Despite Chelsea’s early-season struggles, Leicester City’s Leigh James is relaxed.
“I can’t wait to get back on the pitch, but it’s also very important that I can continue the season without any problems later on,” James said in an official interview with the club on Friday.
Things are not looking good for Chelsea at the moment. After six league games, the Blues are in 14th place with one win, two draws, and three losses. They lost their last match against Aston Villa in the sixth round, conceding a goal to Ollie Watkins, and are on a three-match winless streak.
A number of issues have been cited. The biggest one is Mauricio Pochettino’s tactical ability. With Levi Colwill at left fullback and right fullback Marlo Gusto high up the pitch as if he were a wingback, Pochettino’s so-called “modified back three” tactics have left much to be desired in both offense and defense. Pochettino’s tactics, such as playing Enzo Fernandez in the second position and using Ben Chilwell as a flanker, are full of questions.
Against Villa, it was no different. Enzo was moved to an attacking midfield position, while Chilwell, who came on for Mourinho, was again deployed on the flank. In the end, it was Chelsea who lost, unable to capitalize on their numerical disadvantage after Gusto’s sending off.
The goal-scoring prowess of the front line is also a big part of their current struggles. Nicola Jackson, who joined Chelsea from Villarreal in a £32 million deal ahead of the season, has settled into the team with his work rate and link-up play, but he hasn’t scored a goal, and Armando Broja hasn’t been able to carry the load up front.
Injuries are also a major factor. Chelsea are currently without Kani Chukwuemeka, Christopher Nkunkwo, and Wesley Fofana with knee injuries, while Benoit Badiajil, Romeo Rabia, and many others are sidelined. James has also been sidelined since the first leg against Liverpool after picking up a hamstring injury in training.
James, who was named captain of the team ahead of this season, is a natural-born ‘glass house’. Since the 2018-19 season, when he first established himself as a regular at Chelsea, he has been plagued by an alarming number of injuries, including knee, ankle, and hamstring problems that have hampered his career.
Hamstring injuries have been the most common. In 2022, James suffered a hamstring injury in a match against Liverpool that has since recurred three times. Although the hamstring is still an injury that is prone to recurrence, it is becoming increasingly common.
James expressed his disappointment with this reality. “It’s been a tough few weeks since the first game after I got injured in training. My job is to play 스포츠토토 soccer and I want to help the team, but I couldn’t do that. My job was to get healthy as quickly and safely as possible,” he said.
He continued: “I am now close to returning. I’ve been on the turf for the last few weeks and working hard to get back. I’m trying to put my injury issues behind me and help the team as much as I can,” he said, indicating that he will be back on the field soon.