In the 90 minutes played at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Arsenal on Saturday, 39 shots taken: 24 from the hosts, 15 from the visitors, with dozens of glorious opportunities missed by either side. It made for a very entertaining affair for any “neutral” or those without rooting interest on either side. For the rest of us, it was a nail-biter, an emotional roller-coast ... fun?
For Jorginho, it was a test of good football vs. good football.
“I believe it was [probably] a beautiful game to watch, with loads of emotion. An open game in which the two teams tried to play [good football], and they did. So the TV watchers must have had a lot of fun.”
Here, “good football” refers only to the attacking side of things. In defense, neither side covered themselves in glory, and while that part isn’t exactly Jorginho’s forte, he knows exactly where Chelsea messed up to let Arsenal back in the game. Like the head coach, the midfield metronome also pointed to the team’s issue with pressing as a unit and keeping lines compact during those scary 15 minutes.
“We took control in the beginning of the game, and deserved the two goals [we scored]. We were dominating but then we lost a bit [of sense with regards to] the distance of the lines between defence, midfield and attack. So we let them create a few chances, whose merit is also theirs since they are a great team, and they ended up tying the score with two goals.”
“But at the end we deserved the win, for how many chances we created, how well we played and how we dominated the match in the second half as well.”
Chelsea came out of the break with a renewed sense of purpose, led in part by the former Napoli man, who could be seen urging his teammates to push up from first whistle to the last in the second half. Jorginho of course has a tremendous head start on the rest of his teammates, having been exposed to and become key to Sarri’s idea of football over the past couple years at Napoli.
But the rest of the squad is improving, and Jorginho’s seeing more and more signs of proper Sarri-ball.
“We have already done plenty of things that the coach asks of us. The pressing triggers, the tactical positioning, the positional interchange between fullbacks who do not need to wait and follow their attacker [on the flanks]... Some ‘classic’ tactics from this coach, who likes very offensive football.”
-Jorginho; source: ESPN Brasil
Sarri doesn’t expect the growing pains to subside for a couple more months, but if given time, patience, and belief, we may yet become fully versed in Sarrismo. And that could be fun, indeed.