Pre-season kicked off in earnest last night for the Blues against New York Red Bulls and there were more than few talking points.
New York Red Bulls scored 4 second half goals after Loic Remy had given Chelsea the lead. There was a Hazard reply in amongst the mess but all in all it was a bad night at the office for the Blues.
As Debuts Go, This One Was Pretty Bad
Begovic’s debut will be covered in microscopic detail in all of the match reviews that come out in the press. Personally I won’t read too much into a 45 minute performance in a game that really doesn’t count for much.
The whole defensive display was uncharacteristically sloppy – a mistake in the first half nearly landed Courtois in trouble – and it’s hard to place too much blame on Begovic for the first goal. Yes he probably should have won the ball and been a bit stronger in the tackle. But it’s pre season!
While no-one will want to dwell on this performance, Begovic in particular, there needs to be a notable improvement as we head into the next few games.
Rare Starts But Regular Starters?
Victor Moses and Loic Remy both made the starting 11. While Remy’s inclusion is less of a surprise, Moses appears to be working as hard as he can to prove to Jose that he’s still valuable to the club.
Granted he had a solid season at Stoke and there’s no doubt they would bite our hands off should the opportunity arise to take him back permanently or temporarily. However on returning to Chelsea, he joins the back of a pretty impressive queue.
Willian and Cuadrado have only recently joined back up with the squad after their Copa America exploits and it’s fair to suggest they will both be given time on the pitch to improve their fitness and, in Cuadrado’s case, prove a point.
The level of quality will be a step up for the next few friendlies and it will interesting to see how Moses fares. It may just be the case that Jose is putting him in the shop window as August begins to roll round.
Remy on the other hand is showing some good form, is being given playing time in the starting eleven and (say it quietly) the transfer speculation around him seems to have died down somewhat.
With Falcao and Costa’s injury history, I firmly believe there’s a strong case for Remy to be a crucial player for us in the coming season.