Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink disagrees, saying Cucurella had a poor game but does want to defend
Chelsea suffered a 1-0 loss to Manchester City in Thursday’s Premier League match, with Riyad Mahrez scoring the winning goal after getting ahead of Marc Cucurella at the far post to tap in Jack Grealish’s cross.
Following the match, Jamie Carragher criticized Cucurella, claiming that the £60m summer signing “doesn’t want to defend.”
“I wasn’t happy with Cucurella right throughout that second half until he came off… When I see defenders diving in constantly all the time and the fella keeps going past him, it makes me think they don’t want to defend. Get low and be twisting and turning and get those legs burning.
Sometimes you think ‘I can win the ball and I can go and get it’ but when that’s your plan against every winger that comes up against you, that can’t be right.“
However, former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink disagreed with Carragher’s assessment of Cucurella. Hasselbaink argued that while Cucurella did struggle in the match, he does want to defend.
“I don’t agree, I think that he wants to defend, but I think he just struggled today. Man City targeted him… His defending is bad but a lot of the time he was overloaded as well. He didn’t get the help that he should get… He had a really bad game, he is just not a good defender.“
Hasselbaink also pointed out that goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga could have done better on the play.
Upon watching a replay of the goal, Manchester City winger Grealish said he thought Arrizabalaga was going to stop the cross, and Hasselbaink agreed, stating:
“For me, the keeper can do better… The starting position of the goalkeeper is very good but he can get this and if Cucurella is in the right position and the goalkeeper misses it as it does, then he can kick it away with his right foot.“