Chelsea: Defender blamed for Arsenal defeat; Gunners wanted striker; Bonucci battle back on
On a torrid afternoon for the Blues at the Emirates yesterday, there was one man who took more flack than most. As Alexis Sanchez easily dispossessed the England international and ran through on goal, it gave Cahill the unwanted record being the Premier League player to have committed the most errors to have led to a goal, after his mistake at Swansea in the draw at the Liberty Stadium a fortnight ago.
With just eleven minutes on the clock, it was a nightmare start for Chelsea, and Glen Hoddle, commentating for BBC Sport, also put him at fault for Theo Walcott’s strike just three minutes later. Hoddle said:
His mind’s not there, his concentration’s not there.
Antonio Conte was deflated on the touch-line and it’s clear to see why given the disastrous performance which stretches his team’s winless run to three matches in the Premier League – the first time Conte has suffered three defeats in the league in one season since 2012 when he was in charge of Juventus.
It could have been even worse for Chelsea had Arsene Wenger got his way and secured the signature of Diego Costa in 2014 when he instead opted to sign for Chelsea. The French manager confirmed that he had been monitoring Costa and said:
I like Costa as a player, I like the qualities of the player… He’s a very strong player… I never thought he would leave Atletico Madrid at the time, I was surprised. Would I have made a harder play for him had I known? Yes, I like him, as a quality striker.
Costa has seemingly cleared up his act after a controversial start to the season saw him criticised time and time again for his poor discipline and tough tackling, where he was fortunate not to see the red card on more than one occasion. Now, he has concentrated on his game and is showing signs of his form at his best in a blue shirt. Working on scraps, he was almost certainly Chelsea’s best performer against Arsenal; although that is not saying much, as he certainly put in a shift up front.
Conte clearly feels the need for changes, so it is no surprise to see that the Daily Star claim that the Blues will battle Manchester City for the services of Leonardo Bonucci in January. With a £50 million price tag, he will be costly, but is clearly needed at Stamford Bridge after some shocking defensive displays have proved costly. Juventus are reluctant to sell, but Conte is desperate to sign the defender who he knows well.
Bonucci would be the perfect cover for captain John Terry, with his experience and leadership exactly what the Blues have been missing since the former England captain picked up an ankle ligament injury and it seeming increasingly likely that he won’t be able to play 38 games a season as he nears his 36th birthday, despite his hero status.
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