Bohemians 1 vs. 1 Chelsea Review

The point is to gain fitness.

Lampard’s tenure at Chelsea got underway yesterday as Chelsea took on Bohemians in Ireland. 22 players played 45 minutes each over two halves with Lampard making 11 changes in the 2nd half. 

Lampard selected a mix of youth and experience for both halves, the first half lineup consisted of Willy in goal, Kennedy, Guehi, Azpi, and Sterling as our defence, Ampadu and Drinkwater in a 2, and Palmer, Gallagher, Pedro playing behind Michy. It did not take long for Chelsea to get on the score sheet as Michy scored in the 8th minute as a Kennedy shot fell into his path. The rest of the 1st half was quite stop and start but the two standout players in the first half were Ampadu and Michy. Ampadu was strong in the 4-2-3-1 formation as he showed that even in a pre-season game against Bohemians he was willing to give his all. Michy got the goal and got into good positions throughout the first half while also showing some good hold up play. 

The second half saw 11 changes with Cumming, Maatsen, Zouma, Chalobah, Zappacosta, Baker, Bakayoko, Gilmour, Piazon, Ugbo, and Brown. Lampard switched to a 4-3-3 formation and there was much more fluidity within Chelsea’s play during the 2nd half. Some standout players were Maatsen at left back who provided pace going forward but was solid defensively. Zouma impressed while not exerting himself as he made himself present. Baker played well in the Jorginho role as he sprayed passes and created tempo although whether he get’s a chance really depends on if Chelsea sell any midfield players during the next few weeks. I felt Bakayoko played well at least better than his last few performances in a Chelsea shirt as showed power going forward and made tackles. Gilmour had some moments of brilliance as he could have at least got a goal or two after getting into good positions. Chelsea though could not see the result through as Molloy scored in the 89th minute to earn a draw for Bohemians. 

Post-match Lampard said the most important thing was the fitness and he was pushing his players physically and that a win was not the biggest requirement at the moment. My personal opinion is that a lot of the players that featured in this game while they might have impressed they probably will play youth games and on occasion feature for the first team while the rest might be loaned or sold. From the first half Willy, Azpi, Ampadu, Michy, and Pedro are the players that will be involved properly while Drinkwater might also not make it. The rest of the youth players that performed well in the first half like Gallagher are probably better suited with a loan. In the second half Zouma, and Bakayoko are the two players that directly go into the 23 man squad while the rest go back to the u23’s or are loaned out. Players like Baker while possessing quality will find it difficult to play ahead of a midfield packed with players like RLC, Mount, Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic, and Bakayoko. 

Next up is St.Patrick’s Athletic on Saturday, COME ON YOU BLUES!!!

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Bohemians vs. Chelsea Preview

Pre Season starts now!

Chelsea have been in Ireland for the last 5 days as they conducted pre season and got ready for their first game which is tonight against Bohemians who are currently 3rd in the League of Ireland Premier Division. Bohemians are currently in the middle of their season as the league is a summer league and so they are not likely to field the strongest of squads which is perfect for Lampard’s first game in charge of the Blues. 

Lampard’s tactics are similar to Sarri in that he likes to press when without the ball and play an attacking style of football with pace and quick passing. Unlike Sarri though Lampard has shown fluidity in tactics when faced with difficult situations although he should not face anything massive tonight. Tonight is the perfect match to see what Frank wants from his players and what tactics he uses, what his style of play is. These initial few games though will focus on fitness and the latter pre season games will give us more of an idea of what to expect football wise.

Chelsea Team Preview

Chelsea have 30+ players in Dublin, the full squad is 

Goalkeepers – Kepa, Willy, and Cumming

Defenders – Azpi, Zappacosta, Zouma, Ampadu, Alonso, Christensen, Luiz, Emerson, Tomori, Dujon Sterling, Marc Guehi, Maatsen

Midfielders – Kovacic, Kante, Jorginho, Drinkwater, Barkley, Bakayoko, Mount, Izzy Brown, Lewis Baker, Kasey Palmer, Piazon, Gallagher, Gilmour

Forwards – Michy, Giroud, Tammy, Ike Ugbo

Rudiger, Hudson-Odoi, Reece James, and Loftus-Cheek have been left in London as they recover from injuries while Willian and Pulisic will join the squad next week because of international duties that only ended last weekend. I expect several of the youth to leave after this game or the next one while much more of the regular squad should stay on. Expect the likes of the subs to start first with the experienced players coming on later. 

Starting XI Prediction

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A fitness game but I can not wait to see Lamps and Morris on the touchline!!! COME ON YOU BLUES!!!

New England Revolution 0 vs. 3 Chelsea Review

A friendly for a good cause but not at the best time.

Chelsea travelled to Boston this week to play MLS side New England Revolution in their Final Whistle On Hate friendly to raise money against Anti Semitism. The issue is near to owner Roman Abramovich and so the whole squad was taken along with some returning loanees and youth. The timing of the friendly was questioned by Sarri and some fans as it came before the Europa League final but the club had made a commitment. Sarri started a strong team with Kepa in goal, Zappacosta, Christensen, Luiz, and Alonso in defence. Jorginho, Kovacic, and Barkley started in midfield while Pedro, Giroud and Hazard started up front. Barkley got things off in style as he scored in the 3rd minute while Giroud scored in the 29th minute. Barkley then also scored in the 62nd minute to seal the game. The 2nd half though was marred by an injury to Loftus-Cheek who had been in great form. RLC suffered a knee injury similar to Hudson-Odoi’s which will see him miss the next 5-6 months of football so basically his next action might come in 2020. Its sad because the injury could have been avoided by the club and Sarri was furious on the touchline as he had been clearly forced to play RLC. As far as RLC is concerned the hope is that he bounces back as he has done all season and comes back stronger because he is a star in the making. 

Some silver linings were the debuts of Trevor Chalobah who was on loan at Ipswich, and Reece James who had an amazing season at Wigan. Chalobah played in midfield and distributed the ball well while using his physicality to win challenges. Reece James took a few minutes to get settled and then bossed the right side of defence as he stopped anything in his path and put in a cross or two going forward. 

The RLC injury is a massive miss added to CHO, Rudiger, and maybe Kante. As we head into the Europa League final in two weeks time. The media might argue that it was Sarri’s fault but even the strongest of Sarri out fans see that it was the boards choice to conduct this friendly and make sure that all players played. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!