Chelsea ended their mini pre-season tour of Japan with an impressive victory over La Liga giants Barcelona thanks to goals from English duo Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley. Lampard went with a very strong line-up which looked to be played in 4-2-3-1 formation with Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic the holding two – Christian Pulisic managed an hour on his second-ever Chelsea appearance. Kepa Arrizabalaga also returned to the side following illness. It was the performance of Jorginho that reminded everyone why they paid £50m for the midfield anchor last summer.
At times, the Italian international was lambasted by supporters for maybe lacking any real influence in the side – his assist to Abraham against Barcelona was actually his first in a Blues shirt. Though, he’s not in the side to do that. He does all the dirty work. Alongside Kovacic he looked impervious and more like the man that was ever so vital to Napoli’s stunning 2017/18 campaign. Jorginho might have been labelled as Maurizio Sarri’s son at times last season but are you going to call him Lampard’s son when he outperforms last year as the main man in midfield? Probably not.
The Europa League winner exceeded the statistical achievements of two players that occupy the same duties amongst both Manchester City and Liverpool’s team – Fernandinho and Fabinho. That’s not to say they didn’t have good seasons as one won the Premier League and the other won the Champions League – a proud moment for the mother of the -inho family, I’m sure.
Jorginho rated better for tackles per game in the Premier League with 3.4, Fabinho scored the same but has a much smaller threshold for the average, having played 13 less matches whilst the veteran Fernandinho only recorded 2.7 per game. In terms of interceptions, Chelsea’s man outperformed them again – registering 1.7 per game in comparison to Fernandinho’s 1.4 per game and Fabinho’s rounded 1.0. What’s even more impressive is that despite recording more tackles and more interceptions, Jorginho had less fouls than the pair too. In the Premier League, he averaged 0.9 fouls per game – slightly lower than the Liverpool midfielder’s 1.0 and Fernandinho’s 1.4. That’s just defensively too.
The pass success rate between all three was rather close but again, the 27-year-old nudged ahead averaging 89.3% compared to the City man’s 87.5% and Fabinho’s 85.3%. For key passes per game, both the Italian and Fernandinho tied with 0.8 whilst the Champions League winner rated much lower with 0.6 per game.
Of course, the achievements of the two trophy-laden winners are much greater but it only goes to show that Jorginho was competing to the very same standard – his criticism was vastly unfair and had it not been his dad, Sarri, in charge then I imagine other players would have received the brunt of the abuse. Chelsea did win the Europa League and did manage to finish third in the Premier League, not as good as either City or Liverpool but still, it could have been much worse (ala Manchester United). If Lampard continues to utilise Jorginho the way he has been in pre-season then more Chelsea fans will notice the impact the anchorman has on the side.