As best as I can tell, the following quotes all come from a show on Belgian television channel RTBF called ‘La Tribune’, where goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was a special guest Monday night. Since I don’t speak the language — not to mention, the video itself is geolocked — I’m relying on journalist Kristof Terreur’s tweets to guide us through the major plot points.
Some of the questions posed to the Chelsea goalkeeper included the usual tripe, about his future, his managers, and the Petr Cech situation. Courtois gave all his usual answers: he’s happy where he is; Conte is a great tactician; always great relationship with Cech.
Thibaut Courtois asked about Real Madrid: (smiles) "I am good where I am. I am very happy at Chelsea." #cfc pic.twitter.com/11kD7bmYUR— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) November 14, 2016
Thibaut Courtois is asked which of his managers focuses the most on tactics: "1) Conte > 2) Simeone > 3) Mourinho." (La Tribune). #cfc pic.twitter.com/9CtHzZ4F3g— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) November 14, 2016
Thibaut Courtois: "I have lots of respect for Cech. One of the best guys I've met in football: friendship, professionalism.." #cfc (Tribune) pic.twitter.com/3a6F8qlLoE— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) November 14, 2016
But the one interesting part was when Courtois talked about improving, identifying one part of his game that was glaringly bad last season: distribution. (And even if this is something that was not actually brought up during the program mentioned above, it’s still quite interesting.)
"I've learned at #CFC that it's important to play out from the back." After his knee injury, TC was often used as a field player in training— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) November 14, 2016
Practice, practice, practice. Fascinating little detail there from Terreur about how the knee rehab helped Courtois’ game develop in new ways, ways that are admittedly central to Conte’s gameplans.
Courtois on Conte: "Besides, his idea is to to play from the back and that suits me. #CFC— 100%Chelsea (@AboutChelsea_fc) September 20, 2016
Now he just needs to once again dominate his area like he used to at Atletico — he has been better at this lately as well, staying strong and catching the high ball — and he’ll be almost perfect!