Out Of Favour Chelsea Stars Terry, Fabregas, Zouma And Batshuayi Knock Conte’s Door With Development Team Action

John Terry, Cesc Fabregas, Kurt Zouma and Michy Batshuayi played for a Chelsea development team against Southampton at Cobham on Monday. The engaging Premier League 2 match ended 3-2, in favour of the team in blue and Antonio Conte was closely governing the performance of his out-of-favour stars. It’s fairly a strange podium, yet they went all-out to impress their boss.

John Terry

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It was good to witness the 35-year-old getting some playing minutes with the youngsters yet the only burst of the bubble is playing without the captain’s armband, which remained with the regular development squad skipper, Fankaty Dabo. Yet, that did not stop the Chelsea legend to ooze out his leadership skills.

He was rock-solid, governing the three-man defence with composure and his sheer amount of experience easily eclipsed the Southampton youngsters for the most part yet signs of rustiness were evident a couple of times. In the away side’s first goal, he should have got close enough to Olufela Olomola and their second involved the former England international too, as Josh Sims’ strike could only deflect off his legs.

Overall, Terry looked comfortable in the new backline and had an eye for the goal in the opponent’s box during set pieces. He was withdrawn in the second half as the Blues were chasing for an equaliser.

Cesc Fabregas

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The Spaniard showcased sheer hunger of beating the odds that the 3-4-3 formation was not his thing. It was a valuable fitness test for Fabregas too, who recently had a little trouble on his thighs.

The former Arsenal and Barcelona man did not look like he came off the cuff, he simply continued doing what he is known for, setting the tone for strikers with his trademark passes. The 29-year-old linked up pretty well with Marco Van Ginkel and supplied delightful passes to both flanks and bagged himself two assists in the process. His corners were commendable too, it did create lots of havoc in the opponent’s half. Besides that, he showed the willingness to nullify threats when Southampton broke forward with fair recovery tackles, which is certainly a big uptick in the qualification book of Conte.

N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic have made the central midfield spots their own yet this performance got Fabregas knocking the door louder for an entrance ticket to the starting eleven. Till then, Fabregas could be assigned to more development football or wait till January to pounce any valuable offers.

Kurt Zouma

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Chelsea fans surely have their lips curved upwards after knowing reliable youngster Kurt Zouma has finally returned to action. The Frenchman failed to get the foothold of the game and evidently towed along some pressure as his passing was poor and got booked for a clumsy challenge in the first half.

However, as the match advanced, he was more calm and composed, with John Terry stationed alongside him. Midway through the second half, the home side got deeper and deeper, and the Frenchman ventured forward yet none of his long-range efforts and heading opportunities turned fruitful. Looking at the bright side, he is getting closer to full fitness but may need some patience before getting his name into the first team.

Michy Batshuayi

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The clamour for an additional striker is completely nullified by the sizzling form of Diego Costa, thus the 23-year-old is often shackled onto the bench. Also, looking at his style of play at his former side Marseille, many highlighted that the Belgian needs another striker by his side to get the best out of him.

Batshuayi buried the critics with a brace by playing Costa’s role in the attacking trident of the Blues. Both goals were spectacular, his quick feet and pace found him a route to goal for his opener, while the second was a beautiful curler from his left foot.

He could have easily sealed a hat trick, but his inconsistent finishing ruined an icing on the cake. On a longer run, he would be a focal point of Chelsea’s attack but for time being, some development team practices and substitute appearances for the first team won’t hurt him much.

1 Comment

  1. joseph Porto

    November 24, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Conte has an in house solution for the defense.Reports emerge as Barca targeting Iva as temporary winger.
    I don’t think Barcelona want to use Ivanovich as winger but as alternative central defender. But thinking in a David Luis absence, the only player who could fill the ballot today is Ivanovich.
    If Conte redefined Azpi as central defender in his trio, would not be posible to redefine the same to Ivanovich which was a former central defender? Of course it is posible, and that’s precisely the solution for Chelsea defense. Now we will have 5 players (plus Iva and Zouma) ready to rotate in those 3 positions. Last game Luis and Azpi were booked, sooner than later we have to start rotations.
    I respect very much Azpi and Iva, but after seeing Alonzo and Moses I have to say that for the new characteristics of those positions they don’t fit any more, they are defenders in the best jerarquie and have to play in those 3 defenders line.
    The amount of energy required is huge and require real young atletes as Moses and Alonso, Iva at 32 and heavy weight is ideal as central defender but not for the wing any more. So he has to talk with Conte, and redefine his role. It is the most stupid decisition to preffer Terry in that 3 defender positions. In the Chelsea bench have to be Zouma and Iva.
    These are Alonso own words playing for Conte:
    “It’s working very well, I have to run a lot but we are not conceding and we’re creating lots of chances. I’m very happy to be helping the team and to be winning. We have to keep going like this.”
    Is Conte serious this is the Ivanovich future? “run a lot”? At 32 being a strong and huge player? Be serious! If you want to help Terry ok, but why don’t you want to help Iva? Aren’t they the same blood and flesh? Why not preffer the younger with 4 years more in the appropiate position? Does some stupid think Iva next club will put him with all his experience and talent as winger and not as captain and central defender? Why Conte insist in Terry? Is he in debt for his media machine as Mourinho?
    Why Terry is on?, if we will be against Barca or Bayern in a final, we will be happy to have Zouma and Ivanovich in case any suspension. Not Terry! Do you capisce Conte? Stop working for the media machine!

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