The narrative was building. In the battle of Chelsea Academy right backs, Tariq Lamptey was having the more impressive game, showing off his cheat-code speed at every possible opportunity, giving Chelsea left back Marcos Alonso a torrid time.
But just when it looked like it would be one of those days for Chelsea, Reece James stepped up to unleash an absolute rocket into the top corner and restore Chelsea’s lead after a rather soft equalizer crept in at the far post from the home side. James has been trying these long bombs for a while now, coming ever closer. It was only a matter of time before one would find the back of the net.
CUE THE MEMES!
*Lamptey having MOTM performance*— Yan (@ChelseaYannick) September 14, 2020
Reece James - pic.twitter.com/UtXhzT9LAi
It was a goal that had us jumping out of our seats — or as head coach Frank Lampard put it, “off [his] seat” — and dropping our jaws, but young Reece James, in classic Reece James style, wasn’t getting carried away in the post-match interview.
“Yeah, I mean obviously it was a good goal.”
-Reece James; source: Sky
WHOA WHOA WHOA CALM DOWN REECE, GEEEZ
With James just praising the team performance, it was left up to the head coach to give the goal and the individual performance its proper due.
“Reece James’ goal, it had me off my seat and we needed it, we weren’t at our best in that period. Reece has got that in him, he is a player of such quality. You try and get him in areas where he can be a threat.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Sky via Goal
James finished the match at defensive midfield after Jorginho was forced off five minutes from time by an apparent knock. That sort of versatility will serve him well as he battles for minutes with Chelsea captain César Azpilicueta at right back.
“The goal did not surprise me. I know he can catch hold of shots and we try to get him in those positions to get shots away. It was so clean but I know he has that in him.
“For the young players, the opportunities are there if the lads train well and perform well, and Reece does that for us. Right-back is a position where I have two quality players I can pick, with slightly different attributes, and that is a good problem for me.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
Reece James had a good debut season, and is certainly off to a flying start in his sophomore year. Here’s to the right back position being in good hands for the foreseeable future!