We first heard of the Chelsea loanees WhatsApp group through a Patrick Bamford interview for the Sun, as he told how all 33 loan players exchange messages between each other while the club staff sends videos and analysis of their performances through the group. Now centre back Alex Davey, currently on loan at League One club Peterborough United, gave further insight on what goes on in a group mostly composed by professional football players in their early 20s:
"You think he's done this many minutes or he's done that -- I need to catch up. It feels like it's a bit of competition. It's nice to see who's doing what."
"Each week there are updates and if someone gets a good mention everyone will congratulate them. It's not just like you're on loan and by yourself."
Along with staff members such as former Chelsea players Eddie Newton and Paulo Ferreira, the young core of Chelsea players are also in contact with more experienced ones such as Juan Cuadrado, on loan with Serie A club Juventus, and Victor Moses, who's been with West Ham since September. Davey says that the network with so many different players end up with them helping each other with feed-back on how to proceed in their current spells:
"Instead of going to your family or to the managers or staff you can go to other players. If someone needs help they can post something. Staff will do what they can and players with experience will give advice and say what they're doing on loan."
Much has been argued on José Mourinho's apparent reluctance in using youth players in his squads, especially in a time of crisis where Chelsea could be looking at ending the season in the mid-table -- and what could be a great opportunity to integrate young players into the first-team. But according to Davey, he doesn't get distracted by these factors, looking instead to work the most to earn a chance in the team:
"If you look at things like that you can get distracted. You can either complain and get down, or you say, 'I'm going to be the next one.' I want to make the next step and make a name for myself."
"I've spoken to Mourinho. He's a lovely guy, treats you like one of the players, not like a young boy."
"If you're not doing something he tells you you're not. At least it shows he's watching you, keeping an eye and caring."
-Alex Davey; Source: Daily Mail
Alex Davey isn't having the best time at Peterborough United, having made only 7 appearances in 17 League One games for the club. But from his words, it's quite clear how the club have done well to instigate a sense of competition and at the same time togetherness between loanees, as all of them look to have a place in Chelsea's first-team in the future -- and only a small percentage of them will make it.