Chelsea have seven, almost entirely meaningless in the competitive sense, games left this season, and a massively bloated squad to tackle and rotate through them. It’s a bit of a menial quest, any way we’re looking at it, and it surely doesn’t make sense to push players into action who may be carrying minor injuries or dealing with longer-running issues.
Two such players are Reece James and Mason Mount, with Frank Lampard revealing in today’s pre-match press conference that both Academy graduates are being shut down for the season. Also Kai Havertz has a knee problem and thus joins Kalidou Koulibaly and Armando Broja on the sidelines.
“Reece James is unavailable, probably for the season. Mason Mount is the same. Potential for the last game of the season but probably not. [Kai] still struggling a little bit with his knee, won’t be available for tomorrow but the good news is he should be training at the end of the week.
“[Reece] had a hamstring he picked up in the Madrid game, he got through the game but we scanned it the following day. Mason has been carrying this pelvic injury for quite a while [...] we’ve been trying [but] we’ve got to the stage now where he’ll have a minor surgery. Probably a four-week recovery and we know where that gets us to.”
Certainly the wise choice in both players’ cases, though if Mount ends up leaving without even a proper chance to say goodbye, that will be even more sad and tragic. Sign the thing!
Meanwhile, Lampard expects the rest of the squad to keep putting in proper effort, if for nothing else as an audition for next season and the incoming new head coach, Mauricio Pochettino.
“I don’t have a mentality that there’s nothing to play for. [...] It comes down again to your personal pride, responsibility, and wearing the shirt. We’ve now got seven games, four against the top four, three away from home. The run-in is really tough, there’s no doubt about that.
“My interest is to see how the players react to that one because they’re tough games. There’s always something on those games, I understand that, and the players have to understand that. [They] have to train, those seven games and days of training are all opportunities every day to try and show you deserve to be in the team.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
Here’s to seven straight 3-0 victories!