After four years of working with Maurizio Sarri, first at Napoli and then at Chelsea, Jorginho has flown the family coop and is ready to spread his wings outside the confines of Sarri-ball. Expected to be utilized mostly in a double-pivot now (4-2-3-1) instead of always and only at the base of a midfield-three (4-3-3), the 27-year-old is excited by the prospect of showing that he can indeed do more than just keep possession ticking over.
As we saw against Barcelona on Tuesday, when he was paired with Mateo Kovačić, Jorginho just might be able to back those intentions with solid action.
“This formation is new for me but I like it. Last season we had three midfielders and now we are two. We are trying to work hard and we need to run a lot, but I think we can do many good things.
“I have more space to create and it means I am more free and can do more things with my creativity. I like it and think I can adapt. Of course you need a little bit of time but we are working very well.”
“My characteristic is to be there and to control the game, so I think I will be there to control and organise the team. I stay in the middle and my team-mates can go to attack. Maybe it will mean more assists, maybe not.”
Incidentally, Jorginho did get credited with the assist on Tammy Abraham’s opening goal, though that had more to do with his high press on Sergio Busquets than any actual passing ability (Jorginho blocked the pass forward and it fell kindly to a wide open Abraham).
But that sort of intensity is also a welcome new facet to Jorginho’s game, which Lampard already acknowledged as well. After a year of double-takes every time N’Golo Kanté turned up in the final third, now we might have to do that with Jorginho!
“I learnt a lot in the last season with the intensity and aggressiveness in our system. I think I can help my team-mates this season. I think I am more aggressive.”
Jorginho of course had a career before he first met Sarri, but the two had become so closely associated with and seemingly dependent on each other since 2015 that an almost familial relationship had been assumed to exist. Joining Chelsea within hours of each other last summer didn’t dissuade that notion, though Sarri seemed more than willing to jump ship to Juventus on his own this summer.
That said, Jorginho had always talked down the idea of a personal relationship with his manager. saying that it was something Sarri didn’t “particularly care much about”, which certainly fits the man’s reserved public demeanor. And now, Jorginho’s football paterfamilias is Frank Lampard.
“He was my manager, he wasn’t my friend. We worked together for four years but this is another time, it is another page, another chapter, another time in my life. I look forward to that now.
“Sarri has left and I have stayed here and I need to do a job for my team at Chelsea. I have a long contract, four more years and I am very happy at the moment and very happy at Chelsea and hope to be here a long time.”
A new chapter in more ways than one. But the hard work continues.
Let’s hope the winning continues as well.
“We have put in a lot of work for the new season. We want to win every match. We have to try to win every game and try to think about the next game, then the next game, then the next game, then we’ll see what happens.”
-Jorginho; source: Mail