One of the unfortunate sides of Chelsea’s 2-1 loss to Liverpool at the Bridge today was seeing our players suffering injuries yet again.
We had left-back Emerson walking out 15 minutes into the match to be replaced by Marcos Alonso, in his first match since returning from a hamstring injury picked up during international duty with Italy two weeks ago; and Andreas Christensen giving way to Kurt Zouma, after a unlucky clash with fellow centre-back Fikayo Tomori on minute 42 of the match.
According to manager Frank Lampard, Emerson suffered a similar injury to what he got with the Italian national team earlier this month. Whereas Christensen suffered a ‘bang’ on his left knee’s back that did not look severe as per his staff’s initial assessment.
“Emerson is a similar injury to what he had, which with a muscle it means you have come back too soon, and that is not a slight on him because everybody wants to play in this game. Those things should not happen.
“Christensen is a bang on the back of the knee which we will assess. First thought is that it is not that bad.”
Injuries aside, Chelsea have plenty of offensive options that Lampard can rely upon to provide the goalscoring we need. On paper, names such as our massive signing, Christian Pulisic, are certainly a highlight.
But that has not been the case for the young American in practice, as he has failed to impress in the opportunities he got under Lamps thus far. He was not included in today’s starting eleven, and questions have begun to rise on the youngster’s quality.
Those will not be entertained by Lampard. His reason to pick Willian and another youngster, Mason Mount, over Pulisic in his 4-3-3 scheme today was down to the former’s good form as of late, and the latter’s good work in pressing the opposition high up the pitch.
“[Pulisic] is not a victim of the injuries, but just that I have a squad to pick from. He played before that a few games, Willian has come back in and been sharp and good.
“I decided to go with Mason today because we needed to stay strong in midfield and push Mason up higher up the pitch. It is just my choice to make and he will get ample opportunities.”
Lampard was also quick to highlight how young Pulisic is. Although he has been making the round in the world of football since at least 2016 for Borussia Dortmund and the United States national team, he is only 21 years old — and younger than some of his (also young) teammates, such as Tomori and striker Tammy Abraham.
“He is a young player. As much as everyone is talking about Mason, Tammy, Tomori, he is younger than some of them so his chances will come.”
At the same time, chances will be not be handled to Pulisic on a plate just because he is a big signing. He will need to work for them in training sessions, to win his place back in our team over fellow youngsters and some of our veterans who are currently performing better than him off the pitch.
“[It’s not about being settled], I can’t talk exactly for him, but it’s just the choice I have to make.
“There is him on the bench, Pedro, Ross Barkley, Batshuayi who deserves more minutes for the way that he is training at the moment.”
-Frank Lampard; Source: football.london
Luckily for us, Pulisic has never been known as one to run from challenges. So hopes are that this will not last for long, as he can be very important for us in the short run.