In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.
Football can be a rather fickle sport at times, as fans and pundits can go from one opinion to the other extreme in almost the blink of an eye, although that is not usually without a very good reason.
Indeed, footballers have had to learn that particular side of the game is just part and parcel of the profession in which they are skilled and arguably fortunate to be, and those that play for Chelsea have perhaps had to deal with a focus on every move a little more than some of their colleagues.
With the Blues considered to be one of football’s powerhouses (perhaps due to their ability to spend on new players or the fact that they look to recruit some of the best players on the planet), many are going to keep a close eye on matters at Stamford Bridge and look to make a point out of something.
One man that has received plenty of criticism (and some praise, we might add) is Marcos Alonso, as the Spaniard has irked some of the media’s pundits and fans with some of his performances for the west London outfit.
Indeed, Paul Merson was on his case as soon as he arrived in SW6 as the Sky Sports pundit remarked: “I don’t think Marcos Alonso is good enough for Chelsea,” following the Spaniard’s confirmed £23m arrival from Fiorentina.
Perhaps, the ex-Arsenal man (and Chelsea fan) had not seen the left-back in action for the Serie A outfit as he looked to be a completely different player from his days at Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers. As the detailed history by WhoScored shows, the defender clearly showed signs of improvement while in Italy, which seemingly appeared to convince Antonio Conte to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
It would seem as though he managed to convince Merson that he belonged at the club, though, as the Sky Sports pundit changed his mind at the end of his debut campaign and stated that Alonso had been his player of the season.
However, it would appear that the 28-year-old has his doubters again and will need to change some minds once more, although it seems Frank Lampard has given him his opportunity to do so with Emerson Palmieri injured.
Indeed, he has since started the last four games in a row because of the Italian’s injury and appears to be making the most of his latest opportunity in the Blues’ first team.
The Chelsea boss praised the Spain international for his performance against Liverpool recently, stating that he felt he had a very good game and did well in a match into which it was not easy to come back (in a video by GiveMeSport of his press conference).
Maurizio Sarri once stated that he felt Alonso was the best left-back in Europe, although conceded that improvements were required (Independent) and it would appear now is the time for the Spaniard to show just why his former boss felt that way.
Although WhoScored state his defensive contribution as a strong trait of his and despite the £28.8m-rated ace (TransferMarkt) saying he got a “defending degree in Italy” (per Goal), it is perhaps a weak area of his game as he has come under fire for some of the mistakes and errors he has made while in his own third of the pitch.
Both Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness slammed the Spaniard following last season’s embarrassing 6-0 defeat to Manchester City, claiming the 28-year-old had been “criminal” (Sky Sports via The Metro).
Indeed, it appears Alonso has some work to do, but he has proven he can change opinion before, so maybe it is just a matter of time for him to repeat that feat once again.
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