Reece James’ emphatic return reignites Chelsea with Thomas Tuchel’s decisive tactical tweak – Anita Abayomi


Reece James is back in form for Chelsea. How good does that feel?

The moment has arrived to get Chelsea’s fan favourite James back into your fantasy football team. He just loves a goal, doesn’t he!

Chelsea travelled up to Burnley, where they took all three points in style. Both teams needed the win, but the Blues proved to be the dominant side in the end. The first half finished in a goalless contest, with several missed chances at both ends of the pitch. However, James was the man to break the deadlock in a man of the match performance.

Thomas Tuchel has an absolute gem in his hands.

Four goals in one half for Chelsea is an anomaly. It rarely happens. With the way the match against Burnley had begun, I would have never predicted such a result. It took a half-time talk from Tuchel to unleash the beast that is James, and the rest was history. He is half the engine for this team, and his importance should not be understated.

A goal and assist delivered by the Englishman sent Chelsea towards victory against a very compact opponent. It would take a creative eye and clinical finish to unravel the Burnely defence, and that is exactly how the Blues secured all three points.

James was Chelsea’s most creative player on the pitch. Just let that sink in. The wing-back never looks to disappoint when it comes to giving the attack a helping hand. He is that extra body, striving forward with a creative edge and clinical right foot. I mean, let’s take a second to digest his welcome home present for the fans.


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An easy pass from Trevoh Chalobah met James on the right flank. Already making his way into the final third, the Cobham graduate takes the ball and cuts right, then left, then right again before striking with his wicked right foot. His footwork was smooth enough to leave Burnley’s Charlie Taylor and Dwight Mcneil in defensive turbulence. The pair were doing the tango, trying to match the footwork of the 22-year-old.

Reece James is arguably the most clinical player that the Blues attack has to offer at the moment. Decisive decision-making and accuracy place him in competition for Chelsea’s top goal scorer. Even after eight long weeks of absence, he is still working towards a remarkable number of goal contributions.

The absence of Ben Chilwell had taken a toll on the team. It felt as though the Chelsea plane was flying with just one wing. The unbalance was hectic, so once James was pulled out of the equation, the Blues form felt like it came crashing down. His return against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final steadied the ship momentarily, but now he has reignited the engine entirely.

There was a moment within the match where James suffered from a brutal Ashley Westwood challenge. My heart rose to my mouth at that exact moment as he lay there in agony. All I could think to myself was, ‘not again. It’s only been one game,’ Thankfully, he looked to have been fine to carry on.

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Taking no chances, Tuchel decided to substitute him off at the 70th-minute mark. Smart move from the boss. We can’t afford to miss another week without this special player.

All that’s left to say is welcome back, James. We’ve missed you. We are hoping for an injury-free remainder of the season. We’re going to need all the creativity that we can get as we go into the last few laps before the finish line.

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