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Reserve Team - Season Review

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As with the Youth team this season has been a little disrupted for the reserves. At the start of the season Brendan Rodgers was at the helm and Brendan was a excellant coach, of that there is no doubt. All the lads loved to play for him and he was very clever tactically and knew how to get the best of the lads. But he moved on to bigger and better things and that gave Paul Clement a chance to move up a level. Paul himself is a very good manager who has done some excellant things with they youth team and i have been very impressed with what he has done with them. Things got a little more complicated though with the departure of Scolari, meaning that the majority of Pauls time was taken up working with the first team. All of this has meant a lot of inconsistancy at reserve level.

On the pitch though we have seen some first team experience more than other seasons. Most notible have been Ricardo Quaresma who has been somewhat out of favour with the first team but flying for the reserves and Miniero who has also not been a feature for the first team but a semi-regular for the reserve team, although with not quite the same impact as Quaresma. We have also seen first teamers Carvalho, Belletti, Cudicini, Drogba, Hilario and Essien pull on their boots for the first team. Not to mention first team fringe players Di Santo and Mancienne.

Results have not been great this season, and picking up wins is something that we want to be doing even if the main aim is player development. Many times (too many) we have seen players playing out of position which has certainly not helped matters. Nana-Ofori playing as a centre back, Patrick Van Aanholt as a left winger ect... We have also seen some players break through to show they can cut it at this level. Most notibly Jacob Mellis, Jeffrey Bruma, Patrick Van Aanholt and Fabio Borini.

One of the problems with Reserve football is the lack of games, games are too far and few between for players to build up any level of consistancy and for players too old for the U18's and not quite ready for a loan this can seriously hamper them. Players need to play more regular football to aid their development. Chelsea to their credit have tried to help in this respect by arranging friendly games against Man Utd, Liverpool, AC Milan and recently Man City. But this has still not been enough and hopefully the club will be trying to arrange even more of these games for next season.

Player of the season:

Patrick Van Aanholt

Van Aanholt has been perfectly consistant throughout the whole season. Not the sort of player who you would single out as being a major influence like Stoch or Borini but every game he has performed to a very high standard and been more than solid. In only his second season at the club he has shown himself to be a very capable left back who loves to bomb forward much like Ashley Cole. Next season could possibly even see him competing with Ryan Bertrand for the back up left back spot, although i feel it is too soon for him. Completely comfortbale at this level at left back (more sloppy at centre back) a loan may be on the cards for him...

Team of the season:


Nana-Ofori....Bruma.....Magnay....Van Aanholt




Next Season:

Next season we will see what Paul Clement can do with the next batch of reserves players. Players like Nana, Magnay, Hutchinson, Van Aanholt, Woods, Bridcutt and Mellis will be looking to go out of loan. The next batch comming up from the U18's Borini, Nouble, Philliskirk, Gordon, Ahamed, Sala and Clifford ect. will need to make their mark. It would be nice to see more games arranged to allow these players to get plenty of games under their belts at this level and help their development. It is a very good group of players and i hope we can see them given the best possible chance to show their skills.

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