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Édouard Mendy’s worrying bad pass with Chelsea

Dazzling during his first months with Chelsea, notably crowned by a coronation in the Champions League in 2021, the Senegalese goalkeeper had a catastrophic start to the season with the Blues, chaining blunders. From there to questioning his status as number one before the start of the C1?

This Saturday, during Chelsea’s sluggish victory against West Ham (2-1), Édouard Mendy still made people cringe. The Senegalese goalkeeper spent another difficult afternoon on the lawn of Stamford Bridge, despite the end of the series of three defeats in a row for the Blues. On a personal level, the former Stade Rennais goalkeeper was once again guilty of a gross error on the equalizer for the Hammers in the 62nd minute of play.

Not stable on his support, he repelled the ball badly, which ultimately benefited Michail Antonio. But Mendy’s ordeal could have continued in added time, before being saved by VAR, which canceled Maxwel Cornet’s goal for a foul on the Blues goalkeeper. A new delicate performance which is unfortunately not the first for the best goalkeeper of the 2020-2021 season in the Champions League.

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More frequent mistakes

After the meeting, Thomas Tuchel came to the aid of his goalkeeper. “If there’s a situation where his action isn’t perfect, he gets punished instantly. He’s just having a bad time and it’s not necessarily his fault. I have that feeling because he always gives everything, he is very calm and focused. We will continue to support him. He was in a lot of pain at the end of the match. We will see. He is a bit unlucky in his performance at the moment,” recalled the Chelsea manager.

During the 3rd day against Leeds (3-0), Édouard Mendy had literally offered a gift to the Peacocks. On a back pass, however innocuous from Thiago Silva, the former Rennais has time to clear his ball but procrastinates and waits for the arrival of the American midfielder, whom he tries to eliminate with a hook. But his gesture is missed and his vis-à-vis steals the ball from him just in front of the goal, before finishing quietly in the empty cage. Last season, the Blues goalkeeper had already made a similar mistake in the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid (1-3). Karim Benzema took the opportunity to sign a hat-trick.

“A fantastic leader” for his team

The Senegalese international is less sovereign in his goals and this is reflected in his statistics. This season, he has only kept a clean sheet once in six games (9 goals conceded). Last season, he had 23 clean sheets in 49 games (40 goals conceded). During the 2020-2021 financial year, his best year in England, he had released a whopping 25 clean sheets in 45 games (30 goals conceded).

Less effective, the African champion still remains a leader in Thomas Tuchel’s group. “He’s fantastic. A mistake doesn’t make him fall, he’s ready to go again. That’s what a top player does, recognized Ruben Loftus-Cheek after the defeat against Leicester. Ed (Mendy) is a leader fantastic on the pitch and you can always hear his voice behind you which is great, and obviously his goalkeeping ability is fantastic. He’s a huge plus for the team.”

Kepa at the revival?

Can Mendy’s recent performances reverse the hierarchy of goalkeepers within the Blues? Recruited for 25 million euros in the summer of 2020, the former Rennais was quickly installed as number one by Frank Lampard, before being reinforced in this role by Thomas Tuchel on his arrival. But would the Chelsea coach be ready to bench him for the Champions League match against Dinamo Zagreb (Tuesday at 6:45 p.m.) and start Kepa Arrizabalaga? The German coach does not forbid anything.

“(Kepa) is absolutely ready to play. It’s up to us whether we give him a chance or not, but he’s 100 per cent ready, he’s performing very well, he’s training very well. there are no doubts in my mind. The situation is calm. We have two fantastic goalkeepers. We are aware that he (Mendy) is in this kind of situation, but first we deal internally and then we We’ll let you know,” Tuchel warned after the win over West Ham.

What if Édouard Mendy got up in a competition that revealed him in 2021? European and world champion, winner of the European Super Cup, the goalkeeper wants to help Chelsea recover after a sluggish start to the season (6th in the Premier League). With a Champions League group within reach (AC Milan, Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb), all the ingredients are there.

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