Chelsea midfielder Jorginho has explained how he will pass through Liverpool’s high press on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
The Italy midfielder has been Frank Lampard’s preferred deep-lying playmaker this season, initiating Chelsea’s attacks from the 18-yard box.
The former Napoli man, who was signed by Maurizio Sarri last summer, is likely to line up in front of Chelsea’s back four this weekend faced with Liverpool’s attacking triumvirate of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will undoubtedly instruct the trio to press Chelsea high up the pitch, but Jorginho will be ready and has explained who to be a success in the role, which is becoming increasingly important.
Jorginho told The Athletic: “You have to know what you are going to do before the ball arrives with you, to be certain where the next pass is but, most of all, where your marker is.”
“If I’m only thinking about my next move when the ball has reached me, I’m dead. They’ll be on top of me. So, knowing the quality of the press they have, I’m thinking one pass, two passes ahead.
“I’m glancing this way and that from the moment Kepa [Arrizabalaga] indicates he wants to give me the ball. I’m looking over one shoulder, over the other shoulder, making sure I know how far they are away from me. How much time I have.
“If I am uncertain for a split second once the ball has been played, that’s it. They’ll be on me and there’s no time to think then. You need to know where the danger is.
“Sometimes you realise immediately that you are marked, that they are too close at your back, so you make sure the goalkeeper knows, then make a run deliberately to drag one of their forwards out of position.
“You don’t want the ball anymore, but you take a player away, create space for someone else, and allow your team to pass into the right area and escape their press.
“How do you stay calm? I don’t know. That ability, that awareness, has been with me for as long as I can remember. It’s an instinct now.
“Maybe it was drilled into me in training when I was young, when I spent so long learning to improve my first touch, collecting the ball and then finding a pass.
“My mother would make me practise, practise, practise. On pitches, in the park, in the street, in our home, on the beach, everywhere… collect the ball, keep it tight, turn and lay it off. Be ready. Be precise.”