Turning Cole Palmer into Jack Grealish would be a terrible idea as Chelsea hunt Pep football

Enzo Maresca is known for playing a very possession based style, and it’s known to be something that the Chelsea ownership desire in their team.

That puts a lot of pressure on him to turn this team into something new. Mauricio Pochettino had them playing pretty high tempo, and the squad seemed to be being built that way.

If Pochettino isn’t what you want, and you’re sacking him because you want Pep Guardiola disciples playing a possession game, why did they sign such direct wingers? If this is the overall plan, why was Pochettino hired?

There really seem like few players in the team ready to play that way. Man City had 19 games this season in all competitions where they completed over 90% of their passes (FBREF). Chelsea had 4. Chelsea had 4 games with 2 expected assists or more. Man City had 20.

Cole Palmer gets instructions from Pep Guardiola.

A bridge too far with a squad not built for it.

It’s just such a colossal gap, and it’s not clear if he’s going to have to players to make it happen. There are some good technical defenders, but even then, Reece James and Malo Gusto seem to sort a dynamic system more. Thiago Silva is leaving, Axel Disasi looks shaky and Badiashile has as many errors as flashes of quality. Levi Colwill can fit, but there’s precious little else promising.

In midfield it’s the same, Enzo Fernandez has the quality but Conor Gallagher and Moises’ Caicedo’s strengths are more explosive than considered. Even Cole Palmer has enjoyed the open spaces and freedom to take long shots and try risky passes. We hope Maresca isn’t planning to make him his Jack Grealish.

Can anyone see Mykhailo Mudryk or Noni Madueke being at their best in a patient, slow build up team?

It all seems like a risky pivot to make at this point.

Tags Enzo Fernandez

1 Comment

  1. Honestly, I don’t know where you come up with this stuff, SuperFrank. Cole Palmer’s game is nothing like Jack Grealish’s, and Palmer was raised in the City way of playing…which is a BIG reason why he’s so good! So why would we be worried about Palmer under a manager who was on Pep’s staff when they won the treble??? It make NO sense what you’re suggesting (except that the grousing is totally consistent with your MO).

    As for build up play having to be slow…. Just because you play out of the back does not mean you can’t hit a team quickly when they provide you an opening. Anyone who watches City or Arsenal can see they are MORE THAN CAPABLE of shredding a defense with vertical play (they just happen to be able to keep the ball the other 75% of the time too!).

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