Spanish Core Keeps Chelsea Ticking

Premier League champions Chelsea have bounced back after a poor start to the campaign, they lost their opening game at home to Burnley.

Since that defeat at Stamford Bridge, the Blues have won four games in a row. The latest victory was a splendid 6-0 win over FK Qarabag. It wasn’t the Champions League debut that the Azerbaijani champions would’ve wanted but it was certainly a result that would have pelased the Chelsea support on their return to Europe’s most prestigious club competition.  

A big reason for the Blues upturn in fortune has to be down to the form of the Spanish players in their first team squad.

Boss Antonio Conte has five Spaniards to choose from (Diego Costa can’t be selected as he’s not in the country) and they’ve all done well for the club so far this term.

In that four game winning run, Chelsea have had to face last season’s runners-up in Tottenham Hostpur, top four challengers Everton and 2016 English top flight champs Leicester City.

In those four games, they have only conceded twice and have kept two clean-sheets.

Defensively Cesar Azpilicueta has been a mainstay for a while now. He adds strength, determination and versatility to the backline. He can also provide good passes and crosses from deep positions and already has two assists to his name, not bad for a player who predominantly plays in a back three. He managed to grab his first goal of the season in the win over Qarabag. He’s very smart and has to be one of the first names on Conte’s team-sheet due to his willingness to diligently carry out tasks and his commitment to the team’s cause.

Conte was full of praise for his defender after last night’s triumph:

‘Last season Azpi was one of the most important players for us,’ 

‘I think in this position, as a centre back he is one of the best of the world. I think this about him. He is very good with the ball and without it.’

When wing-back Marcos Alonso arrived many viewed him as just a squad player. But the former Fiorentina man’s persistence and his continued determination to keep on proving himself has won over any doubters. He’s very good in the tackle, is also dangerous going forward and not bad with a set-piece either. Has been an ever present so far this term and played in thirty-one games during his debut year. The left-sided player scored six times last season and scored a brace in the vital 2-1 win over local rivals Spurs at Wembley in August.

In April, the Chelsea boss stated that Marcos had become a far superior player to the one that arrived that previous summer:

“His contribution, it’s great,”  

“But Marcos, I think, is one of the players who has grown this season. He grew this season. He took a lot of confidence.”

Cesc Fabregas has vast experience at this level and his eye for a killer pass is still impeccable. The thirty year old might not play every minute but he still has the skill-set to cause opposition defences all types of problems. Has around 84% pass completion success rate this term and also makes around three key passes per game. Has one goal and one assist to his name already in this campaign.

Antonio Conte knows Fabregas has the temperament and experience that improves his squad:

“He is a great example to other players with his commitment and his behaviour every day during training sessions. He must continue this way because he is working well for us.”

In Pedro, Chelsea have a very talented and successful forward. He might not be seen as creative or as dynamic as Eden Hazard or Willian but he still provides graft and craft in the final third. Missed the start of the season due to injury concerns but now he’s getting back up to speed. Good with the ball at his feet, unselfish and a player with a keen eye for a vital goal. Scored in the Champions League and provided an assist for Alonso in the win over Tottenham.

Last season his gaffer was quick to show his respect for Pedro’s talent:

‘He is showing his quality,”

 “Pedro, we are not finding out now his quality. He is a great player in the same way like Hazard, Willian, Costa.”

This summer Chelsea spent big to bring Alvaro Morata to the club. The former Real Madrid and Juventus hitman has bagged himself three goals in his first four appearances for the Blues. Although primarily a goalscorer for the club the Spanish international striker has also provided two assists for his teammates. He has averaged three and a half shots per game and has led the line well. The record signing is technically gifted, has superior movement and great aerial ability. He will be one of the favourites for the golden boot award this term. He’ll only get better the more he plays in a Chelsea jersey.

Chelsea manager Antonio was impressed with Morata’s showing against Leicester last weekend:

“But for me it is very important to see that he is improving and he is more involved in our idea of football and for me that is the most important thing.”

“Then if he scores, I am very happy and I am pleased for the player.”

All the Spanish contingent are proving their worth for the team and they all have a winning mentality that can give Chelsea an edge. The majority of them will face Arsenal this weekend and hope to get one over the city rivals.

The Blues have a manager who demands the best and wants players that are committed and determined to improve themselves and the team. His five Spaniards embody the Conte spirit and have already made an impact on the team’s fortunes this year.

If they continue to show fight and inspiration then Chelsea will be challenging for titles yet again next May!

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