Borefest. Tiring 90 minutes of uninspiring football. It’s only the pre-season friendly, I know. We were only supposed get some fitness and practice. This was also meant to be our first chance to try out certain things that were practised in the training ground. I wasn’t expecting us to get a big win or something. I just wanted to see some good football. See this was the opportunity to watch Chelsea live after a long time. I was obviously very excited to watch this match live. the match turned out to be a borefest. Anyway, I can’t be bitching too much about a pre-season friendly and that too the first of them.
Honestly, I don’t like this new kit. There’s too much white in the kit that at some angles, you see more white than blue. Also the blue is very slightly in a different shade that usual. I personally think that this was a bad design for a Chelsea kit.
We played different sets of players in each half. Boas says we played 4-3-3 throughout the match. With no proper wingers on our side, we can’t stretch 4-3-3 any further. I think we got away with this formation because our central midfield was strong. When the midfield gets weaker, lack of proper wingers is very clearly exposed, like yesterday.
The bright spots yesterday were obviously the young players – McE, Bertrand, Kalas, Chalobah, Clifford and van Aanholt. I’m quite happy that Boas gave them a decent run and also is planning to take a lot of them for the Asian tour. We also know that McE and Ryan have signed long term contracts with the club. This is very positive. I don’t know if we’ve bothered to commit young players for such a long period before. Very good sign indeed.
We couldn’t see the Boas brand on our play in this match one. Not that I was expecting a change so early. It’s just a statement of fact. The match was boring. We mostly played like we returned from the holiday only the day before. The lack of chemistry was understandable because we played two teams in each half of unusual composition. For me, the biggest plus was the time the youngsters got and kind of importance they seem to be getting now. I can see this continuing beyond the pre-season friendlies.
Boas’ post match interview was good. He talks in a way that he doesn’t give out too much but at the same touches on key areas. Here is Boas talking about the match.
There are some positive signs and negative signs but mostly positive. We can still reach better quality possession and better speed of circulation of the ball. It is important for us to keep the spaces tight between sectors but the things we do in training are getting into the players’ heads and this is a good sign. These games are about finding new ideas, new spaces and taking new chances.
It was the finding of new ideas, spaces and taking of new chances that weren’t visible. Boas did mention about the negative signs but didn’t explain what they were.
‘Better quality possession’ and ‘better speed of circulation of ball’ – That’s all we’d ever need. That’s all we need to keep working on. Now you see you Boas is going for Modric. Luka Modric is all about quality possession. The inevitable question on transfers was also answered.
It’s pretty obvious that we will go into the market at some time or other, but we won’t make any radical changes. It was important for us to give an opportunity for the fans to see the future of Chelsea with the amount of players they saw on the pitch today. We had a 16-year-old [Chalobah] on the pitch who promises a lot. He’s English, he has a future and these are all things the fans should look at with promise.
That’s one refreshing response. When asked about transfers, he could have said (a) we will go into the market or (b) we have top quality players that won us the double (c) we have a young Chelsea that needs to be used to its potential. I’m very pleased he chose the last option.
Today you saw we adapted Yossi Benayoun’s position in the middle, and also against Wycombe he was marvellous in that position. We know what the situation is with Luka Modric, it is public. We also understand the situation the club has taken, so at the moment we are scanning the markets for anything, not just certain players. But that’s one of the positions that we are looking to strengthen. But I reinforce that today you saw Yossi adapting to his position in the middle, so it’s just a question of finding a solution. If it happens, it happens.
Key messages here too. Read the ‘that’s one of the positions that we are looking to strengthen’. Also what he says is he needs a solution and that doesn’t mean just buying Modric for £30m. He says if Yossi fits in well, he’s got the solution. Basically, he’s trying to convey to Spurs that if you don’t accept the latest offer, we will look for options within.
Chelsea will leave for the Asia tour shortly. I had planned to visit Malaysia just to see this friendly match but the timing wasn’t comfortable. One day, Chelsea will visit India for their pre-season. I’m waiting for that day.
Oh yes! The blog’s gone and got itself a new hair do!