Sharp shooting Ladies
Inside Blue Thu 2 Nov 2017
Pat Nevin has cast his eye over the attacking prowess shown by the Chelsea Ladies under Emma Hayes, with the Blues continuing the fine start to the season with a 3-0 victory over Brighton in the Continental Tyres Cup last night.
The Ladies are yet to concede in the WSL and have netted an impressive 19 goals in just four league fixtures. Add to that the three goals scored against the Seagulls last night and the two put past Bayern Munich in the Champions League victory, it makes for impressive reading.
Our former winger turned Chelsea TV pundit, Nevin, has been full of praise for performances shown by Hayes’ side and has attributed their hot streak in front of goal to a number of key factors. Here, we take a closer look at what Pat believes are the main reasons…
Willingness to get forward
'In Emma Hayes, Chelsea Ladies have a fantastic manager. She encourages these top players to get forward into the box and that has paid dividends by the amount of goals they have scored. You can see that they like to get the ball forward as often as possible, usually out to the wide areas, and get crosses into the box. When that cross comes in, more often than not there is four, five or sometimes even six players in the box looking to get on the end of it. So there’s that willingness to get forward and attack.'
Calmness in front of goal
'Your real top players have that little extra in their armoury and the Chelsea Ladies are certainly showing that. It’s about being calm under pressure and time and time again we are seeing this in their games. When the ball is played into dangerous areas, they do not panic and this is reflected in the number of side-footed passes into the back of the net, rather than trying to "smash" the ball home. That willingness to get into the box and then showing that calmness when they do, is a winning combination.'
'You also need the ability to create chances out of nothing with that little bit of vision. Well throughout the Chelsea side they have more than "a little" bit of vision, they have it in abundance. Having that vision to find a team-mate in a better position is fantastic and gives the team a much greater chance of scoring. That’s what they have in this team, that phenomenal vision and they deserve great credit for that. So it’s no surprise that they are scoring goals for fun.'
Get to the byline
'I may be biased as a winger myself, but I’ve always maintained that the hardest ball to defend is when you get to the byline and cut the ball across goal. It looks easy but you have to get the pace of the ball just right and that’s a difficult skill in itself. But when you have such willing players to get into the box, more often than not you’re going to have a lot of joy. Chelsea do it time and time again and they get an amazing number of tap ins.'