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UEFA Youth League

Started by ANDRECHO,

204 posts in this topic

Chelsea under-19s: Thompson, Sammut, Christensen, Clarke-Salter, Aina, Loftus-Cheek, Colkett, Musonda, Boga, Kiwomya, Brown ©

Subs: Baxter, Wakefield, Palmer, Christie-Davies, Scott, Ugbo, Ali

against Maribor

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2-0 at half-time thanks to a Boga double. He seems to be scoring a lot more nowadays. With all due respect to Maribor, Boga is clearly way too good for this level.

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Team that played btw for anyone that wants to know:


-Aina--Tomori--Clarke Salter--Da Silva-




Subs: Thompson, Sammutt, Suljic, Ugbo, C Musonda, Palmer (on for Boga '77), Kiwomya.

Hamilton and nyikolajevics like this

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Who played good and who was average?

I'll offer an opinion on that in a minute but a more general view first...

The half time stats summed up the efforts of both sides. We led 1-0 thanks to an own goal but neither team had had a single shot on target.

Young Atleti carried virtually no threat throughout but they worked hard and pressed really well. As a result, they more or less shut down our attack, something which has recently become easier to do to our development squads. The fully deserved win against a tough opponent, on a day when we didn't play well, was satisfying but the performance was not particularly impressive and raises questions that will need hard thoughts at Cobham.

I'm not suggesting that any of our players were bad, but only Ola Aina could claim to have been really good. It was a frustrating outing from Ola, frustrating in the sense that it showed how good he could be. It would usually be true to say that Ola has a mistake in him, probably one every 20 minutes truth be known. This game was different however, there were no errors at all that I can remember. As a result he had one of those days where you might start to get excited about his prosprects. Ola was restored to right back. I think it's a great idea to shift players around to give them a look at various roles but RB seems the right place him.

The rest of the back four were all competent defensively but Atleti didn't really ask many questions until the last 10 minutes or so. Jay Da Silva didn't get forward as effectively as he sometimes does but then our passing was well shackled so he didn't have that many opportunities. He still managed to demonstrate why, as 16 year old, he fully deserves a place in our under 19 line up.

Christensen played in the pivot and was more than adequate. Anders has been used there recently and I wonder if the club are starting to believe that CM, not CB, might be his future. Either that or they are just shifting him around to deepen his understanding of various positions, as they like to do with everyone. The Dane did well in both parts of the game; there were nice interceptions, good tackles, useful passing, a little bit of creativity and if the Atleti defender hadn't put through his own goal, Anders was there to have tapped in anyway.

Christensen was partnered by Charlie Colkett. This was not one of Charlie's best displays; his passing was more conservative than usual, lots of safe stuff played backwards and sideways. Colkett is a quality player however and even when quality footballers are not on top form they still have their natural talent to fall back on. Class is permanent and all that so he still produced some good passes and two or three trademark beauties. These included one which led to the first goal.

Brown and Abraham occupied the wide left and wide right AM roles. Izzy played a big part in the first goal, pulling down Colkett's great pass and beating the goalkeeper with a shot-come-cross that a defender could only slice into his own net as he tried to clear. Tammy has pace and power so he has cut a swathe through the youth ranks but, with apologies for sounding harsh, his lack of technique means that his chances at the very highest level don't look promising. Tammy was pretty ineffective throughout. His full back seemed able to match him physically and Tammy didn't have anything else. He was reduced to trying a lot of first time flicks and lay-offs, most of which failed to find a blue shirt.

Up top, Dom Solanke had virtually no service and was pretty anonymous all game but, when his chance came he took it with a bit of class to notch the second goal. Personally, I'm in the group who like strikers that are fully involved in team play and who make a big contribution whether they score or not. I don't judge a striker simply by how often he puts the ball away. I know that there is another school of thought however. One that says goals are a striker's business and putting the ball in the net is what he's there for. In those terms Dom did what he had to do but in general play there was nothing from him to help lift the team's display above its lacklustre level.

I've left the thing that worries me most, the biggest question for Cobham to think about, until last. Jerimie Boga did not play well. Nothing to be especially concerned about there, it happens and in any case the lad is not long returned from the latest of his seemingly never ending list of injuries. Jerimie is not progressing however. His strengths and weaknesses seem to me to be exactly the same as they were when he first came to our attention. His touch and close control are sublime. His graceful movement as he carries the ball past defenders is great to watch but attempting to do that is still an option he selects too often and far too many of his runs still result in lost possession. Looks wonderful, achieves nothing.

I have defended Cobham very strongly. I've argued that it takes a long time to turn around a failing academy and that, unavoidably, it takes an even longer time to turn promising 8 year-olds into first team prospects. Jerimie wasn't here as an 8 year old but he is not Gael Kakuta. The first time I saw Gael play for the youth team I felt, and said, that he would not make it at Chelsea. I attach no blame to Cobham for the fact that this seems likely to turn out to have been correct. If, however, Cobham fails to help Jerimie make the most of what he has they are going to have some explaining to do.

I'm not claiming Jerimie is a cast iron certainty to make it but he has enough quality to have a chance. There is no way that Cobham could give a guarantee to us, or to Jerimie, that he would make the first team squad. We are however entitled to expect them to teach him to make the most of his ability. I'm not seeing enough evidence that they are living up to that expectation and I'm worried about it.

killer1257, Stats and zolayes like this

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thanks I continue to worry about the Academy .. IMO the measure of success is not in winning trophies but in producing players for our first team .

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