With Stuart Pearce’s Great Britain side playing their warm up match for the Olympics last night against Brazil, there was much scouting to be done, as it featured 2 Chelsea players and one practically confirmed new signing.
Pearce oddly decided to start Ryan Bertrand as a right back for Team GB, while Sturridge got his wish and was put as the lone front man with wingers either side of him.
Now it was difficult to judge anything at all Team GB related in this game, especially how well our Chelsea representatives played, as it was a hugely disappointing and reserved performance from Pearce’s team, they looked content to let Brazil have the ball and offered nothing going forward. A lot was to do with Pearce’s squad selection, but that’s another story. I’m here to speak about how the Chelsea boys did.
Bertrand, the ever-versatile hero from the Champions league final, was tested again on his adaptability as he was placed as a right back. In a nutshell, he did well, he got forward when he could, looked composed on the ball, gave nothing away, and did his best amongst an un-organised back four, who made it perfectly obvious they’d never played a game together before. But Ryan remained professional and was probably one of Team GB’s better players in the first half. Unfortunately the first half was all that he saw as a stumbling Stuart Pearce hauled him off.
Danny Sturridge has openly admitted that he feels he is a better player as a centre forward, and this is where he wants to play for Chelsea. If the blues fail to sign Cavani, he might just get his wish this season. Again, he only played the first half, but after suffering with a mild case of meningitis, I completely understand that decision. As a centre forward, I actually did see many positives, his movement was decent, he came deep, went wide, and moved quickly, all in order to get touches on the ball. As I said previously it was hard to judge him on these 45 minutes, he didn’t get any service at all. For me, he didn’t play enough off the last man. Having said that, he did roll his marker a few times to get in behind, but the pass never came. Danny showed his good touch though, and was competent at holding the ball up. The jury is still out for me as to whether he is a centre forward or not, but he certainly did his case no harm last night.
As for Brazil, well, what can I say, they were absolutely superb. In control all the time, exciting, fast paced, calm passing, creative, very Spanish-like at times. Hulk looked scary, he is an absolute force going forward, getting at defenders. What ever is happening/happens with Hulk, I sure hope we see him at Stamford Bridge at some point sporting royal blue.
On the plus side, a player who we actually are on the verge of signing albeit awaiting confirmation to be official, Oscar Dos Santos, was the quiet assassin. He was brilliant, orchestrated every Brazil move, whether he came deep to collect it, then fed it on to another player, he was involved with everything good going forward for Brazil. I’ve heard supporters saying that he wasn’t any good, but he was, he really was, he played the kind of role that doesn’t make you stand back and say wow, but the kind of role that is silent but deadly. He was everywhere on the pitch, playing as a box-to-box creative midfielder. In my opinion he looks better than Modric, he offers more. His balance, stability, composure and passing ability is world class already, and he’ll only get better.
Simon Phillips – News Editor
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