Ross Barkley didn’t make the bench for yesterday’s clash between Chelsea and Arsenal, which shouldn’t really surprise anyone.
The midfielder, hasn’t played since last May, after picking up a bad hamstring injury that required surgery over the summer.
The idea that he might be ready for action just 5 days after signing for the Blues was preposterous. However that was just what the rumours that circulated before kickoff said.
Even ignoring his lack of match fitness, Barkley will need some time to work on the “tactical aspect” that Antonio Conte never fails to mention in his press conferences. It’s not just getting used to the speed and intensity of the Premier League after a long time out that counts, it’s learning the positioning and movements that the manager wants that counts just as much.
The replay against Norwich later this month may be the ideal time to give Ross a few minutes. Throwing him into a cup semi final – even on the bench – was never going to happen.