Martin Keown slams Chelsea forward Kai Havertz for lazy defending against Arsenal
Speaking to BT Sport after the game (h/t Metro), former Arsenal defender Martin Keown slammed the lazy defending from Chelsea forward Kai Havertz for the Gunners’ goal that turned out to be the match-winner.
Bukayo Saka played in an in-swinging corner in the second half. Havertz was well-placed to clear the ball at the near post. But, for some reason, he was slow and let it through. Eventually, Gabriel tapped in from a couple of yards at the far post to give the away side a precious and match-winning lead.
That piece of defending was pretty much symbolic of the performance of the German international and the whole team. Chelsea were disjointed, hesitant and much more.
Here’s what Keown said regarding Havertz’s work (h/t Metro):
“You’re always massively disappointed when you concede from a set-piece. I don’t know why Havertz has gone so far forward before the corner. If he goes deeper he can come on to it, instead he starts high and then starts running back and then he’s got a lot to deal with. Kai Havertz has got to do better there. He swings a lazy leg at that.”
That result meant the Blues are now 13 points behind leaders Arsenal and 11 behind defending champions Manchester City. Moreover, they are five points behind the fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who themselves lost to another top-four-chasing side Liverpool.
Graham Potter’s men are now four league games without a win, which is halting a good start the manager had at Stamford Bridge. While injuries to key players have not helped, the boss not getting enough time to train the players according to his idea could be one of the reasons for the dip in form.
Since Potter arrived, Chelsea have played 12 games in two months, with 11 of them coming in the last 37 days. There was an international break before the October round of games kickstarted.
So, in a way, the new manager is probably working on instincts and paper rather than drilling the squad towards his playing style. This is where a pre-season summer is key, which Potter did not have with this team.
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Havertz, on the other hand, hasn’t had the greatest of seasons. His performances can be labelled as an inconsistent wave. It was on the down side against Arsenal, topped up with that lazy defending.