Matt Miazga is just 20 years old and on Saturday he gained an experience which should hold him in good stead for the future.
That’s if he learns from it.
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In his second appearance for Chelsea — he made his debut last week at Aston Villa — Miazga was subbed out of the 1-0 defeat at Swansea City at half time as a single lapse of concentration for Gylfi Sigurdsson‘s game-winner was ruthlessly exposed.
Welcome to the Premier League, Matt.
In the 25th minute the brilliant Jefferson Montero clipped in a cross into the six-yard box and a stretching Miazga could only half head clear. His main mistake was not heading the ball out for a corner or back out wide where it came from.
In truth, it may have been better for Branislav Ivanovic to attack the ball as he was stood behind Miazga but didn’t appear to give the young U.S. international a call.
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Miazga was subbed out at half time as interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink placed central midfielder John Obi Mikel at center back instead. Hiddink has used the last few weeks to give Chelsea’s younger players experience in the PL as the Blues sit on 44 points and in 10th place. They have no real chance of making the top four and are safely ensconced in midtable. So, why not?
Getting the hook at half time is never a pleasant experience for any player but old school manager Hiddink has done something similar with Baba Rahman and Kenedy in recent weeks as they continue their learning curve in the PL. He wants to teach them a lesson.
Miazga shouldn’t feel disheartened by this. He should learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Remember, though, he’s still only 20 and will be richer for having had this experience in the PL at such a young age.