Many Chelsea fans are calling on Thomas Tuchel to bench Jorginho after his costly mistakes against Man United and West Ham.
The Italo-Brazilian has been disappointing lately, I’m not going to argue with that. But it doesn’t mean he should be instantly disposed of and sent back to Napoli, as some of the most radical Blues suggest.
Jorginho’s misplaced pass to Mendy caused a penalty against West Ham but other than that, his passing has been spotless.
The 29-year-old recorded a 91.9 percent pass completion rate against the Hammers and 85.1 against United.
But pass accuracy rate alone doesn’t say anything. What does is the number of progressive passes he makes — i.e. how much he contributes to Chelsea moving the ball forward.
And he’s been excellent in that regard, too, recording 9 progressive passes against West Ham and 8 passes into the final third against United. Only Reece James and Trev Chalobah showed better numbers against the Hammers and the Red Devils, respectively.
Jorginho’s defensive qualities are routinely overlooked by neutrals and Chelsea fans.
But stats show he’s been doing extremely well defensively, making 6 tackles and interceptions against United. His made just 2 tackles and interceptions against West Ham but he did well to block passing lanes, applying 19 pressures on the Hammers players (again, only Reece James did more).
These are the numbers that he shows consistently, ranking among the best midfielders in the world by pass completion rate, number of progressive passes, and interceptions.
Thomas Tuchel has proven that he is an excellent tactician, but he is also unbelievably good at man-management. He helped Rudiger rediscover his best form at Chelsea, did wonders with Barkley’s confidence, and guided Chilwell through his dark period after the disappointing Euros.
The gaffer should keep his faith in Jorginho, one of his lieutenants on the pitch. Playing him in spite of the recent mistakes would send a message of support to the midfielder. It could help him return to his best ahead of a crucial run of fixtures in the festive period.
All in all, Jorginho is a world-class player and remains crucial to Chelsea’s possession-based style under Thomas Tuchel. Dropping him would make zero sense.