah said:

Yeah it is infuriating at times.

The best fullbacks know when to go first time, when to take a touch and put it on or when to recycle it. 

Chilwell is guilty of taking too many at times, his delivery is usually not bad but the extra touch or two ruins the momentum of our moves and allows people to close him down.

Have been impressed with how hes bounced back though, Alonso at the beginning looked like he would be more regular out of the two but Chilwell is slowly growing into the wingback role.

That's a common problem with most players in the team really. A lot of them tend to take too long to play the final pass or allergic to passing forward to speed up the buildup play/provide penetration.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 26/04/2021 at 16:42, Jas said:

That's a common problem with most players in the team really. A lot of them tend to take too long to play the final pass or allergic to passing forward to speed up the buildup play/provide penetration.

I'm afraid I want the club to go shopping for a left back once again this summer. Leicester fans' assessment of Chilwell had me worried when he was linked. It is now clear that they were right and that it was right to take their opinions seriously.

After Ben's first game I commented that, unlike Marcos, he was prepared to use his right foot so that at least was an improvement. I spoke too soon however. I am totally fed up watching professional footballers having to turn down easy forward passes, and opt for momentum destroying backwards ones instead, because all they can do with their weaker foot is stand on it. From now, we must only sign two footed full backs. With the modern method, one-footed full backs are even more of a hindrance than they have always been. Ben is not the solution for us.

By the way, the women play their Champions League Final tonight. The regular left back is, in my opinion, a weak link when we have the ball because she's not great with it at her feet and is also hopelessly one-footed. We are always better in possession when either Blundell or Charles deputise for her. Those too are among the best ball players, and passers, in the squad. Barcelona are favourites tonight but, in my opinion, our chances improve a lot if Blundell or particularly Charles start. Indeed I'd play 3-4-3 with both of those in the side as wingbacks. Easily doable since both of them are fully two footed.

Edited by OhForAGreavsie
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hace 5 minutos, OhForAGreavsie dijo:

I'm afraid I want the club to go shopping for a left back once more this summer. Leicester fans' assessment of Chilwell had me worried when he was linked and it is now clear that they were right and it was right to take their opinions seriously. After Ben's first game I commented that, unlike Marcos, he was prepared to use his right foot so that at least was an improvement but I spoke too soon. I am totally fed up watching professional footballers having to turn down easy forward passes, and opt for momentum destroying backwards ones instead, because all they can do with their weaker foot is stand on it. From now, we must only sign two footed full backs. Ben is not the solution for us.

I think some of this is harsh, although granted he isn’t always brilliant at times/hasn’t been this season but he has certainly improved with Tuchel after a initial dodgy start when he was deservedly out of the team. 

His relationship and insistence on only passing to Mason at times is sometimes infuriating though. I feel that at times he and Mason sometimes overplay when there are good opportunities of trying to spread the play or look at more progressive options. Or as we seen in some games particularly v Fulham that overindulging of Mason drifting to the left to get the ball from Ben, gave Gilmour a lot of work against 2 CMs when BG had initially started the game badly also. Its not the worst thing they obviously have a good understanding and chemistry on the pitch but also at times I just want to see Ben drive at someone, take them on, but he turns inside or goes backwards. As a wingback you’d think he would be more encouraged and thats why I can see the Benjamin Mendy links as far fetched as they may be because the guy just gets the ball and drives at folk or arrives in positions to make an impact where he can deliver the ball very often. 

This is also what I really admire and like about Luke Shaw when I have seen him this last season and a half or 2 seasons with Ole. At times he is just motoring past people when there is space available, physically he is very strong and he just picks the ball up and drives forward and it also relieves the pressure and allows for them to bring the whole team up the pitch 10-15 yards. He obviously has refined his game and particularly his end product after a few disappointing seasons at United also which helps. He looks like he is going to be England’s number 1 LB for a good while at this rate.

I do agree regarding the one footed thing, it is infuriating at this level for any player. Cahill was a bad example of it under Conte in his second season particularly also. Not exactly for Chilwell but its a pity that Rudiger isn’t naturally left footed for the LCB role although he does use his left a lot and well we seen Zouma’s role in the build up to the Arsenal goal also. The lack of trust in his weaker side when he had Chilwell and Gilmour on really accountes towards that shambolic goal. I really would of maybe liked to have seen Tuchel or even Conte experiment with Alonso as a left sided CB as he played there briefly in Italy although he does have his short comings. No doubt having a more natural left footed CB may allow us to build better and utilise those passing angles more. Im sure Tuchel used Emerson there in the FA cup in a back 3 too.

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On 16/05/2021 at 17:06, OhForAGreavsie said:

I'm afraid I want the club to go shopping for a left back once again this summer. Leicester fans' assessment of Chilwell had me worried when he was linked. It is now clear that they were right and that it was right to take their opinions seriously.

