Plenty of people are pointing to Cesar Azpilicueta’s performance at the weekend and saying that the Spaniard’s time in the team is up, and that his performances are so bad that he should be replaced by Reece James.
Simon Phillips who writes for this site, said so this morning.
There is no doubt Azpi was at fault at times at the weekend. There’s also no doubt he hasn’t been at his peak over the last 12 months. But anyone watching on Sunday should be very wary about wishing one of the most experienced players out of the team for another teenager.
If there was one thing that side lacked against Manchester United it was experience, and for all the incredible talent that Reece James has, he is 19. In a team which already looked extremely green and naive, dropping the average age another notch could prove to be a mistake.
James will certainly get his chance unless Azpilicueta improves. And is he earns a starting place he should keep it. But right now we should be backing our experienced players to step up, rather than calling for more teenagers to be thrown into what could be a very testing season.
That’s the kind of thing that can damage a player’s psyche long term. Just see how Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma’s confidence goes if they continue conceding goal every week.
For the sake of the team, a performing Azpi will help out more than a talented youngster trying to find his feet.