Liam Twomey was writing in The Athletic this Monday about a disappointing result for Chelsea at the weekend., and in that article he pointed to the absence of Tammy Abraham as a major factor.
That was evident to everyone who has been watching Chelsea this season. From having a really mobile, dangerous focal point up top, and one who is in good goalscoring form, they suddenly had Olivier Giroud, offering so much less.
Twomey delved into the xG (expected goals) numbers for Frank Lampard’s squad this season, to see who is scoring more than they should given the chances they’ve had, and who’s scoring less. The results are pretty stark – in this game Chelsea had an xG of 2.36 to West Ham’s 0.96, meaning we should have won easily.
Drilling down into the individual stats shows that only two of Lampard’s players are doing better than they should, considering the chances they’ve had:
“On an individual level, Lampard’s frustration is a little more understandable. In this Chelsea squad only Abraham (10 goals against an xG of 7.50) and N’Golo Kante (three goals against an xG of 1.11) are significantly outperforming their individual xG ratings in the Premier League this season. Pulisic, Mason Mount and Willian are in line with expectations, while Pedro (1.41) and Ross Barkley (1.17) are scoreless despite some presentable opportunities.”
So while we’ve scored plenty this season, it’s only Tammy and N’Golo who are adding value to the chances they’re getting. That’s all been well and good so far, as we’ve created lots of chances, but if they dry up, we will need the rest of the squad to step their game up without doubt.