After Ben's first game I commented that, unlike Marcos, he was prepared to use his right foot so that at least was an improvement. I spoke too soon however. I am totally fed up watching professional footballers having to turn down easy forward passes, and opt for momentum destroying backwards ones instead, because all they can do with their weaker foot is stand on it. From now, we must only sign two footed full backs. With the modern method, one-footed full backs are even more of a hindrance than they have always been. Ben is not the solution for us.

By the way, the women play their Champions League Final tonight. The regular left back is, in my opinion, a weak link when we have the ball because she's not great with it at her feet and is also hopelessly one-footed. We are always better in possession when either Blundell or Charles deputise for her. Those too are among the best ball players, and passers, in the squad. Barcelona are favourites tonight but, in my opinion, our chances improve a lot if Blundell or particularly Charles start. Indeed I'd play 3-4-3 with both of those in the side as wingbacks. Easily doable since both of them are fully two footed.

He's a weird one.

I absolutely love his personality within the locker room and he's a lot better defensively than I expected but attacking wise he's just as meh as I feared, the lack of aggression going forward compared to the two Scots to name two prime examples is stark and he doesn't seem to have any real working relationship with the players infront of him (he didn't really work with Harvey Barnes either who's developed relationships with Castagne and Thomas very quickly). 15 years ago that could have probably been worked around but in the present era consistent attacking presence from fullback is crucial to successful teams.

He's not bad by any stretch of the imagination but I just can't help but feel we need at the very least a different profile of player to rotate with him depending on opponent.

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On 17/05/2021 at 20:22, Tomo said:

and he's a lot better defensively than I expected but attacking wise he's just as meh as I feared, the lack of aggression going forward compared to the two Scots to name two prime examples is stark and he doesn't seem to have any real working relationship with the players infront of him 

Goal or assist around every 300mins for a full back is very good I would say. He actually surprised me there.

And there is this: Chilwell played part in 7 open play goals this season in the league (goal or assist) in around 2300 mins. Mount 6 in around 2900 mins 💋

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hace 1 hora, NikkiCFC dijo:

Goal or assist around every 300mins for a full back is very good I would say. He actually surprised me there.

And there is this: Chilwell played part in 7 open play goals this season in the league (goal or assist) in around 2300 mins. Mount 6 in around 2900 mins 💋

Only issue with Chilwell is his lack of aggressiveness/determination to make a real impact on the game in the final third compared to other fullbacks.

When he arrives in the final third he doesnt really do so with the aims of influencing the game in the same way that other fullbacks do hence why hes only got 5 PL assists in almost 2300 minutes. Although I suppose for a fullback thats maybe not the worst but there sure are times he is extremely frustrating. 

Think his last PL assist was v West Han a month ago. Then before that his last PL assist was in December v Villa. He only has 2 assist in half a season with Tuchel in all competitions which isn’t great. All in all, could be worse could be better in terms of his performances at times, the price tag always going to weigh down on him if he doesn’t up his level though and become a better player. I think mentally he isnt ever going to be driven enough to become the best or one of the best in his position though and that is worrying. 

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From BBC:

Chelsea's Ben Chilwell registered his eighth goal involvement in the Premier League this season (3 goals, 5 assists) - among defenders, only Trent Alexander-Arnold has been involved in more (9).

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3 hours ago, OneMoSalah said:

When he arrives in the final third he doesnt really do so with the aims of influencing the game in the same way that other fullbacks do hence why hes only got 5 PL assists in almost 2300 minutes.

In terms of full backs, only 4 players have more assists than Chilwell in the league this season:

Robertson - 7 (3,386 mins)

TAA - 7 (2,997 mins)

Digne - 6 (2,232 mins)

Coufal - 6 (2,605 mins)

Shaw also has 5 assists from 2,604 mins played. 

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5 hours ago, OneMoSalah said:

Only issue with Chilwell is his lack of aggressiveness/determination to make a real impact on the game in the final third compared to other fullbacks.

When he arrives in the final third he doesnt really do so with the aims of influencing the game in the same way that other fullbacks do hence why hes only got 5 PL assists in almost 2300 minutes. Although I suppose for a fullback thats maybe not the worst but there sure are times he is extremely frustrating. 

Think his last PL assist was v West Han a month ago. Then before that his last PL assist was in December v Villa. He only has 2 assist in half a season with Tuchel in all competitions which isn’t great. All in all, could be worse could be better in terms of his performances at times, the price tag always going to weigh down on him if he doesn’t up his level though and become a better player. I think mentally he isnt ever going to be driven enough to become the best or one of the best in his position though and that is worrying. 

