Ryan Bertrand gave his CL debut with Chelsea in the finals of the competition, and that too out of position. Clearly the aim was clear, we were opting for extra defense for our suspended/injured players. He was given the duty of giving extra cover to Ashley Cole on the left, who was given an additional job of supporting the Centre Backs. Ryan wasn’t too pretty to watch in the game, but was efficient enough. He overturned his lack of experience as a chance to surprise the German giants.
RDM, ofcourse was the mastermind of this decision. He then played Ryan in the left wing more than on one occasion. And Rafa Benitez is following suit. He is also playing the young English international on the left wing more than his specialized left back position. While it can be seen as an attempt to improvise his attacking prowess and also to give him game time opposed to replacing Ashley Cole, it is now proving to be kind of annoying to see Ryan Bertrand in that position.
I will give you three solid reasons why it is annoying to many of us:
1) He is nowhere compared to the likes of Mata, Hazard, Oscar and Moses.
When you look at the team sheet with the kinds of Mata, Hazard, Oscar or Moses in it, a chill gets to your nerves. The same cannot be said about Bertrand. The four mentioned players overpowers Bertrand in every aspect (except Defense maybe). Bertrand only gives a more defensive quality and delivers a few decent crosses. We cannot expect something beautiful or magical out of him, it just isn’t in his blue print. All he does is lets Ashley Cole get more on the front foot in attacking while he takes care of defensive duties.
2) He is just not good enough, yet.
I know he is a young lad, and a homegrown player to top that. Still, I don’t think he is on the right path to progress. If he needs to grow to develop into the next Ashley Cole, then he needs to play where Ashley plays, not play supporting Ashley. He sure has the potential to be a better left back than the kinds of Gibbs, Santon, etc., but I consider Patrick Van Aanholt a better understudy than him. Maybe PVA isn’t going to be much preferred because he doesn’t fill the ‘home-grown’ category.
3) We could and should use Marin more often than play him.
When the four magicians, Mata, Moses, Hazard and Oscar are fit and available, there isn’t much chance of Marin starting any games. So why not hand them their much deserved chances (considering the moaningless patience) when we have players from the four missing. This Saturday, Hazard was serving his last game ban, and Moses was out for the AFCON, yet neither Benayoun, nor Marin was handed the last contention for the third spot in our attacking midfield department. Marin is a potential magician, somewhy he just isn’t clicking yet for us, while Benayoun is filled with experience to play big games, and play for the team. Both have a decent amount of creativity and is ready made replacements for the midfield. Yet, a defender is played out of position over them.
I might have been a little too critical about Ryan here, but it was annoying to see the kinds of Benayoun and Marin not given chances that they could well make the most of. Ryan has been a fantastic lad for us, and possible he could learn a lot from our very own ‘Best Left Back in the World’ and learn his secrets and develop into a player that might form the spine of our future Chelsea team. Rafael Benitez might well give him some game time here and there replacing Ashley Cole from the team against the ‘smaller’ opponents, or maybe in the FA cup.
Do you think Ryan Betrand should be either played at Left Back, or rather be left back off the starting line up?