BeIN Sport pundit Andy Gray has questioned Chelsea manager Graham Potter for the way he has deployed Raheem Sterling, Conor Gallagher and Marc Cucurella in recent matches.
While the first two have been played as wingbacks, Cucurella has been used in the centre of defence, and Gray believes the fact they’re being played out of position demonstrates Potter doesn’t know his best team:
“I don’t know from game to game what Chelsea team is coming out, or what system they are going to play, who’s going to play where. They had Conor Gallagher half the time at wing-back last night [versus Newcastl]. Come on, even I know he’s not a wingback. They’ve played Raheem Sterling at wingback. Come on. We know what Raheem Sterling can do and it’s not from wingback. He (Potter) plays Cucurella as a left-sided centre-back. He’s a left wingback. I don’t think he has any idea what his top side is.”
To be fair to Potter, injuries have forced some of the selection choices he has made. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Cesar Azpilicueta both had to go off injured against Newcastle so moving Gallagher out wide was more out of a necessity than anything else.
Cucurella was also selected as a centre-half on a regular basis by Potter at Brighton so it is not as though the Spaniard is not used to playing in that position.
Moving Sterling to wingback does, though, warrant scrutiny. Potter has had success playing wingers as wingbacks at previous teams but you’d have to say that playing a £47.5m summer signing out of position does not make a lot of sense.