Friday was the eighth and final day of training at Dublin’s Carton House, with a friendly to follow today (Saturday) against St Pats then a flight back home to London for a couple days rest. Preseason then resumes with a trip to the other side of the world, for a weeklong stay in Japan, with two more games and much more training to follow.
What have we learned so far? Mostly that Lampard & Co are running a tight, efficient, and very intense ship so far, with double sessions most days and little time wasted between or during drills. The new head coach made it clear in his post-match comments on Wednesday that he wants and needs Chelsea to get to a certain baseline level of fitness before anything else, so the emphasis has been on the physical aspect — especially with far more players in camp than who are ever going to play a part this season. With a month to go yet until the first game of the season, there’s plenty of time left to drill on tactics and movements.
But that’s not to say there hasn’t been time for any fun. In fact, the good feels and positive vibes are practically overflowing at this point — and the Chelsea social media team have been much better than in past years at letting us see that. Here’s a fun video of the “bin challenge” from Thursday, pitting youth vs. experience, with the latter winning out. It’s quite instructive to see just how much calmer the older players are in their approach, even finding time to showboat at the end. The full eight minute video of the youngsters’ effort was also posted to Instagram, with poor Kasey Palmer catching a bit of good-natured flack for his triple fail at the end.