1. REECE JAMES (7.1)
Fouls drawn: 1
Reece James didn’t get to finish the game, yet he still ended up with more touches than all but Jorginho, further underlining his growing influence and importance to the team. Unfortunately, we could not convert any one of his number of excellent crosses or through balls, and now he could be out for some time. The collision with Newcastle’s Ciaran Clark did not look good in the least on his right leg/knee, and even Lampard couldn’t summon a hopeful prognosis in the immediate aftermath. So we wait, and hope.
2. N’GOLO KANTÉ (5.9)
Fouls committed: 4
Chelsea’s loss has spurred a fresh round of “what’s going on with Kanté” talks, with some going as far as to suggest that we need to sell him. There’s never a shortage of hot takes in Chelsealandia, that’s for sure. While it’s clear that Kanté is operating at a level below his previous incredible best, and he may be starting on the downwards slope of his career, he mainly just needs to figure out how to kick his injury habit to get a solid run of games under his belt, and maybe return to playing in midfield-twos, rather than being forced into midfield-threes. That said, Kanté was one of the few names singled out for individual praise after this disappointing result by Frank Lampard, so his place in the team is probably not under any actual immediate threat
3. ROSS BARKLEY (5.6, sub)
I was surprised to see Barkley this high up, though we’re talking small margins among all the ratings under than for Reece James. In fact, since no one other than James really stands out in this game, we might as well give it to Ross, who’s now made an appearance in 3 straight games after missing 17 in a row. Yeah, he’s probably not going anywhere this January.
”His training in the last month particularly has been absolutely focused. He has been doing extra work and the injury he had was a really niggly injury which was difficult for him because he was one foot in training and one foot out. He was training at a certain per cent to try to show that he was there but you could see clearly he wasn’t, and I respected that, he was trying.
“Now that has cleared up and he is working hard and showing his qualities, particularly against Burnley, and that is great news for all of us.”
“There is a lot of talent in Ross and as a coach, I want to maximise that for the best for us and for him.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
vs. NEWCASTLE (PL, A, L 0-1)
EXCEPTIONAL (9.0+): —
EXCELLENT (8.0-8.9): —
GOOD (7.0-7.9): James (7.1)
AVERAGE (6.0-6.9): —
POOR (5.0-5.9): Kanté (5.9), Barkley (5.6, sub), Christensen (5.5), Jorginho (5.5), Emerson (5.2, sub)
BAD (4.0-4.9): Azpilicueta (4.9), Hudson-Odoi (4.9), Abraham (4.7), Rüdiger (4.7), Willian (4.4), Batshuayi (4.1, sub), Mount (4.1), Arrizabalaga (4.0)
TERRIBLE (3.0-3.9): —