When Asmir Begovic completed his £8million move to Chelsea earlier this month, he must surely have been expecting time on the bench as Thibaut Courtois’ understudy.
Despite this he was thrown in at the deep end by boss Jose Mourinho, as he completed his first 45 minutes of football for the Blues. If the 28-year-old hoped to be broken in gently then he got a shock, as the New York Red Bulls fired four past him in the space of 26 second half minutes.
After entering the fray for the second half, Begovic was given a baptism of fire by his own team-mate John Terry, who miscued a back pass, allowing New York’s Franklin Castellanos a chance to pounce, a chance he duly took.
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From bad to worse
Chelsea’s defending then simply fell apart, with both youngsters and experienced campaigners failing to do the basics correctly. After a poor third quarter from the blues, two goals in three minutes from 16-year-old Tyler Adams and Sean Davis sent the locals into raptures and Mourinho's men into disarray.
Eden Hazard soon pulled one back, only to see Davis’ second secure a victory for the MLS side.
New boy Begovic came under the cosh for his performance, which in all honesty is unfair on him. He was badly let down by his defence on more than one occasion, but as per usual the ‘keeper gets the blame because that’s the easy thing to do.
Given that this was his first appearance, you can hardly expect a world-class performance, plus there was very little he could do about any of the goals he conceded. This hasn't however stopped the media piling undue pressure on him.
Blues’ gaffer Mourinho was quick to defend his new custodian, promising that he would be starting in the next game against PSG and berating his side's defensive frailties, shifting any blame he could away from his new signing.
"Begovic was not sharp, a consequence of being tired from training. In the next game against PSG he will start," the Special One said.
Chelsea fans, do you think criticism of Begovic is harsh at this early stage? Let us know in the comments box below.