Football’s been back for a couple of weeks now, after it’s enforced break of 3 months, but one player has yet to make an appearance.
From part-time captain to warming the bench, does Jorginho have cause for concern?
A suspension thanks for the accumulation of 10 yellow cards, Jorginho’s enforced absence from the team allowed Lampard to tinker with his team selection.
Many thought, myself included, that Billy Gilmour, who had deputised in the 4-0 win over Everton in the last game before lockdown, would start against Aston Villa, but Lampard opted with N’Golo Kante.
It became clear during the next fixture, against Manchester City at home, that this was a dress rehearsal.
Kante, despite what some may believe, has never played the lone defensive midfielder role, but the teams performance against City, which earned a valuable 3 points in the race for Champions League football.
The biggest surprise of the 3 games post lockdown was the continuation of Kante in that role for the FA Cup game against Leicester City.
Lampard had Gilmour and Mason Mount occupying the midfield roles ahead of him.
This of course, did not work, with neither Gilmour nor Mount really understanding the role or able to get into the game at all.
Which of course forced Lampard into that triple half time substitution, none of which were Jorginho.
So does the Italian really have cause for concern?
Many believe that Lampard wants to move the squad next season to have Kante holding and two number 8’s.
That would of course see Jorginho surplus to requirements, but in turn, as proven by the Leicester City game, also put Gilmour’s future in doubt.
Lampard has shown he’s not afraid to make changes, but he also likes to stick to winning formulas.
He wore a suit against Manchester United on the opening day of the season, got beat 4-0, and never wore it again.
Superstitions are part of Lampard’s personality and changing winning tactics are part of them.
Nobody touched the ball more than Kante against Leicester, yet the team played dreadfully.
There was no control, no fluidity, and only very rare moments of attacking intent.
Keep possession, and press quickly when out of possession. Lampard is merely showing tactical flexibility in his approach based on the opponents that we face.
Jorginho will return to the base of Chelsea’s midfield soon enough, but not while Chelsea keep winning.