clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Lampard hails academy day and standout performances from Billy Gilmour, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Reece James

New, comments

You will know the YOUTH, and the YOUTH shall set you free

Chelsea FC v Grimsby Town - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Tonight’s win marks Frank Lampard’s first home victory. A thrilling Fourth Round Carabao Cup tie saw Chelsea delight the home support to the tune of SEVEN goals.

The theme from today’s victory will be youth. Lampard handed four academy graduates their senior team debut.

There may have been concern pre-match to avoid a shocking result like Tottenham suffered by the hands of Colchester, who currently sit level with Grimsby Town in League Two. However, Lampard put his faith in the Chelsea youth, and they did not disappoint.

“Says a lot about the academy because they have worked so hard for a lot of years and nights like this and a draw we had like this, and that’s no disrespect to Grimsby, it’s just what it is, the opportunity to mix the teams and give them a chance was something I had to take up so it gives good recognition to the academy for the work out in over the years.

It says we have got good young players but they are all at the start of their journeys so these minutes are hugely important for them to gain confidence ...”

In total, eleven changes were made from the team that faced Liverpool this past Sunday. Billy Gilmour was handed his first start, Callum Hudson-Odoi made his return to the senior team, and academy products Marc Guehi and Reece James made their senior team debut.

Tino Anjorin and Ian Maatsen made their debuts in the second half. At one point in the match, Chelsea fielded six academy products on the pitch.

Billy Gilmour, fantastic debut, run the game from midfield. Marc Guehi, solid and they have deserved their starts for how they train when they are with us and when they play for the 23s, They have been outstanding this year and then the young boys who came on as subs, who are still really young boys, just show their comfort on the ball and how they are.

So the opportunities are there, it has to be deserved and the hard work begins to try and get in their regularly and show they are worthy of being in the squad.”

Aside from Gilmour, who put in a fantastic and measured performance in midfield, Reece James was perhaps the other standout academy player on the night.

With two assists and a goal, James was able to put on display for the home support a top class modern fullback performance. It will be hard for Lampard to keep James on the bench with performances like this.

“I think he can get much better because he has been out for a long time and sort of played minimal minutes in the 23s. Yeah, Reece’s performance last year at Wigan and he was in Team of the Year in the Championship show the talent he has got. I think he is going to be a big player for this club, he has got a great player and person to look up to in Azpilicueta, who is in his position and as he improves and works hard, which he will do, he showed his real qualities on the ball today.”

Callum Hudson-Odoi capped off the seven goal fest with a tidy left-footed finish. Fresh off signing a new contract, Hudson-Odoi made his first senior team appearance of the season.

For Hudson-Odoi, building momentum after his injury setback will be important. Lampard knows the quality is there, it is up to Hudson-Odoi to put in the work to keep a high level of consistent play.

“Firstly he has signed up, so that is good so that puts to bed everything else. In terms of his performance, I thought first half not so sure. I thought him and Christian as wingers, the message was to hurt the line and run behind and get into the box to take people on. It wasn’t happening and that message didn’t get across. It was reinforced pretty strongly and in the second half he managed to get into better positions. Callum’s talent means that he absolutely work hard to run behind people, to get at people, to be inside, be outside and work off the ball, all those things.

Where he needs to learn because if he wants to play week in and week out that is what he is going to have to do.”

Showing signs of true “manager ethos”, Lampard was able to find the faults with such a one-sided victory. It would be of no surprise if the embarrassing defensive mistake where Chelsea conceded from a Grimsby Town goal kick is a topic of interest in tomorrow’s training.

Overall, Lampard expressed his delight with the match. Hard not to feel positive when your team scores seven goals

“Pleasing on lots of levels yes, complete I suppose I would possibly disagree with little parts 20 minutes at 2-1. Probably not scoring more goals although that sounds strong at 7-1 but we had more chances particularly in the second half but pleased

[. . .] nice comfortable win having not won here yet so on those levels of course I am happy.”

- Frank Lampard, Source: Football.London

Trust the Process is a popular phrase used elsewhere in sports. For Chelsea, Lampard is showing that the club can rely on the academy. While Grimsby Town is a club playing multiple tiers below the Premier League, the Chelsea kids showed that they can rise to the occasion.

Up next for Chelsea is a date with Manchester United in what will surely be a clash of youth products.