Jorginho made headlines for many negative reasons last season, including his transfer fee, his previous association with Maurizio Sarri, and his subsequent scapegoating for all of Chelsea’s ails under the former manager, but the 27-year-old has flipped the script in spectacular style over the course of 2019. From a man booed and whistled to a man serenaded by chants of “Jorginho, Jorginho”, the Chelsea vice-captain not only leads the team in minutes, but leads the team with his passion, personality, and preeminence.
We shouldn’t forget about a fourth ‘P’, passing. It is, after all, his calling card. Of the short variety anyway. But Jorginho has been working on his through balls and longer-range passing for many a month, even before being unshackled from the previous tactical setup.
The pass for the opening goal against Watford was a most juicy fruit of that labor, with many calling it the pass of the season so far. Even Cesc Fàbregas would’ve been proud of that first-time ball over the top, catching out the defenders and presenting Tammy Abraham with a great chance, which he finished in unerring style. An assist for Jorginho? You better believe it! (And technically it’s not even his first of the season!)
Unsurprisingly, the play was no accident, as Abraham revealed after the game. It was a product of many hours of practice. Practice does make perfect!
“We have been working on that in training. [Jorginho] told me he was going to try it today so I just had to time my run, try to stay onside and get a good finish and that is what I did. We have been doing it a lot in training and we have tried it a few times this season. It has come off a few times and sometimes it hasn’t but I was ready today.”
And it was no different for the second goal, where Abraham turned provider and laid a perfect ball across the six-yard box for Christian Pulisic to finish. None of that sequence happened by accident.
“[Pulisic] is a good player to play with. We have been working in training on movement for when he crosses it or I cross it. We know where we are going to be in the box and it is just about getting the ball to him.”
-Tammy Abraham; source: Chelsea FC
So when Lampard repeatedly emphasizes the need for relentless hard work in training, it’s not just for the fun of it or just to reach for some tried and true cliches to fill an answer-space. There’s method to the madness, and it’s surely nice to see it pay off in a game situation.
Long may that go on!