Frank Lampard is following in the footsteps of predecessor Maurizio Sarri in playing N’Golo Kante as a box-to-box midfielder, and has been hailed for doing so by new Besiktas coach Abdullah Avcı.Sarri was criticised during his sole season in charge at Stamford Bridge for not deploying Kante in a deeper role, instead opting for Jorginho as his No. 6 in a three-man midfield.But in giving the France international a more expansive role to get up and down the pitch, Lampard followed Sarri’s lead by handing Kante licence to patrol the whole field against Liverpool in Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup clash. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? And watching on as the Blues faced Jurgen Klopp’s side at Vodafone Park, Avcı picked out Kante as the key man.”Kante’s return to the starting line-up significantly improved Chelsea,” the Besiktas boss told Goal in an exclusive interview’.”It’s impossible to define Kante as a classic defensive midfielder. Lampard assigned him to a box-to-box role against Liverpool and this resulted in an impressive performance.Known for his tough tackline and breaking up play, Kante impressed Avcı in possession and with his willingness to carry the ball forward, and he was quick to back Sarri’s previous decision.”He made eight successful dribbles which is his career high!” he added.”Sarri was constantly criticised for this but Kante was the best Chelsea player on the pitch.”Despite being a huge fan of Kante’s display, there was another player who caught his eye.”I also liked Pedro,” he said. “He’s the ideal attacking wing player in modern football; he can help his team, protect the ball, he doesn’t lose possession easily and can dribble past his opponent in the blink of an eye.”Following Chelsea’s Premier League defeay by Manchester United in their opening game of the season, Lampard will have been encouraged by Wednesday night’s display, drawing 2-2 with Liverpool after extra-time before cruelling losing in the penalty shootout.Having bounced back from the Old Trafford hammering with a strong performance, the new Blues boss has been backed by Avcı to succeed, and he belives he can build on Sarri’s tactical nous.”With Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea used 4-3-3 formation very efficiently and became one of the fastest-passing teams in the Premier League.”They made a good start but had some troubles in the final third as the season continued. It appears that we’ll see mainly a 4-2-3-1 formation this season.”Before the Liverpool game, I was expecting Chelsea to have less possession and go with a more transitional offense mentality with Frank Lampard. This UEFA Super Cup game proved my expectations are correct.”However, they may struggle gaining results if these defensive problems aren’t fixed. Obviously, it’ll take time for us to see what Lampard has in mind but this team have a strong tactical-memory from last season and I believe that this philosophy will evolve into a more efficient strategy.”Chelsea are next in action when they host Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
PARIS – Historical circumstances in Ontario produced a fire service which – for much of its history — was overwhelmingly male, white and Christian.That is rapidly changing, says the chaplain of the Firefighters’ Association of Ontario, and fire services across the province would do well to acknowledge it.“We all know that — if we were down in a fire – we don’t care if the person who shares their oxygen and drags us out of there is male or female, religious or not religious,” Rev. Stephen Berryman, of St. John’s Anglican Church in Cambridge, said during the FFAO’s annual memorial service on Saturday.“We just need to know that they have the strength and the skills to save our lives and the lives of others. This is a first attempt at a revised memorial service. I would very much welcome your feedback.”Berryman — a retired firefighter — was speaking to dozens of uniformed delegates at FFAO’s 118th annual convention. They were gathered for the memorial service at the cenotaph in downtown Paris.Berryman’s revised homily contained an acknowledgement that “incredibly competent women” are signing up as firefighters but that the status quo makes it difficult for them “to integrate into the culture.”Berryman also acknowledged that the annual memorial service he presides over uses a text that is not only Christian but specifically Anglican. Berryman told the several hundred in attendance that – from here forward — he intends to strive for the generic spirituality of military chaplains as chaplain of FFAO.“I’ve been wanting to do this for years,” Berryman said afterward. “I’ve just never got around to it. In the military, chaplains can’t show a bias. If you do, you are done.”Berryman asked for feedback and Brant County Mayor David Bailey was happy to provide it. He welcomed Berryman’s call to openness and diversity.“I’m the most diverse mayor ever,” Bailey said. “I’m openly gay and this was the first year Brant County flew the pride flag.“I’m excited about the direction the county is going. Not only is the county experiencing prosperity, but the face of the county is changing too.”A roll call of firefighters in Ontario who died in the past year was read from the podium. Among those mentioned was former Vittoria station chief Harold Stewart.Firefighting brothers Corey and Wade Cummerson, of Brant County, were noteworthy for carrying the Brant County chief’s helmet worn by their late brother Troy Cummerson, who died two years ago.Troy Cummerson is a reminder that firefighters take on unique risks when they roll out of bed in the middle of the night to save someone’s home and possibly their life. Cummerson died at age 48 of an esophageal cancer connected to repeated exposure to toxic situations.“We miss him,” Corey Cummerson said. “He was a great guy. He was well-loved by everybody and a book of knowledge. He impacted a lot of lives.”MSonnenberg@postmedia.com