The international break is finally over, and we can once again focus on club football, and that goes for every level of Chelsea, not just the first team of course.
There was still some Chelsea involvement during the international break however in the Football League. Sam Walker continued in goal for Colchester United as they suffer a 2-0 away defeat to Coventry.
Patrick Bamford continued his excellent goal scoring form for MK Dons, scoring the only goal for Dons in a 1-1 draw with Swindon and George Saville played 68 minutes during Brentford’s heavy 4-0 away defeat to Bradford.
All players continue to get decent game time at their respective clubs and Bamford showed impressive form, going a good way to possibly earning himself a Championship loan for the second half of the season.
In U21 football news, there has been much discussion about youth development in this country following the appointment of Gregg Dyke to the FA and his outline for the future of development.
For me, the biggest issue is the development of players between the ages of 18 and 23 where the level of football is not enough to continue the necessary development of these players.
However, there has been another step from the Premier League to address this with the announcement that from next season, the U21 Premier League will be split between 2 leagues. This will be split on the basis of this season’s finishing positions. The idea being that the prospect of promotion and relegation will be enough to create a more competitive edge to the league.
It is hoped that it will benefit this season as well because teams will be hoping to make the top league of the 2 for next year. This will be a helpful addition to the U21′s competition, but time will tell how much difference it will make.
Given the number of changes to the new academy formats over the last 2 seasons however, what it does highlight is that there is a big push for the right set up and the constant tweeking is a positive thing.
The U21s returned to action last night as they hosted Norwich at Aldershot. Once again the U21s were able to put in a very good performance and come out 2-0 winners with both of the goals scored from Josh McEachran.
McEachran was starting in one of the two midfield slots as he looked to get back into fitness for a new loan move. The game also saw Billy Clifford get some much needed minutes before he too heads out on another loan.
Jamal Blackman continued in goal and the regular sight now of Ssewankambo, Christensen and Ake were joined by Adam Nditi who made his first U21′s appearance of the season. The midfield composed of McEachran, John Swift and Lewis Baker with Billy Clifford and Isaiah Brown operating from a wide position this week, and Islam Feruz in the striker role.
The conditions were tough for the lads with a constant downpour through the whole game. The pitch held up well, but it was certainly difficult conditions.
Chelsea were dominant throughout the game with lots of possession and looking dangerous. Norwich however are a solid side, and they were organised and compact, making things hard for Chelsea to find the right final pass to make a decent chance.