Leicester City produced a fine second half performance on Sunday to salvage a draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. In Frank Lampard’s first home game as Chelsea manager, the Blues got off to a fine start. They utterly dominated in the first 45 minutes and took a 1-0 lead.
However, the Foxes came out fighting after the break and equalised via a Wilfred Ndidi header. They might have even gone on to win the game had their finishing been better. Leicester were certainly the better team in the second half, and James Maddison in particular caught they eye.
The 22-year-old played with supreme confidence and was always looking to drive his team forward. BBC pundit Garth Crooks, writing in his team of the week column, highlighted Maddison’s performance. Crooks said, “the development this lad has shown in the past 12 months has been startling. If Maddison continues to dominate games like this he’s an England certainty. In the second half he took the game by the scruff of the neck and with better finishing (the only weakness in his game) Chelsea would have lost”.
Maddison does deserve praise. He has certainly improved hugely in the last year. However, Crooks may be getting a bit carried away. Maddison’s finishing does need work, but it’s not ‘the only weakness in his game’. That isn’t to say that Maddison is a weak player, but just that he still has much to learn. These strides forward will come with further experience and greater consistency.
Maddison will likely feature regularly for England before long, but Crooks should be careful not to heap too much pressure on the youngster. Maddison played well at Stamford Bridge, but did miss a glorious chance and often took too many touches and failed to make the right decision on the ball. His time will one day come, but he currently still has a long way to go before he reaches his full potential.