Positive Early Signs for Chelsea as Jorginho Makes his Mark
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Positive Early Signs for Chelsea as Jorginho Makes his Mark

He’s been in charge for a mere 10 days, but it appears Maurizio Sarri’s tactics are already rubbing off on his new Chelsea squad.

Sarri-ball is a term that plenty of column inches will be devoted to in the weeks and months ahead, with the Italian’s preference for his sides to play vertically and at great pace catching the attention of fans and pundits alike.

It was on show in Chelsea’s opening pre-season game against Perth Glory, which ended 1-0 to the Blues thanks to Pedro’s early strike.

Tougher tests will lie ahead, but the Sarri-led Blues offered up some neat one-touch football and pressed their opponents hard when not on the ball.

One thing we do know for certain is that the three-man defence of Sarri’s predecessor Antonio Conte is dead and buried. 4-3-3 is Sarri’s formation of choice and it was in show against Perth.

David Luiz has never looked comfortable in a flat back four but Sarri could see it as a personal mission to turn the talented but error-prone Brazilian into a defensive powerhouse. Sarri’s attention to detail and in-depth coaching worked wonders at Napoli and Blues fans would love for him to work his magic on Luiz.

Key to Chelsea’s pace of play will be Jorginho, the architect from the base of the midfield. He followed Sarri to Stamford Bridge from Napoli and he will be important to bedding the rest of the squad into the methods of their new manager.

Jorginho will probably have harder workouts in his own back garden than he had against Perth, as he cruised through the contest delivering a clinic in how to pass the ball with ruthless efficiency. In his 45 minutes on the pitch, he made 101 passes – 98 of which found a team-mate. He’s been doing that sort of thing in Serie A for a few years and if the adapts to life in the Premier League then Chelsea will have a fine season.

The only downside for Sarri will have been the amount of chances that were squandered by the likes of Ross Barkley, Pedro and Lucas Piazon, but better to fluff your lines in the dress rehearsal than on the big day.

Chelsea flew back to London immediately after the game, and the manager will continue to work with his squad on what is expected of them in the new season.

On the horizon are friendlies with Inter Milan and Arsenal, and those games will sharpen minds and bodies ahead of what will be the first test of the new manager’s methods when Chelsea face Manchester City in the Community Shield in a little under two weeks’ time.

188BET have Pep Guardiola’s City priced at 1.55 to win the first piece of silverware of the new season, with Chelsea available to back at 2.53.

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