Before 2010, in his first five seasons as a professional in England, Asmir Begovic had made a grand total of 21 Premier League appearances (four less than he's made for Chelsea alone this season), spending plenty of time out on loan in various Towns around the lower leagues like Macclesfield, Yeovil, and Ipswich. One of his other loan stops included an 8-match spell with AFC Bournemouth in 2007-08, just before the club went into administration and free fall to the bottom of the Football League.
Begović's teammates back then included two former Chelsea trainees, Warren Cummings and Danny Hollands, as well as forever young Adam Lallana (on loan from Southampton) and future returning star Max Gradel (then on loan from Leicester City). These and more fun facts of the tangled football web we weave can be learned from the "weekend interview" feature on Chelsea's official website.
The Chelsea backup goalkeeper talks fondly of his time there, but beyond the history, there's of course also talk of the present...
"Any club you have a bit of history with you want to do well. Their rise has been incredible. It's good to see and it'll be nice to go back and see some familiar faces and say hello to everyone."
...the recent past...
"We have had a couple of negative results and we weren't too pleased with how the games went, especially against Man City. It's been a very focused week in training and we are looking to bounce back."
...and the future...
"The main thing is to have a fresh start. When you start a season you draw a line under what has happened before. There'll be a new manager, new ideas, new energy, new freshness - that's the main stuff we can look forward to. Hopefully we can really work well together in pre-season, adapt to the new manager's ideas and kick on from there."
-Asmir Begović; source: Chelsea FC
With Courtois suspended, Begović is set to start today as well as next weekend in the big rivalry match against Spurs. It would indeed be nice if the squad bounced back and showed a bit of vim and vigor, especially in the latter. Results won't actually matter again until the new season comes around, but we could use all the practice we can get to get back into the winning habit.