Frank Lampard rotated and rested most of his usual starters in last night’s League Cup Round of 16 match against Manchester United, and that meant further starting opportunities for Academy teenagers Billy Gilmour and Marc Guehi, as well as a spot on the bench for Tariq Lamptey. Unfortunately, Chelsea would go on to lose thanks to a silly penalty and a wondergoal from Marcus Rashford. Football is often decided by such moments.
Guehi, who started alongside Kurt Zouma, and hardly put a foot wrong — his performance went largely unnoticed, which usually means good things for a defender — was gutted to not advance to the quarterfinals.
“The defeat is a tough one to take after such a good run of form, but the most important thing is to bounce back and recover and go again in the Premier League.
‘We played well in spells of the game. At half-time the manager said to carry on what we were doing, keep moving the ball fast, but with a bit more intensity and a bit more zeal to our game. That is what we tried to do and we came out fast and we came out strong. Michy scored a fantastic goal for us but unfortunately we came away with a loss.”
-Marc Guehi; source: Chelsea FC
The loss however also means that Chelsea are out of the League Cup, thus lose out on a few potential opportunities for the likes of Gilmour and Guehi (or Lamptey or Ian Maatsen or Tino Anjorin). But the youngsters are hoping this isn’t the end of the road for their chances this season. Considering how willing Lampard & Co have been to trust the kids, it probably won’t be.
Gilmour, who started in a midfield three alongside Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic, but then was pushed up into the No.10 position for the second half, impressed with his quick passing and up-tempo play, even if he looked a bit too small at times.
“I learned a lot. It was a massive step for me, and for Marc [Guehi] as well. It was a totally different match to Grimsby. Coming into this game we had to be on it, and we thought we played okay.
“I was hoping for a win which we didn’t get, which is gutting. Second half we were a totally different team. We changed formation in midfield with a two and a one, I was the one and had a bit more freedom to try and get on the ball. We looked more dominant on the front foot, we played very well and then just a great free-kick separated the two teams.’
“I was playing against McTominay who is a Scotland international. I wanted to put myself up against him and I thought I was okay against him. That’s the standard I want to be at really. It would be a big moment for me to represent my country at full level, but I just need to keep doing what I’m doing.
“Hopefully I get another opportunity at Chelsea this season, but obviously there are a lot of a great midfielders in the team, Jorginho, Kovacic, great players. I am looking up to them and taking parts of their game and trying to put them into my game in training.”
-Billy Gilmour; source: Chelsea FC
Last night’s game probably won’t be the last we see of either Gilmour or Guehi, this season or, especially, in the near future. They both look to be excellent prospects, with great promise, and these days, we can rest assured that they will get the opportunities they need to show that.
“It is a great opportunity. The manager has been giving young players a chance such as Fikayo, Tammy and Mason, and it really gives an incentive to us to go out there and try to prove a point. I was grateful for the opportunity again, and to go out and play against such a big club like Manchester United. Hopefully I can keep getting opportunities and keep showing everyone what I can do.”
-Marc Guehi; source: Chelsea FC
Onwards and upwards.