It's a strange one because I do think Chilwell has the aggressiveness and determination to get into the final third on a regular basis and I do think if there is space available he attacks it. When the space isn't there, I'd agree there's question marks of whether he can do more but then is the problem more related to the personnel on the pitch?

If we have a front three for example of Mount, Pulisic and Werner then Chilwell is just going to get ridiculed for trying to regularly cross the ball. The wing backs role under Tuchel may be to do what Chilwell is doing, i.e. provide the width to try and pull defenders out and then recycle the ball to hopefully exploit spaces. I agree though at times he needs to move the ball quicker, especially against a deep defence but like others have said he isn't the only one guilty of this.

I've been fairly pleased with his contributions this season. He went through a mid season slump but he's definitely come out of it better and more battle hardened. There are certainly far more pressing areas of the squad we need to worry about than his position.

I still think he's better suited as a left back than a wing back though, but I also think the same of James. 

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Great game from him. Really good touch from him in the build-up to the goal. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

It would be a strange waste of Chilwell’s talent if he spends Euro 2020 on the sidelines

https://theathletic.com/2650396/2021/06/15/strange-waste-chilwell-talent-euro-2020-sidelines-england/

Chilwell-England-training-scaled-e1623681159169-1024x683.jpg

Not many players have experienced a greater contrast of emotions in the space of two weeks than Ben Chilwell.

On May 29, he enjoyed the finest moment of his professional career, starting, playing well and going the full 90 minutes in Chelsea’s 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the Champions League final.

The quality of his performance, one of many for Chelsea in the latter stages of the campaign, seemed perfectly timed with a left-back berth to fight for ahead of England’s looming European Championship campaign.

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho certainly thought the place was his during the build-up, saying: “I would go with Ben Chilwell, I wouldn’t think twice. He is intelligent, he covers the space, the diagonals inside very well, he is dangerous in attack, he is good in the air, good on set pieces. Chilwell has something more.”

However, on the eve of the opening game against Croatia on Sunday and just a fortnight after lifting the European Cup, Chilwell was not only told he wasn’t in the first XI but would have to handle the ignominy of being one of the three players in the final 26 left out of the match-day squad by manager Gareth Southgate. One of the other two was Harry Maguire, who is injured.

England, Maguire, Chilwell
 
Chilwell and Harry Maguire, who missed out on a place in the squad against Croatia through injury (Photo: Robin Jones/Getty Images)

What made the decision all the more surprising was that the starting left-back was given to right-back Kieran Trippier, with the other left-back in the squad, Luke Shaw of Manchester United, named on the bench.

Given England kept a clean sheet in securing their first-ever win in an opening game at a European Championship, one can’t see Southgate demoting Trippier any time soon.

After the 1-0 triumph at Wembley, the manager was full of praise for the Atletico Madrid defender, saying: “We felt that his talking across the back line and his ability to get out and stop crosses quickly and his experience — alongside (centre-back) Tyrone Mings, who is relatively early in his international career — would be a good stabilising element.

“He is a very underrated player. People are still looking at the player from a few years ago (when Trippier was at Tottenham Hotspur) and not at the one who is at Atletico Madrid and playing like a warrior in the last few seasons. He is a big part of what we’ve done over the last few years and he gave a really good performance.”

How has Chilwell reacted to the snub? Positively, by all accounts. It helps that he was in a similar situation earlier this year at Chelsea, following the January arrival of Thomas Tuchel to replace Frank Lampard as head coach.

Tuchel started Marcos Alonso rather than the England international in six of his first eight matches in charge. Chilwell was an unused sub on each occasion. With the new coach favouring a formation with wing-backs, a role that even Chilwell initially conceded suited Alonso more, it would have been understandable if he’d been more than a little concerned about his future at a club he only joined last August.

But the 24-year-old focused on working hard and improving in training. As The Athletic explained in March, Chilwell didn’t complain to Tuchel or look to make a fuss. He acted like a professional rather than becoming a negative influence in the camp.

Chilwell steadily won Tuchel over with the standard of his performances to the point he was unquestionably the first choice by the end of the domestic season, although he had the setback of being only used as a substitute in the FA Cup final defeat a month ago against Leicester City, his previous club.

It is one of the few decisions he’s made since January that Tuchel is believed to have privately accepted he got wrong.

Chelsea, Ben Chilwell
 
Chilwell has become an integral part of Tuchel’s plans at Chelsea (Photo: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

The early indications are that Chilwell has reacted to the England disappointment in the same way as he did to those early omissions under Tuchel.

Further signs of that are the videos he posted on his Instagram account on the journey back to England’s base at St George’s Park from Wembley on Sunday, laughing and joking with Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka. But that isn’t a sign he is resigned to his fate; he will still, rightfully, hope to play in this tournament.

