Chelsea: Mid-Preseason Report Card (sure, it’s a thing)

(BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images) /
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Chelsea FC are at the mid-point of their pre-season tour. Ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Champions League winners Real Madrid, we assess the first-half of the Blues’ pre-season.

Chelsea footballer Willian of Brazil trains before their International Champions Cup (ICC) game against Liverpool, at the UCLA Campus in Westwood, California on July 26, 2016. The two teams will meet at the Rose Bowl on July 27, 2016. / AFP / Mark Ralston (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
(MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images) /

It’s already the middle of preseason for the Blues. It feels like it was just yesterday that Chelsea fans were refusing to come out from behind their pillow forts.

But with Rapid Vienna, RZ Pellets, and Liverpool down, and Real Madrid, AC Milan, and Werder Bremen to come, Chelsea is smack dab in the middle of their preseason. And thanks to the neatness of even numbers, we can stop, pause, and reflect.

A new manager, new players, and new system are angling to push forth a new optimism. There’s a lot of work to be done and new manager Antonio Conte only knows how to work work work work work. His persistent experiment at striker may be frustrating to watch, but if anyone is going to be playing some long-game multi-dimensional chess, it’s Conte. Trust in Conte.

Next: Grading the positions