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Jorginho - Shackles off at Chelsea this season under Frank Lampard.

Jorginho, the much talked about signing made by Maurizio Sarri last summer and throughout the whole of last season, has made it clear tha...


Jorginho, the much talked about signing made by Maurizio Sarri last summer and throughout the whole of last season, has made it clear that he wants to be known as a Chelsea player of his own right. Judging by the start he has made this season; he is well on the way to establishing himself as exactly that. 

There had been one single argument, one single focus on the Chelsea team last season throughout the whole of Maurizio Sarri’s time here as manager; The position of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante in the heart of our midfield. Many people (myself included) would call for the swap to be made to give ourselves more stability at the back, to give ourselves protection without the ball, to move the Italian midfielder forward to try and impose his game without the defensive constraints place on him required in the deeper midfield position. It never happened and as a result it’s fair to say that he struggled to adapt to the demands of our game until the final couple of months of the season.

We kept telling anyone who would want to listen that it was one thing to play that position in Serie A, but to try and have the same time, space and be of the same influence in the Premier League was a different ball-game entirely – in some big, big games unfortunately we were proven right. You must look at the number of goals conceded by Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri in the Premier League to see how much of an effect it had on us.


So, to this season and we have all expected N’Golo Kante to revert straight back into the deeper position, a position that he had made his own during the two previous seasons he had played in that role. We have expected Jorginho to either be left out or forced to make way to step further forward to play without defensive burden. It’s fair to say I have been surprised.

In these first three games of the season under Frank Lampard against Manchester United, Liverpool and Leicester, Jorginho has become a real influence without the ball as he is with it at his feet. He has made more successful tackles this season that he had made the whole of last and is becoming more of an influence in BOTH halves of the pitch.

It’s early days for sure but the signs are really good for me as someone who has critical of his suitability in our midfield. As we all know he is outstanding with the ball at his feet, in fact I would even go as far as to describe his ability as world-class. Now it seems that having taken last season to adjust to the demands of our game, he has developed the defensive side also. He has made five, six or seven key, clean tackles already this season when needed in or around our box, he has identified when to go and challenge as to when it’s important he stands up without diving into a challenge he knows that he has little chance of winning (I know Sunday he was booked but that was a taking one for the team).

With the ball he has been outstanding. He moves it quickly; he is more than happy to accept a pass under pressure knowing that he can control the ball and play a quick pass or even a first-time controlled ball to another Chelsea shirt without any panic. He is a real calming influence on the players, always talking them through the game whether they have possession of the ball, or to encourage someone to go forward and shut the ball down. He has been outstanding so far.

If you think to how rigid he played under Sarri, how defensively naïve he would be and how he found himself exposed against Tottenham last season to what we are watching now? You will see a marked improvement and I hope it continues because it’s clear that under Frank Lampard in the dynamic midfield he wants to see, for Jorginho it really is shackles off this season.

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