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!!!