Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea were beaten 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, which allowed Arsenal to move within three points of the fourth-placed West London outfit.
The Italian once again opted to use Eden Hazard in a false nine role, leaving Olivier Giroud on the bench. As a consequence, Chelsea struggled to barge into the Arsenal box, leading to Ferdinand’s suggestion after the match.
“I think that all stems from not having a number nine,” said Ferdinand, as quoted by Football.London.
“There is no focal point and once the players get wide, when Alonso gets wide, you don’t really see him turn down the opportunity to cross a ball. In this day and age, and in the last few weeks when there hasn’t been a number nine in this team, it comes back all the time.”
“Very rarely do you see the ball flash across the goal. The only time really is when Hazard was out there. I think this manager needs to play [N’Golo] Kante in his position. He is the best holding midfielder in the world, and Hazard’s best moments are when he comes in off that left hand side.”
“I’m extremely angry, very angry indeed, because this defeat was due to our mentality more than anything else.”
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“He can play as a number nine – the fake nine role – to an extent at times, but he isn’t going to give you what he gives you off that left hand side, where everyone says he is one of the best players in the world.”
“You have got two of the best players in this team – the two best players – out of position,” he concluded.