Billy Gilmour

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Lampard happy after young lineup clobbers League Two’s Grimsby Town

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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard knew he had a golden chance to blood some youngsters with a League Cup visit from League Two side Grimsby Town on Wednesday.

The Blues players then turned the blooding into a bloodletting, scoring seven times in a blowout defeat of the Mariners at Stamford Bridge.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 7-1 Grimsby Town ]

Billy Gilmour superb, Marc Guehi solid,” Lampard said of two of his youngsters, via Football.London. “Now it’s about where they go with this. It says a lot about the academy, the chance to mix the team was something that I had to take up. It says that we have good young players, but now it’s about confidence and their levels. I wasn’t happy at half-time, the goal was a disaster, I showed them a video of the danger, and that could cost you.”

Guehi was dragged out of position in the concession, a Chelsea specialty this year as the Blues have struggled to keep clean sheets, but was otherwise solid (and Marcos Alonso did just as poorly on the goal).

In addition to Guehi and Gilmour starting, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi scored pretty goals. Seventeen-year-olds Faustino Anjorin and Ian Maatsen debuted for Frank Lampard, and fellow young bucks Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori didn’t even have to dress.

Heck, Christian Pulisic was almost an elder statesman (The American had an assist on the night).

After a pair of second half subs took out Pedro and Alonso, the Blues’ XI average age would’ve been under the American drinking age were it not for Wily Caballero.

Lampard was especially happy for Hudson-Odoi, who scored in his first senior appearance since a long-term injury and new contract:

“I think he is going to be a big player for this club,” Lampard said. “If he shows his real qualities. To get Callum signed up is good. First half not so sure, in the second half it was in better positions. It was about getting behind people, that’s what it’s about.”

Chelsea has a forgiving run of fixtures ahead, and Lampard’s challenge will be finding the right mix and the right amount of playing time. If he does that, the Blues will likely be in very good shape for a Top Four battle in the second half of the season.

Lampard baffled by Chelsea draw: “It was under control”

Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images
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Frank Lampard is having trouble wrapping his mind around Chelsea’s problems getting anything comfortable out of its leads.

The Blues have led in each of their last three matches but taken just five points from Leicester City, Norwich City, and Sheffield United.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 2-2 Sheff Utd ]

On Saturday, Chelsea led 2-0 before drawing the newly-promoted Blades 2-2 at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard mentions the youth of the players, but perhaps should consider the relative inexperience of the manager as his team lost points at home to Sheffield United that  most teams — let alone most contenders — will not. From the BBC:

“It was under control, it is our fault for gifting them a goal in the first minute of the second half. It’s a similar story already. The game should have been comfortable and we have dropped two points. We want to win games, the emergence of youth is one thing but winning games is another. When you are 2-0 up at half-time you should win the game.”

Lampard said there should be “no chance” a game could swing in the way it did, but here Chelsea sits in real danger of being bottom half at the international break.

Lampard’s subs in this match were all focused on scoring goals, not preventing them, with the exception being 18-year-old midfielder Billy Gilmour coming on for 2-goal man Tammy Abraham in the 84th minute. Gilmour was making his PL debut, however.

Chasing the restoration of your 2-goal lead at home is a fair aim, but he finished the game with Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso on the bench. Heck, even Olivier Giroud would’ve been an experienced choice over Gilmour (whose debut is terrific and wasn’t at fault for the draw).

Our take: Lampard thought the game was in hand. It obviously wasn’t.

Chelsea to sign 15-year-old wonderkid Billy Gilmour

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Billy Gilmour, aged just 15, has signed for Chelsea from Rangers FC and will join up the Premier League champions elect this summer.

[ MORE: Who is Billy Gilmour? ]

The Scottish youth international (see him in action in the video above) has already been on the bench for Rangers’ first team and has impressed many with his touch, technique and vision on the ball.

Chelsea have a long-standing policy of locking up the most talented youngsters in Europe and the loaning them out to clubs across England and the European continent to gain experience. So, this signing is nothing out of the ordinary for the west London club but it does signify a massive coup.

The highly-regarded teenager was chased by the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and plenty of other Premier League club.

Below is the statement from Rangers as they are sad to see their academy product leave but could not stand in his way.

Rangers can confirm that agreement has been reached for our under-16 player Billy Gilmour to join Chelsea in the summer.

The club’s preference would have been for Billy to stay at Rangers but when he made clear his desire to move to the Premier League it was important that we maximised the commercial value for him. We believe we have done this.

The agreement will provide Rangers with a significant sum for a young player who has yet to play first-team football, and further significant amounts could be due based on milestones being reached. We are pleased with this outcome and believe this deal represents good value for Rangers.

That he was sought after by many Premiership clubs, and indeed a number of the largest clubs in Europe, further demonstrates the quality of player now being produced by the Academy. Everyone at Rangers wishes Billy well for his future.