One thing which I have been disappointed with over the last couple of years in this club is the lack of hunger seen from the players. With Lampard, Morris and Edwards as coaches, as well as them playing the youth, we may see some more desire and passion in the squad this year.
Previously, players have been chosen in the lineups due to their reputation more than what they are actually showing on the pitch. For example, at times we have seen the likes of Willian and Alonso (they are not the only players but they spring to my mind) get multiple opportunities in a row, despite having many bad performances, and we all wonder whether it could actually get any worse if some of the younger players were playing instead.
One thing which is taught throughout the whole academy system is what it actually means to play for the badge, and once you get the opportunity, you take it. Hence, the players themselves have a real attachment to the club, and most of the times if you asked if there was only one club in the world which they wanted to play for, the answer would be Chelsea Football Club.
For example, look at Loftus-Cheek. Only about six months ago with an interview with Tubes from Sky Sports, he mentioned that he ‘only wants to play for Chelsea’, and the only thing which could sway him away from the best club in London is if he wasn’t getting enough gametime.
Six months later, he extends his contract and is set to stay at the club until 2024. Last season, he was eventually and finally given a proper opportunity. His whole lifetime he would have had that hunger to play for the club at Stamford Bridge after working so hard, he saw the opportunity which Sarri gave him, took it, and now the club and fans love him.
Look at Mason Mount. Throughout his time in the academy, he would have looked up to Frank Lampard and would have had that desire to play for Chelsea. At 18 years old, he sets out a plan to have two loans and get around 80 games of experience, to then make it at Chelsea in his third season and show what he can do.
We are now in the third season. He signed a contract until 2024 only a couple days ago, and he is set to be a star in the making under Frank Lampard this season, especially after the unfortunate Loftus-Cheek injury, with Mason impressing in his first pre-season game over the likes of Barkley and Kovacic.
And it’s only going to improve a lot more this season. In my opinion, there has never been as much competition in each position as there has been right now, and arguably there is no player which is guaranteed to start at the moment over than Kepa.
In pre-season, you see some of the performances like Alonso and Bakayoko, and as a younger player I would be so excited. The younger players this season will have so much hunger to replace these players who don’t seem to care too much about the club, and they would be much more willing to work harder to improve as a footballer as well as their ranking amongst the other players in the same position.
Now yes, of course there are exceptions. For example, St Clair left the club last year after being here since eight, Taylor-Crossdale has moved to Fulham and Redan is being linked with German club Hertha Berlin. But then, we have to question whether Chelsea Football Club was their priority and whether they actually loved the club, or could they have possibly been looking for something else… (I can understand some of the younger players being frustrated with the loan system and wanting more gametime, but for me it would be ignorant to not see that some things are slowly changing at the club.)
In conclusion, these players are hungry to play for this club. They have been brought up to play for only one club and that’s Chelsea. So use them, because even if they are younger and make more mistakes individually, they will try and improve more than the other players which can help more in the team.
Let me know your thoughts by contacting me on my twitter.
Written by Paree