Chelsea news: Jorginho explains how he will cope with Liverpool’s Salah, Mane and Firmino | Football | Sport
Jorginho believes his instincts on the ball will be enough to beat Liverpool’s menacing high press on Sunday afternoon.
Liverpool are known for their aggressive press, implemented by Jurgen Klopp and imposed from the front by Salah, Mane and Firmino.
“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,” he explained to The Athletic, after initially wincing at the idea of having Liverpool’s fearsome trio sprinting at him from all angles.
“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.”
The idea with passing out from the back is that, if you get through the first line of defence, there is more space to play as you progress up the pitch, increasing the chances of creating a scoring opportunity.
“It is still a risk worth taking,” insists Jorginho. “When you emerge from that pressure, with one or two passes the whole pitch can open up for you. You just have to have the confidence in yourself.”