Gary Neville raises a valid point about Jorginho after Chelsea lose 3-1 v Tottenham


Following his performances for Chelsea during the opening months of the current season, it’s easy to see why Pep Guardiola wanted to bring Jorginho to Manchester City in the summer.

The Italy international, who opted to join his former Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea instead, is a classic Guardiola-type midfielder.

Jorginho, much like the legendary Xavi used to at Barcelona, takes the ball and passes the ball. The 26-year-old makes the game look so effortless by keeping things simple.

Sarri has made Jorginho the focal point in his team’s midfield, even shifting N’Golo Kante into a more advanced position in order to accommodate the Italian.

This, however, resulted in Chelsea suffering their first league defeat of the season against Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday.

Jorginho endured his most difficult 90 minutes since joining the Blues in the summer against Mauricio Pochettino’s side, leading pundits and fans alike wondering why Kante isn’t being deployed in his favoured holding midfield role instead.

However, in many matches this season, deploying Jorginho deep and Kante further forward has worked perfectly well for Chelsea.

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has raised an interesting point about Jorginho on the latest version of his podcast.

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He believes that teams are now wising up to the fact that if you stop Jorginho, then you effectively stop Chelsea.

“I think it’s a challenge for Maurizio Sarri because people won’t let Jorginho have 1,000 passes per match, the more they see the influence that he has,” Neville said.

“They will get players around him.

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“Once you disrupt the rhythm of a team that relies upon rhythm, you’ve broken them - you’ve stopped them at source.

“Teams try and work out the strength and the source of the problem - they’ve not quite worked it out with Manchester City yet!

“But with every other team [other clubs] will work out where the source of the issue is.”


Neville used to play with a Jorginho-type player at Manchester United in the form of Paul Scholes - and he could never understand why teams wouldn’t deliberately man-mark his former teammate.

“At United, I could never believe that teams wouldn’t put a man-marker more on Paul Scholes. I could never believe it,” he continued.

“In the last five-to-10 years of his career, in particular, when he started to control the game for us, I could never understand why they didn’t have one or two players against him because if you stopped him, you stopped the switches of play, you stopped the rhythm, you disrupted the patterns because it all flowed through him and we recognised that.

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“A lot of teams didn’t. They always thought the threat was Cristiano Ronaldo or Wayne Rooney - and you would do - but actually, without Scholes’s passes, it disarmed us a lot more.”

Neville says Jorginho will need to deal with being targeted by opponents in order to flourish in the Premier League.

“Jorginho will come under pressure for Chelsea and will get stamped on because he’s such a good player who’s setting the pattern of the game for Chelsea,” he added.

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