Inevitably, Southgate was very upbeat following the win over the 2018 World Cup runners-up, saying he was as happy with the manner of the performance as the result itself. Beating the second seeds in Group D is obviously a reason to be positive but he shouldn’t be blind to aspects of the game that could have been done better.

England’s attack only sparked for 15 minutes in the first half and then on a few isolated occasions, including Sterling’s winner, in the second. The statistics show Croatia had the same number of shots in total (eight) and one fewer effort on target (one) as they did.

One of the reasons for this lack of threat in the final third was the lack of adventure from the full-back positions.

 

According to Sky Sports, Trippier and Kyle Walker, who was picked on the right, had just five touches (one of those was a throw-in) between them on the flanks to the left and right of the Croatia penalty area. Walker attempted just two crosses throughout the 90 minutes, neither of which found a team-mate, Trippier didn’t even try a centre into the box.

Trippier’s ability to take a long throw-in is a useful asset — it worked to great effect in the move which led to Phil Foden hitting a post early on. His ability to take a set piece was also a factor in Southgate’s mind, although the one from which Trippier tried to score on Sunday was comfortably blocked by the wall.

One suspects England’s other two group opponents, Scotland on Friday followed four days later by the Czech Republic — who beat the Scots 2-0 on Monday — will have even more conservative game plans and look to hit them on the counter. The need for full-backs to get forward will be greater and, ideally, Southgate’s side want a left-back who can cross with his left foot. Trippier’s natural preference to cut back onto his favoured right is going to be a hindrance as it leaves the side unbalanced.

This should provide Chilwell, and Shaw for that matter, reasons to stay optimistic about playing a part in this campaign.

It would be a strange waste of the former’s talents if he spends the whole of Euro 2020 watching from the sidelines.

Edited by Vesper
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On 24/05/2021 at 03:10, NikkiCFC said:

Goal or assist around every 300mins for a full back is very good I would say. He actually surprised me there.

And there is this: Chilwell played part in 7 open play goals this season in the league (goal or assist) in around 2300 mins. Mount 6 in around 2900 mins 💋

So, a similar figure to what Alonso, the Talk Chelsea whipping boy, was putting up, as an average, prior to this season? 

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12 minutes ago, King Kante said:

So, a similar figure to what Alonso, the Talk Chelsea whipping boy, was putting up, as an average, prior to this season? 

If anything that has been the argument for why Alonso has remained a useful squad depth option over this time.

The biggest problem with Alonso is his pace and defensive positioning, awareness, ability, etc. Chilwell is miles ahead of him defensively.

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21 minutes ago, Superblue_1986 said:

If anything that has been the argument for why Alonso has remained a useful squad depth option over this time.

The biggest problem with Alonso is his pace and defensive positioning, awareness, ability, etc. Chilwell is miles ahead of him defensively.

Not sure what you mean about ability, as his left foot is the best one we have at the club. Additionally, his defensive positioning is largely to do with his pace (which is an issue) and how he gets told to get into the box as an attacking option. You give Alonso pace and virtually every criticism about him goes away. 

Anyhow, my point is those figures Nikki put up aren't really any different to those Alonso put up in his first four seasons and Chilwell also has a serious flaw in that he cannot use his right foot properly. That means our attacks break down a lot as he will just play a safe pass backwards whenever he has it played to that foot. 

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But the thing is... Those are good numbers from both for LWB position. Much bigger problem is other side and Reece and this is why we are after Hakimi.

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1 hour ago, King Kante said:

Not sure what you mean about ability, as his left foot is the best one we have at the club. Additionally, his defensive positioning is largely to do with his pace (which is an issue) and how he gets told to get into the box as an attacking option. You give Alonso pace and virtually every criticism about him goes away. 

Anyhow, my point is those figures Nikki put up aren't really any different to those Alonso put up in his first four seasons and Chilwell also has a serious flaw in that he cannot use his right foot properly. That means our attacks break down a lot as he will just play a safe pass backwards whenever he has it played to that foot. 

Purely talking about defensive ability. It's not just his pace, but he's always been a lazy defender. He's hardly the most willing to track back once he's ventured forward and in general his defensive awareness and positioning is just not a very good standard. 

As a backup option at wing back he's serviceable (his pace and work rate are still a hindrance but at least he's covered a little more defensively) and if we're keeping the wing back system next season then there will be a potential role in the squad for him as back up to Chilwell but as a full back he's a complete liability.

I agree that there are aspects to Chilwell's game going forward (how anyone who plays professionally is only comfortable with one foot is beyond me. I only ever played county level as a kid, and 6 a side as an adult and I practised with my weaker right foot until I was comfortable on either side with either foot. At professional level any player should be capable of at least passing within 20 yards and shooting/crossing with both feet). However if his attacking stats are similar to Alonso and he's a huge upgrade defensively, he's a definite first choice from what we currently have in the squad.

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