Chelsea failed to convert a dominant performance against Tottenham into victory in Sunday's fiery 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge; Man Utd's wantaway striker Cristiano Ronaldo is the perfect tonic to Chelsea's toothless attack, says Paul Merson
Tuesday 16 August 2022 11:04, UK
In his latest Sky Sports column, Paul Merson explains why Cristiano Ronaldo would be the final piece in the jigsaw for Chelsea, gives his thoughts on Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte's spat, and how Sunday's 2-2 derby draw showed the distance Spurs must bridge to the top...
Chelsea were outstanding against Tottenham on Sunday, they dominated the match from start to finish, but they haven't got a goalscorer or centre-forward and that cost them three points.
Despite their domination, Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made just one save. That tells you all you need to know.
I cannot believe they didn't or haven't gone in for Cristiano Ronaldo. He just ticks all of the boxes Chelsea are lacking.
Playing for Chelsea is not like playing for Manchester United, who are working from the halfway line. Chelsea are on the edge of the box, dominating games.
Chelsea have unbelievable wing-backs, they dominate football matches, if they were putting the ball into the box for Ronaldo I would dread to think how many goals he could score.
These two teams don't like each other. It's a big football match for Chelsea and Spurs fans. And these matches never let you down, something always happens and it's never dull.
I don't mind if things boil over, Tuchel and Conte are very passionate managers. But when it comes to squaring up to each other, I don't buy into it because neither manager thinks they are going to get hit in the chops.
If you're going to square up, why not have a massive fight for charity next week and raise millions of pounds? They won't, and that's what makes me sick. These managers squaring up against each other safe in the knowledge nothing is going to happen.
I don't mind the passion but draw the line at face-to-face confrontations, the game doesn't need it, it does my head in.
What did make me laugh, though, was when Tuchel ran down the touchline. Thankfully Conte had his head down and didn't see him, otherwise he would have tripped him up!
The draw covered over the cracks for Tottenham. People were saying what a fightback it was and how they didn't give up, but the game showed they are a gillion miles away.
No disrespect to Spurs but they have some top, top players, and then they have the other players in their squad. They don't have an unbelievable starting XI.
Aside from the centre half Cristian Romero, who's a good player, and the two up front, Harry Kane and Heung-min Son, and probably Dejan Kulusevski now, who else in their squad would get a game at another top Premier League club?
Other than Kane and Son, who else would have got into the Chelsea team on Sunday? You'd take goalkeeper Edouard Mendy over Hugo Lloris. You wouldn't take Spurs' wing-backs over Chelsea's, Romero would get into a back three alongside Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibaly.
But there's no way you'd pick Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur over N'Golo Kante, Jorginho or Mason Mount, and Chelsea aren't even going to win the league!
To all the people expecting Tottenham to do something this season, answer this: what are they going to do?
If you said to the Spurs board they could win the FA Cup and League Cup this season but finish fifth in the Premier League, they would say absolutely no chance. It's all about a top-four finish because this is where the game has fundamentally changed.