SOCCER

Chilwell ‘very positive’ to move forward with Chelsea still in ‘right place’

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Chelsea entered last season as Champions of Europe, with an outstanding defence, a strong midfield, incredible young talent in attack and with a new club-record striker signed to lead the line. And the resulting predictions of a Premier League title seemed apt for the early months of the campaign, before injuries, interviews and invasions took their toll. Two defeats in the domestic cup final added to the feeling of disappointment, and our summer transfer window did little to quell those vibes.

At the moment, we are ready to enter the new season with gaping holes in the defence, an aging and injury-prone midfield, and an attack defined less by age and promise than by inconsistency and the lack of killer instinct. Chelsea are one of only two teams in the league (Wolves the other) to have made no first-team signings so far, and while Raheem Sterling is imminent, his arrival seems more of a “pleasant to have” a “must have”.

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It’s easy to get bogged down in such consternation and lose sight of the big picture. And while it’s true that those around us have improved their teams, at least on paper, this summer we already have a solid core to build around. Ben Chilwell, returning from the ACL tear that limited him to just 13 appearances last season, is a big part of that core and he’s definitely a man with good vibes, man.

“We can continue [from last season], we have new owners, which seems incredible, they want to be involved and invest a lot in the club, which is a positive thing. The club is well placed, which is very positive for the future.

The ultimate goal obviously remains to close the gap to the top two, not just in individual matches, which we have already done, but throughout an entire season. And that we haven’t been very close to doing in the last five years.

“We aspire to be on the same level as them. We showed in patches last season that we could compete with them, but it’s that consistency that they’ve shown – they’re not just one-season wonders, they’ve done it season after season over the of the past five years.

“That’s where we’re trying to get to. We’ve had conversations in the dressing room, as players and with the coaching staff, that consistency is the thing we need now [achieve].

“We have talent in the team. We showed it in the Champions League two years ago. We showed it in the first half of the season last year, when we were leading. We beat Juventus 4-0 in the Champions League. So we showed that we had talent in the team. We just need to have that consistency now that Liverpool and City have.

-Ben Chilwell; source: Mirror

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

And of course we have Thomas Tuchel, whom the new owners (apparently) trust with a level of confidence not seen at the club for generations. The head coach also has the full confidence of the locker room, and as long as we can maintain these harmonious relations, we may have a chance.

“As players, we have full confidence in the coach. We know we won’t have a better manager here. I’m not just saying that.

“Now there is this stability. Everything that could have been tricky last season has been resolved, so it’s up to us to work and try to get that consistency on the pitch.

-Ben Chilwell; source: Lens

Whether we can actually bridge that gap and achieve a consistency that involves something more than constantly talking about it will depend on what we do on the training ground and on matchdays, as well as how which we build our squad through player development and transfers. . The new owners may have a vision and a plan for this, but it will take time to implement. The temptation will be there for quick fixes and short-term thinking – especially since that’s pretty much all we’ve known for the past two decades – and not just for owners but for fans as well.

We must resist such temptations and be cool like Chilly B.

(But we should probably sign a defender or Declan Rice at some point…)

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