PERTH GLORY VS CHELSEA; MAJOR LESSONS AND WHAT TO EXPECT IN MAURIZIO SARRI’S DEBUT SEASON

PART ONE:

The Maurizio Sarri tenure with the former EPL winners took off on a high as they ran out with a lone goal in a pre-season friendly against Perth Glory in the Western coast of Australia.


In all fairness, the final result was actually not a reflection of the game trend. The blues had started with a free flowing “sexy football”, having Cesc Fabregas who deputized for the holidaying Captain Gary Cahill, New signing Jorginho and a fit again Ross Barkley as the midfield lieutenants. A Pedro volley set up by a clever work from teenager Hudson-Odoi was the difference and it came after five minutes from kick off.

Here are some spotlight lessons to learn from the game, with some things we should look forward to in the soon to start English Premier League season:

·         THE BLUES CAN FLOURISH AGAIN UNDER THE 4-3-3 FORMATION

Frequent change of Managerial hands have resulted in frequent switches in the team style of play, ranging from a Four man “diamond” midfield in the days of Carlo Ancelotti to a three man central defense, seeing the full back have more advanced roles supporting the attack and giving the central midfielders more room to roam. The Antonio Conte magic became a household formation in the league so much so the Gareth Southgate adopted it for the Three Lions at the Russia 2018 world cup. The Perth Glory friendly saw a return to a back four and a swift three man midfield, with Jorginho sitting deep in front of the backline, coordinating and dictating the pace of the game, Cesc Fabregas the playmaker giving out the passes and Ross Barkley the pivot between the midfield and attack. This gave the front trio of Callum Hudson Odoi, Pedro and Alvaro Morata the space to run at the Perth defense as much as possible. This new style will herald the dispensation of fluid football to the satisfaction of owner Roman Abrahamovic and teeming fans.

·         THE KIDS ARE AS GOOD AS READY FOR THE BIG STAGE


The game saw a number of Acedemy products give a five star performance. Marcin Bulka the 18 year old Youth team goalkeeper was in action for 90 minutes and was quiet impressive, though pretty untroubled. 17 year old Ethan Ampadu partnered David Luiz at the central defense and was rock solid, almost giving no single sign of being a minor. 18 year old Callum Odson-Odoi started on the left hand side of the three man attack and was by far the brightest of them with his quick movement, always getting the better of his man and a brilliant square ball that fed Pedro for the opener. Their performance is nothing short of what a top flight side requires and this may just be their time. A chance with the senior team or a loan move to a top side will make a lot of difference in their fast growing careers.

·         Jorginho IS THE STAR MAN ELECT

The Blues midfield had a totally different look last term with N’golo Kante the workhorse but the overall outcome wasn’t very attractive as he was mostly a loner. 40 million pounds signing, Timoue Bakayoko had a woeful season and Cesc Fabregas didn’t have a stellar year. The addition of maestro Jorginho, who was probably the best player under Sarri at Naples last year is the best thing that could have happened to that midfield. He showed his class, commanding his colleagues and pointing at the best positions for them. The way he marshaled the centre of the park brought back to mind the golden days of Andrea Pirlo and Spanish legend, Xavi. Little wonder he was Pep Guardiola’s major target this summer before opting to sign for the west London side. He has a lot to offer the blues and they most likely have gotten their man in the Italian.


Written by: Femi Abodunrin
(www.twitter.com/alagbafemi1)