It’s now becoming increasingly clear that Chelsea’s over-reliance on Jorginho is beginning to cost them.
Everything currently goes through the Italian midfielder, because of Maurizio Sarri’s tactical instructions, and opposition teams are acutely aware of this.
Stop Jorginho and there’s a good chance you’ll stop Chelsea. It’s that simple.
The 27-year-old, who cost the Blues £50 million and was on the radar of Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola prior to his move to Stamford Bridge, has been heavily criticised in recent weeks.
An increasing number of Chelsea fans want to see Jorginho dropped and N’Golo Kante, who has been farmed out in an advanced position on the right-hand side of midfielder since Sarri’s arrival, deployed in his natural holding midfield role.
However, Sarri made it abundantly clear this would not be happening earlier this season.
He said only Jorginho or Cesc Fabregas would play as Chelsea’s holding midfielder this season - and the latter was sold to AS Monaco last month.
But unless Sarri changes things up, Chelsea face a struggle to secure a top-four finish.
Their 4-0 loss away at Bournemouth earlier this week - the club’s joint-heaviest defeat of the Premier League era - has left the Blues fifth in the table. Manchester United are now just two points behind them.
Amid the intense criticism for Jorginho, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has made an interesting point about the Italian in his latest column for the Telegraph - and it’s difficult to argue with him.
The Liverpool legend says he feels sorry for Jorginho because any player being deliberately man-marked in every match will find it difficult.
He believes the midfielder needs help.
“It is cat and mouse, clever football with Jorginho the key to its success, able to play the penetrating pass to move Chelsea swiftly through the transition from their own half into the final third,” Carragher writes.
“At the start of this season the formula worked. Then the better coaches reacted, man-marking Jorginho.
“Faced with the challenge of tweaking his 4-3-3 system, Sarri’s response has disappointed. He won’t replace Jorginho because without him the system is compromised, but I feel sorry for the midfielder because any player who is man-marked will find it difficult - as we have seen with Eden Hazard.
“When you are man-marked it is a sign of respect. Jorginho needs help.
“The best managers never change their ideals, but they fine-tune when they realise what their opponent is going to do. Sarri’s refusal to do so has contributed to the loss of trust in him.
“He needs to respond with strategy as much as words, so when you hear him say he may ‘not be able to motivate’ his players it sounds defeatist.”
Carragher has hit the nail on the head.
To dismiss Jorginho’s quality is obviously madness. He’s a top midfielder.
But Sarri’s tactics - in the Premier League, at least - are leaving him exposed.
As Carragher correctly points out, Jorginho needs help.News Now - Sport News