The sun was shining at Cobham this morning as preparations ramped up for the visit of Brentford on Saturday.
The players had a day off on Sunday and then were split in Monday’s session depending on their level of involvement in the 2-2 draw with Arsenal.
Today they reconvened en masse as the focus switched to our next London derby, with spirits understandably high in the group after a promising run of performances and results.
Moises Caicedo is starting to show signs of why the Blues brought him to Stamford Bridge. He and fellow South American Enzo Fernandez had little time to train with the team before the Arsenal match having arrived back late from World Cup qualifying. Mauricio Pochettino explained he is looking forward to having a clear week to work with the duo.
‘It’s really tough to arrive jetlagged, they were not fresh, but hopefully after one week they can recover and train and be at their best for the next game,’ the head coach said.
Reece James made his long-awaited return from injury as a late substitute against Arsenal, and the skipper was back in the thick of things today.
He will hope to be named in the starting XI when Brentford make the short trip across west London.
Conor Gallagher caught the eye again with his all-action performance on Saturday, and Pochettino described the role he asked the midfielder to perform.
‘We needed to change the shape and the strategy to attack. We tried to have superiority in the middle with Palmer and Conor Gallagher stopping the centre-backs having a reference and getting them into the midfield zone.’
Part of the reason Gallagher played higher up the pitch was because of the unavailability of Armando Broja. Pochettino deemed Nicolas Jackson not fit enough to start, either, but the two strikers were fully involved today so will hope to renew their competition for a place in the team this coming weekend.
The clocks go back on Saturday night, and that time shift heralds the introduction of the yellow ball, which the players trained with today.
Here is the new Nike Flight match ball which will be used in our Premier League fixtures until March.