With most of the senior team still on a post-World Cup break, Chelsea's pre-season campaign got off to a very youthful start on Wednesday. Which worked out well enough -- the Blues won 5-0 and youngsters were involved in every goal. Assistant manager Steve Holland was fairly happy with how the kids played:
It is a very high level they are trying to reach.
There will be bigger tests than this but we said to them before the game that you don’t get many opportunities at any big club, and when you do get the opportunity to show what you can do under the eye of the manager and playing in the same side as other seasoned internationals you have to take it and make the most of every minute.
It was a very positive night for all the young players and they can all be pleased with their contribution. One or two particularly will have done themselves no harm.
The one or two or perhaps three in particular who stood out might have been Patrick Bamford, Jeremie Boga and Izzy Brown, who combined for three goals and two assists on Wednesday. Bamford tucked away his lone chance very nicely and helped out on the other end of the pitch, both of Brown's goals were very well taken, and Boga caused all kinds of problems when he ran with the ball -- more, it might be suggested, than full international and first-teamer Mohamed Salah managed.
Bear in mind, however, that pre-season for the senior members of the squad tends to be more about getting reps in than impressing. It's the fringe players and youngsters we expect to be playing hardest, making the most of what for them is a rare opportunity, and it's not a surprise that they're the ones standing out in pre-season. Don't get too carried away, then, with how everyone looks at the moment.