A First Glimpse Of The Future….Or Is It?

So, I finally got around to going to one of our youth games – albeit the first leg of the FA Cup because I’m just a big bloody glory hunter really – and all things considered, I came away pretty impressed.

I say all things considered because, having vacated the pub a little late and made it just as we’d kicked off, several games of musical seats then ensued because some people are just a bit anal really. Still, finally settled, or as settled as you can be with one of the many flags left over from Wednesday night wedged in your ribs, you’d assume I could just get on with watching the game? Apparently not though, thanks to a couple in front choosing now of all times to have a full-on domestic, complete with hen-pecked bloke scuttling along after missus.

Clearly, she wasn’t impressed with our first 15 minutes either – because aside from Todd Kane forcing a low save, Blackburn had the brighter start. Fortunately, Jamal Blackman was more than up to whatever they had to offer and it was Chelsea opening the scoring in the 20th minute with Chalobah nodding in from Amin Affane’s cross. I have to admit that gave me a bit of a dilemma, I mean, did I stick to polite applause or stand up and give it some – at the risk of looking like one of them embarrasing school-mums who dishes out the oranges at half-time? Still, I don’t think anyone noticed my involuntary cheer, so I probably got away with it.

Anyway, the goal quietened down the travelling Blackburn masses – ok, I’m joking since there was all of about 30 of them and I’m not sure whether they were genuine Blackburn fans or just an anti-Chelsea crowd with nothing better to do on a Friday evening – but they seemed to have been making a bit more noise than us either way. Not for long though because Urwin (their keeper apparently) woke us up a bit, looking to have handled a mile outside the area (replays apparently showed it differently).  And then – with less of a dilemma this time, since I’d sussed how it works,  it was all stand again with Baker curling into the top corner from Piazon’s pass.

2-0 at half-time then and time to consider why the ‘domestic’ couple had even bothered skulking back into their seats, since they were clearly more focused on bickering than watching a game – and just enough time for a quick tweet or two seeing as there was a bizarrely good reception for Stamford Bridge.  And then it was back to finish the job – and finish the job they did. With a much more commanding second half and a couple of goals from the lively Feruz, we take a 4-0 lead into the second leg.

So, of note overall (apart from the pitch which looked a bit like my back garden after our midweek game and aside from feeling a lot less au fait with the proceedings than I do watching the first team play), was the general feeling that we were sat there watching some real talent that might never grace the first team – and we’re not talking silly money transfer players here, we’re talking some proper home growns.

Ok, so Piazon was brought in for £5million, but then he Is ‘the new Kaka’ – plenty of promise a la Kaka there as well. He’s got a good eye for a pass and looks more than capable of completing them if the service Feruz got from him was anything to go by.  It goes without saying Islam Feruz is one to keep an eye on for the future as well, at just 16, whilst not the biggest kid on the block, he knows where he needs to be on the pitch and he knows when to be there – finishing’s not too shabby either.

There’s an impressive back-line in there as well, not least of all because of the lofty and agile Jamal Blackman in goal. His distribution is quite brilliant really, kind of like Petr Cech meets Rory Delap in the same goal. In Nathaniel Chalobah, there looked to be a not totally dominant but calm and effective defender – in a similar vein to Ferreira maybe? He probably won’t always get the credit his performances merit but he’ll quietly go about his business anyway. Solid.

Nathan Ake looked pretty confident when called upon as well – all the more watchable because he looks like a mini David Luiz – and not only in appearance. And then, there’s the player who really stood out for me on the night – Todd Kane. Call me biased, but here, for me is a player cut out of the same dye as your Lampard’s and your John Terry’s. He’s a diehard, there because he just loves Chelsea to bits and he’s as solid and committed as a Chelsea player will get.  Clever too, you see him reading the game and just know he’s already thought a couple of passes ahead. Not afraid to go in for a tackle either.

In fact, as one of the ‘older’ supporters amongst us (in mind rather than body, obviously :) ), Todd Kane is exactly the sort of player I think we need more of in the first team. And it’s the thought of potentially losing (or letting go) good, young players like him that left me feeling a bit despondent in spite of what was a cracking first Youth outing for me.

2 Responses to “A First Glimpse Of The Future….Or Is It?”

  1. Really enjoyed reading this, its well written and I have been hoping to read more about this youth team for a while now. They sound like a good bunch.

    Please keep it coming!

  2. wonderful article, especially the footballing part of it