Insights from open Chelsea training offer intriguing outlook – Talk Chelsea

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Chelsea partook in their first training session over night in the USA ahead of their game in the early hours of tomorrow morning. It was an open session with many things to have a look at, so let’s have a look at some key takeaways and the very interesting things we spotted during training.

Gary Cahill is with the squad, believed to be doing some promo stuff out there for the club, but I’m not entirely sure of the details there. Even still, he couldn’t resist doing the cross bar challenge. Great to see Gaz back in Chelsea gear and with the team.

Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino met up with co-owner Behdad Eghbali at the end of the training session, and the American also watched the session from the sidelines.

Chelsea Co Owner Behdad Eghbali

Chelsea Co-Owner Behdad Eghbali

Pochettino also took some time out to speak with transfer chiefs Paul Winstanley and Laurence Steward, who were also in attendance at the session. Hopefully reiterating exactly what we need, and ASAP!

Parts of the session itself was intense. Some first hand accounts have told me there was lots of hard drills and running, which comes as no surprise.

Pochettino then set the team up in a 4-2-3-1 formation and ran some in-play game drills.

Scott Trotter of Football London reports that he believes based on what he say, that this could be the starting Xl for Wrexham:

Cumming (unsure), Gusto, Chalobah, Humphreys, Cucurella, Casadei, Santos, Moreira, Chukwuemeka, Maatsen, Jackson.

The second Xl looked like this:

Bergstrom, Gilchrist, Silva, Hall, Chilwell, Gallagher, Burstow, Nkunku, Sterling, Gabriel, Richards (can’t play tomorrow).

Ben Chilwell picked up a small knock but was soon back out on the pitch so seems fine.

Bruno Salter was out there coaching as well and he was the one setting the drills up at the start of the session.

Chelsea Training Usa Tour

There was also some small-sided games player, and in this clip below you can see Christopher Nkunku starting and finishing a nice move!

Some more tactical takeaways courtesy of CFC Central now.

Takeaways from training:

• Intense work under sweltering NC weather with emphasis on hard running.

• Too many LBs, so Maatsen played at LW, even LCM.

• Jackson instructed to drop deeper than attackers behind him, switch to either wing and attack box.

• Mudryk’s agility is supremely impressive; even more astounding in person.

• One drill practiced extensively focused on “resetting.” Ball went to GK, 2 CBs wide + Andrey Santos central. Quick, vertical buildup with emphasis on FBs making channel runs and Jackson laying off to CMs before attacking box.

• Non-existent crossing. Wide players + FBs focused on low crosses or sharp cutbacks.

• Used Jackson as furthest runner to pull back at edge of the box for 10.

• Far side winger/AM asked to attack far post for deliveries.

• 5v2 rondos.

You can see a little clip of Santos dropping in to collect the ball from the GK below.

It seems there was a real emphasis on narrow and high full backs, which will suit Ben Chilwell and Reece James nicely.

According to Nizaar Kinsella, there was a youth vs senior game and Malo Gusto ‘crunched’ Raheem Sterling in one tackle! There’s a little clip of the game below.

Chelsea were doing a shape training exercise at one point, using 4-2-3-1/4-3-3.

I’m told by someone who was watching the training that Pochettino stopped the session quite a bit to make sure his instructions were being heard and followed.

At the end of the session the players signed some autographs for the fans and I’m told it was Malo Gusto and Diego Moreira who came over first. Levi Colwill pictured below signing a scarf.

Levi Colwill picturedbBelow signing a scarf

Levi Colwill picturedbBelow signing a scarf

I’m told Enzo Fernandez was the one who led and encouraged the rest of the players over to sign autographs.

According to London is Blue Podcast, who were in attendance and the ones who provided most of these images above, 30 minutes after training finished, Thiago Silva was the last Chelsea player to leave the pitch after signing autographs.

I can also add that it has mainly been fitness drills so far under Pochettino’s training, so these really are the first main bits of tactical drills (obviously there has been some) that the players have really had to follow. So there will be some time needed for the players to get what he wants from them.

Fitness levels will be through the roof regardless though, which is so important. Matching teams physically in the Premier League can sometimes win you games alone, and we certainly lacked that last season.

Excited for the game now!

With thanks to Nizaar Kinsella, Scott Trotter, London is Blue Podcast, CFC Central and of course my sources on the ground, for the info and images.

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