Reece James 'still learning' at Chelsea after big injury admission | OneFootball

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GiveMeSport

·27 November 2023

Reece James 'still learning' at Chelsea after big injury admission

Article image:Reece James 'still learning' at Chelsea after big injury admission

Highlights

  • Reece James is still learning how to optimise his physical abilities, after a string of injuries.
  • James was appointed captain at the start of the season and his reliability is crucial for Mauricio Pochettino's side.
  • James had been improving his fitness levels this season, before a recent red card added to his frustrations.

Chelsea captain Reece James is 'still learning' how to maximise his physical attributes, despite a significant drop in his performance level this season, journalist Dean Jones has suggested to GIVEMESPORT.

James has struggled with injury at times this term, but his misery was multiplied this weekend when he saw red during Chelsea's disappointing 4-1 defeat against Newcastle United. On what was an afternoon to forget for Mauricio Pochettino's side, the right-back picked up two yellow cards in less than 20 second-half minutes and will now miss Chelsea's next Premier League outing.


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Which is a cause of frustration for the Chelsea faithful, given the changes he'd made to his game under Pochettino.

Optimism was high in the Chelsea camp ahead of their weekend clash against Newcastle, following what had been their best two results of the season. Beating Spurs - who granted were down to nine men - set the Blues up nicely for a home clash against Manchester City, where the two-time European Champions took a point off the current Champions League holders in what was one of the games of the season.

The only criticism of Chelsea's performance that day was their leakiness at the back saw them concede four goals, which was the case once again this weekend. Unfortunately for Pochettino though, his side didn't have the four goals to go with it themselves, instead, they suffered the heaviest defeat of his Chelsea reign so far.

A miserable afternoon, made all the worse by James - the Chelsea captain - suffering a careless red card midway through the second half.

James approach shifted after Chelsea injuries

It comes at the worst possible time for James, as he'd just started to get his season back on track following a string of niggling injuries. Concerned about his fitness, the right-back had actually turned down the opportunity to go on international duty with England, pulling out of the squad for this month's European qualifiers.

It's all part of a new approach to injuries being taken by the academy product, having missed over 80 Chelsea games already in his fledgling career. A number which equates to two full seasons of Premier League action, it's now suggested James is listening to his body more and isn't overdoing the amount of games he's playing.

That of course won't be a problem this weekend, as the 23-year-old is serving a suspension.

Dean Jones update - Reece James

Speaking before the red card against Newcastle, journalist Jones had shared a message of positivity in regard to James' fitness, suggesting he's now learning lessons about how to keep himself fit for longer periods of time. Pointing towards his unique physique, the reliable reporter admitted it is harder for James to stay healthy, but Jones does expect him to have a big impact this season, despite the petulant red card against Newcastle:

“The people around James seem pretty confident that he's still learning but has learned enough by now to listen to his body better. There does actually seem a lot of confidence that he can have a solid season from here.“Now, obviously, because of the type of player he is, he's still going to be vulnerable to these types of injuries because the way that he is, his build combined with this type of athlete he is, it's a bit of a weird combination. He's explosive, he's fast, but it doesn’t look like he’s particularly flexible and I think it's tough for his body to manage the type of footballer he is, in the situations that he's exposed to, as he has to be so explosive and so 100% all the time.”

James crucial to Chelsea ahead of testing winter programme

There would've been few matches on the fixture list that Pochettino would be happy for his captain to be sitting out because of suspension, but that's especially the case for Chelsea's upcoming clash against Brighton & Hove Albion. The Seagulls currently sit in eighth position in the table, two places, but crucially six points ahead of Chelsea in 10th.

With both sides harbouring hopes of qualifying for Europe next season, Sunday's clash at Stamford Bridge could go a long way to deciding the top-seven come the end of the campaign. The fact Chelsea will be without their skipper is a big boost for Brighton, who have already lost at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup this season.

James - barring any injuries in training - will be back in action for Chelsea's match the following midweek, when the west Londoners make the trip up north to face Manchester United at Old Trafford.

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