Careless Crossing: Why Ivanovic Should Be Axed By Mourinho

Branislav Ivanovic stats

Branislav Ivanovic has become a mainstay for Chelsea since his move from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2008. The right-back has gained a reputation for consistently solid performances throughout his Blues career and in the process has become known as one of the most reliable players in Jose Mourinho’s squad.

However, in recent weeks the Serbian defender has been criticised for his part in poor Chelsea performances; following Chelsea’s tense draw with West Brom, Ivanovic was cited as a weak link in the side, adding more fuel to the claims which had arisen after the Blues’ 2-0 loss to Newcastle a week previously.

Against West Brom, Ivanovic’s crossing was of a poor quality. His balls into the penalty area were all hit some way off the byline – the Serbian opted to cross from a relatively deep position, making it hard for Chelsea’s strikers to properly attack the ball and giving the likes of Gareth McAuley an easy job.

What’s more, the Serbian could not seem to find a blue shirt. Only two of his nine crosses were met by a Chelsea player’s head, arguably due to the deep position which they were delivered from, and as such Mourinho’s men found themselves lacking a dimension in attack.

Branislav Ivanovic stats

The defender, this season, has given the ball away in a fashion far dissimilar to that which we have become accustomed to. Against Newcastle, he completed a weak 79% of his passes – however, this actually increased his average for the season from 75% to 76%. This shows that Ivanovic has given the ball away far too often for Chelsea this season and, coupled with the tendency to get caught in possession which the Serbian has seemingly developed, is fuel for Chelsea fans’ calls for him to be dropped.

Branislav Ivanovic stats

Despite this, in defence Ivanovic has retained his usual strength. This season, the Serbian has failed with just three of his attempted tackles and won a stunning 89% of them, suggesting that his ability to provide Petr Cech and Chelsea’s right flank with excellent cover has not waned. Defensively, at least, Ivanovic does not show any signs that he should be dropped from Mourinho’s starting 11.

Branislav Ivanovic stats

Furthermore, the Serbian has made 66 clearances and 14 interceptions for his Chelsea side this season. This has solidified Mourinho’s back four and often relieved pressure upon his team’s defence, and is likely to be the evidence which Ivanovic supporters will use when claiming that the right-back should not be relieved of his position in Chelsea’s defence.

Branislav Ivanovic stats

There are arguments for and against Ivanovic’s continued selection by Mourinho. Whilst he is undoubtedly a fantastic defender, the times when the Serbian gives away possession put unnecessary pressure on his team and shows that perhaps he should be given a rest from the Chelsea starting line-up.

Related Teams: ,

Comments

Please consult these rules when commenting. These rules outline what is acceptable and unacceptable content on Squawka News. Note that these rules are subject to change at any time. Just like football.

See commenting rules
  1. Language

    Don't use swear words or profanity of any sort. Please refrain from insulting other users, everyone is entitled to their opinion and just because you shout the loudest, doesn't make you more correct or valid in your point of view. All insulting or offensive comments will be immediately removed.

  2. No libel or other abuse

    At no point should you be making comments which are:

    • defamatory, false or misleading;
    • insulting, threatening or abusive;
    • obscene or of a sexual nature;
    • offensive, racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory against any religions or other groups.

    We have an absolute zero tolerance policy on this. Football is the world's language.

  3. Report abuse

    If you see a comment not adhering to rules 1 & 2 please email info@squawka.com and this comment will be reviewed by a member of the Squawka editorial team.

  4. No third party promotion

    This comment section is here to let football fans talk about football, not to allow people to sell or push products. Any comment found peddling a third party will be immediately reviewed.

  5. No linking or copyright infringement

    You must not insert links to websites or submit content which would be an infringement of copyright.

  6. Play the game/Respect the game

    Please respect these rules when commenting on Squawka News; people will disagree from time to time but please try to see each other's point of view before getting all worked up, that helps no one.