Chelsea hesitate to play Nicolas Jackson in
August 14, 2023
August 14, 2023 — Chelsea hesitated to play the pass in to Nicolas Jackson against Liverpool on several occasions, wasting high-quality chances.
Both Raheem Sterling and Reece James had a great game combining on the right-wing, but the problem is that the goal is not located at the corner flag. Working the ball into the corner is key, but if the man is open centrally, he needs to be played in.
There was too much hesitation. The 10-second delay kills all momentum. Jackson would begin to make his run and timed it so that he would be at full speed by the time Sterling or James squared their feet forward, to pass. He had the speed advantage over Virgil Van Dijk and Ibrahima Konaté.
A full 3 seconds have gone by from the time Raheem Sterling received the ball, and Nicolas Jackson began his run. He’s fully in if he’s played the ball, but Sterling hesitates. He keeps dribbling.
By the time Sterling is about to pass, then Jackson is offside. The timing and chemistry are not there.
The moment Sterling turns, he immediately needs to think about the ball in behind. He doesn’t even need to think hard, Jackson is always making the run.
Enzo Fernandez also had a fantastic game, but they need that killer pass. It needs to be automatic.
Virgil Van Dijk is completely caught out here as he jumps too far to press Jackson. Just play the ball behind Liverpool’s backline on the ground.
Maybe from Sterling’s angle, this pass to Jackson is not possible, but if it was, you have to play Jackson in.
This is why Enzo Fernandez needs to be further forward because he’s the one that will pick out the direct pass.
When they hesitate, they make it harder for Jackson to time that run. That delay puts him offside. The shot he whiffed over the bar in the first half was a product of this miscued timing. James, Sterling, and Jackson are not yet on the same wavelength. Jackson had trouble anticipating, reading their mind, to know when the pass would come.
Receive, turn, immediately look to pass through on the ground, or vertically over the top behind the backline. Quick. If they can nail that timing down, then they can take full advantage of Jackson’s speed and finishing ability.