Emerson’s early days at Chelsea were not the rosiest to mention; In addition to him making his debut seventeen days after his signing, he waited thirty-three days to make his Premier League debut. A player who uses Football manager to solve his first Problem at Chelsea Adaptation, by gaining knowledge about his new league and opponents.
After missing much of the first half of the 2017/2018 season due to anterior cruciate ligament injury, Emerson signed for Chelsea on 30th January 2018 on a four-and-half-year deal, the transfer fee was undisclosed according to Chelsea but Roma claimed, to be around twenty million euros. He was signed by the then current manager, Antonio Conte predictably to come in as backup for looking exhausted Marcus Alonso, who he looked forward to working with; “Now I am definitely going to improve here at Chelsea under Antonio Conte” he said, “He is someone who has already shown that he is a great coach and everyone who plays with him improves”.
His signing isn’t what Conte approves or oppose, but one could say he is definitely not Conte’s first option, with majority of the signings made by the Italian that year was second options Plan B. “I don’t know if he’s ready to play” Conte answered, when asked about his readiness, “Last season he had and important season for Roma, then he had a bad injury, broke his ligament, now he’s recovering”
Not much time needed for Emerson to impress his new family – means he earned his first assist in his debut, assisting fellow winter signing Oliver Giroud for his first Chelsea goal. His first goal in a Chelsea shirt happened at Anfield in a Carabao cup clash, after tapping in a free rebounded save from in-form Hazard’s whipped ball in.
The blue fans fell in love with their new Left-back after tired of watching ”sluggish” Alonso, Alonso failed to replicate his debut season form, which saw him voted for PFA best left back of the year in Premier league. Fair to say the whole Chelsea squad were a different team following their tittle winning season but Marcus Alonso’s wing hastily turned to Chelsea’s weak link for every opposing teams; which fuel the love fire for Emerson. His first Chelsea trophy stalled until the end of his second season at the club, after winning the UEFA Europa league with Maurizio Sarri beating Arsenal 4-1 at the final.
Emerson has played under three different tactics/system at Chelsea; thanks to Chelsea’s sacking prowess. Signed by Conte, played under Sarri and now with Lampard. These three managers have different philosophy and ideas, and Did emerson fit in all? Conte favours a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formation, both ways require excellent energy from his fullbacks; as they are to act as the fifth attacker when attacking; fifth defender while defending. Emerson didn’t succeed doing that but didn’t fail either, despite his early impressions, Alonso still remains the best man for Conte’s task at Left back.
Maurizio Sarri, on the other hand, wants an attacker to be an attacker; A defender to be a defender, A structured organization. One of the few managers out there who play short passing football without fluid set-up. He rarely wants his fullback to attack, thus attempting crosses from deep, which makes Emerson plays mostly as a defender during his time playing for the manager; one could say this is the system in which he excelled most during his time at Chelsea. He assisted Giroud’s opening goal in a 4-1 win over Arsenal in the 2019 UEFA Europa League final.
His current manager, Frank Lampard loves a fluid system, in which fullbacks should have the quality of a winger, he plays a fast direct passing football, wanting to create most of his chances through fullbacks; this is where Emerson’s attacking ability is needed. In this system, fullbacks spend most of their 90 minutes football playing time in attacking positions, making runs inside the box to score goals and assist. The requirement to do this has left Emerson disappointing doing so as Alonso, making Lampard alternatively returning right-footed Azpilicueta to the left-back position. Emerson’s main problem is the ability or confidence to take on opponent, he appears to be scared to move the ball forward as his hobby turns out to be passing backward.
Brazillian-born appeared to be a good attacker but has failed to do that this season, his decision making in the final third is worrisome, shooting when he’s supposed to cross and vice versa. His poor marking against man city’s Riyad mahrez away from home; Making Mahrez scored the winning goal of the match. He was substituted before half-time in London derby at Emirate stadium, due to his poor positioning and concentration Aubameyang gave Arsenal the lead.
After leaving the pitch. Chelsea found their rhythm going forward with Jorginho dictating excellently, which made Chelsea later won the match by two quick goals from Jorginho and Abraham. Obvious bad performances like this made him transits quickly from fans favourite to unwanted. Many fans on twitter are excited to see Inter Milan linked to him as they call for him to be sold.
Selling Emerson is not realistic, as buying a new left-back doesn’t seem to be in Chelsea’s plan this window. Then Can he be back? He needs to focus on improving his mental attributes defensively and attacking wise. One could say he needs to hit the gym first, but I don’t think low physicality is Emerson’s major problem. There are a lot of physically little defenders who are great carrying out their task, at Chelsea, Andreas Christensen is an example, he is physically small for a defender but he does his job by outsmarting his marker. Emerson needs to work on his mental side like positioning, concentration, and Anticipation (to make good use of his good crossing ability).