My piece for For Caught Offside: Afternoon Alan, it’s Jai with Caught Offside, just looking for some reaction to that Chelsea draw against Leeds please.The first-half was quite end-to-end, with both sides creating their chances, but there was some shaky moments from the defence against a free-flowing Leeds side, what did you make of that?A: I was very surprised Leeds got to test Mendy so easily with Chelsea conceding so few under Tuchel and l think the manager might have second thoughts about a defender or two plus the midfield, Kanye apart, looked so very fragile. Leeds have been conceding easily of late and l don’t think they could believe their luck that Chelsea didn’t test them more severely.
Fan reaction appeared to show some serious disappointment at Ziyech, who was ultimately hauled off. Whilst he boast serious game-changing technical quality, can he be a ‘passenger’ at times?A: He looks like an unhappy player who disappears and you can’t out that down to confidence after the run Chelsea have had, he most definitely is looking like a passenger and it really is outstanding that his reputation is slowly, like him, disappearing. Also, I’d like your thoughts on Raphinha if possible, he’s been linked with Man United and Liverpool recently but do you think he’s a player Chelsea should look at? Or was there investment last summer so much that they need to stick with most of the attackers they recruited and hope they come good with time?A: Raphina looks a real outstanding prospect in a vulnerable team which means in a top team you might be looking at a real star, as for Chelsea signing him l think Tuchel, although on an impressive run, is still very much waiting for others in that position to concrete their place in the team.Finally with what you’ve seen from Tuchel so far, what would you say is the Blues’ best lineup?A: Great question! I said before the kickoff that Tuchel still is going through a trial period and has many questions to be answered from several players, and l was disappointed with the way Leeds United not only finished stronger than the Blues but looked much more likely to get the all important winning goal. If l were Chelsea manager l would be very disappointed that Chelsea looked like they conceded possession far too easily.I must add that l did a podcast with Andy, the Chelsea supporter, of Talk Sports dynamic duo, before the match and spoke of Chelsea’s very distasteful publication of Frank Lampard’s sacking being vindicated by faceless ‘suits’ upstairs, things like this are unacceptable by non-football people who remain nameless, like “a source said.” After all Lampard has done for Chelsea was distasteful, like a failed marriage, you move on, but someone is looking for some kind of pat on the back, which l don’t think Roman will be happy about – Tuchel also, if truth be known, because he wouldn’t have liked it if boot on other foot.Cheers Alan