Kenny Cunningham: Chelsea star carrying Cesc Fabregas in midfield
Former Republic of Ireland international Kenny Cunningham is surprised Chelsea haven't signed a new midfielder
Kenny Cunningham has claimed that Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic was left to do the work of two men at times last season due to Cesc Fabregas’s deficiencies.
The towering Serbia international was named in the PFA team of the year for his contribution to Chelsea’s Premier League title success in April.
His immobility, his inability to make tackles, see danger, track runners was a factor last season. Against the bigger sides in the bigger game, it is going to be a factor this season.
Fabregas was, however, omitted despite the former Arsenal captain scoring three goals and making 18 assists for the west London side throughout the season.
And former Republic of Ireland defender Cunningham says he is surprised Mourinho hasn’t signed another midfielder to provide Matic with more support.
“I was surprised he didn’t bring in a centre-midfielder,” Cunningham told Newstalk’s Off The Ball show.
“I felt there was a small weakness in their CM last season despite winning the title.
“People might say they had Matic and Fabregas, but as good as Fabregas was and what he contributed with his assists, I felt as the season progressed, he became a bit of a liability, particularly without the football.”
Cunningham added that Fabregas is unable to carry out some of the defensive duties required of a centre-midfielder.
“They were actually carrying him. Matic was playing the role of two men at times,” Cunningham continued.
“His immobility, his inability to make tackles, see danger, track runners was a factor last season. Against the bigger sides in the bigger game, it is going to be a factor this season.
“You noticed on occasion, Jose Mourinho dropped him out of there and put him in a No10 role. Not because he felt that he could have more of an impact at No10 but Matic couldn’t carry him and he wanted to reinforce his midfield.”
Chelsea drew 2-2 with Swansea City in their Premier League opener at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.
The Blues make the trip to their title rivals Manchester City in their next top-flight outing at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.