What a whirlwind it’s been for our newly promoted Vice-Captain. Trials and tribulations to say the least but what a journey it’s been to observe. Jorginho’s story has been unique to the eye ever since he stepped foot on SW6 soil. Even before his arrival, he was being chased by the likes of Manchester City and Pep Guardiola. Thankfully he chose the Pride of London as his destination to bring not only artistry but an elite mentality.
Jorginho certainly didn’t have it easy in his first season to say the least. As is usually the case, he arrived at a time of great change at Stamford Bridge with his coach Maurizio Sarri of Napoli joining him. A transition from counter-attacking, pragmatic football under Antonio Conte to progressive, attacking football under Maurizio Sarri was going to take some getting used to for players and fans alike. Well so we thought, but Chelsea got off to a blistering start with 8 wins from the first 12 games with Jorginho being instrumental in that. Quality one-touch football was on show with goals galore being the reward. The conductor as I like to call him was connecting the dots, completing the puzzle, the producer behind the hit show, he could do no wrong.
As the honeymoon period faded so did the form and in turn Jorginho’s plaudits. A player undoubtedly responsible for implementing the system at its best was natural to receive criticism at its worst. Unfairly but perhaps understandably, a player that came in a combo deal with a controversial manager was always likely to carry the can. The face of ‘Sarriball’ was soon becoming Jorginho, not Sarri himself. When he stepped onto the pitch there was an expectation that the entire team would play well, not just himself alone. When that didn’t happen, he would be subject to boos ringing around the ground and heavy criticism online and within the media particularly. A high price tag to fulfil and a demanding fanbase, how would Jorginho respond?
“We arrived here, and it went well but there was a down afterwards. After that, there was a lot of criticism against the manager, but we’ve only been here for six months. [Fans] have their right to criticise and I have the right to disagree.”Jorginho via The Express
Jorginho, despite boasting solid stats for tacking, distance covered, and various other assets was under severe criticism to the point of having to address it in the media. A man determined not to back down and raise to the challenge set to him by the Chelsea faithful. As time when on and the sticky period of Easter passed it was fair to say plasters were placed on the Italian maestros’ cuts. Still, an underlining distaste for what he brought to the team in the back of many fans’ throats, but for the time being at least, suppressed. Form picked up and with Chelsea going onto to finish 3rd in the Premier League and win the Europa League, relief and glory took Jorginho out of the headlines as the team’s achievements became the forefront.
Into the shadows, he would go for the offseason. A chance to heal and recharge. He wasn’t walking away without a fight despite the exit of Maurizio Sarri to Juventus. Few punches in the first round to the chest, no permeant damage done. Referee with the all-clear, round two….
In came Frank Lampard. An announcement that needed no hype. In the case of Jorginho, questions were already being asked before a ball was kicked. With many professional paid expert pundits calling for Kante to be reinstated to a (CDM) a position he’s never played, and many fans including myself questioning if he could adapt to a change in not only tactics but formation. It’s fair to say Jorginho had many people to prove wrong from the season before, a summer holiday wasn’t going to change that. Immediately work began. Jorginho had risen to the task of working under Frank Lampard and establishing himself as ‘Chelsea’s Jorginho’ and not the face of Sarriball.
Fast forward to now and his pre-season hard work has paid off, from adapting to the double pivot and improving defensively again to becoming a leader on and off the pitch, showcasing once again that he can not only perform to a high standard but help others perform around him. His regista role was all about that, but he’s now extended it in the eyes of Frank Lampard.
‘He crosses the borders if there are any. It’s easy to come in and stay within your groups and nationalities, and Jorginho doesn’t. He’s a driver, on and off the pitch.’Frank Lampard on Jorginho (Metro)
Fast becoming a fan favourite, his name can often be heard ringing around the grounds up and down the country as Chelsea travels from the Bridge and beyond. An unbreakable mentality to turn the tide on his Chelsea career. Actions do speak louder than words.
One day he’ll walk out the tunnel leading our team to potential glory and putting his crafty stamp into our history.
For now though he’ll have to settle for deputy… Vice-Captain Jorginho. Not bad at all….