Chelsea begin to fix timing issues
August 26, 2023
August 26, 2023 — Luton Town are not solid defensively, but some of the timing issues Chelsea experienced in their recent matches are starting to resolve.
August 14, 2023 — Chelsea hesitated to play the pass to Nicolas Jackson against Liverpool on multiple occasions, wasting high-quality chances.
Nicolas Jackson is always making the run. He is relentless.
In the first half, Chelsea had trouble finding Jackson. The majority of their progressive pass attempts were to the wings. It was only when they began to play passes like the one Enzo Fernandez made from Figure 1.1 in the second half that things began to happen. Jackson can’t score if he’s never given high-quality chances. Keep feeding the kid the ball.
Once you play Jackson in, Raheem Sterling is usually free on the back post. If the shot is not on, all Jackson has to do is play a ball to the top of the penalty area for the easy tap-in.
Raheem Sterling was man of the match, and importantly he is beginning to take the necessary risks. He’s not hesitating. The runs are being made; they just need that final pass to be made.
It’s not perfect yet though; there are times like this where a clear goalscoring opportunity is passed up for the safer option.
Once Jackson and Sterling get on the same page, teams will have trouble holding Chelsea back because the speed at which Jackson can break past backlines is too difficult to contain. Pair that with Sterling’s elite misdirection; it makes it feel like you’re defending against three men, not two.
The reason why I like Malo Gusto, Ian Maatsen, and Levi Colwill is that they all just go; they don’t wait to pass. Gusto receives the ball from Caicedo, and then he immediately zeroes in on the crossing target.
No delay; cross and score. It’s reliable and predictable, which makes ball-striking that much easier. The player receiving the ball knows when the pass is going to be played, so they can prepare their body to perfectly strike the ball.
If there’s any delay, the player striking the ball will often be off-balance, so they can’t get a clean strike on the ball.
This is perfect from Raheem Sterling. He doesn’t wait, just pass. Aim for the top of the penalty area; the run is always being made, and easy tap-in for Nicolas Jackson. There was a massive deflection on that pass, seen at a difficult angle, but the timing is there.
It’s all about timing. These players have the ability; they need time to mesh and become of the same mind.