The constant speculation regarding Thibaut Courtois and a return to Spain will probably never cease — you can’t stop the rumor mill, you can only hope to contain it — but if Courtois keeps playing as well as he has and keeps saying this like this, as opposed to his usual “you never know in football”, we can probably rest assured that he’s going nowhere anytime soon.
“I have never felt so good since I arrived in Chelsea.”
Tell me more!
“On the field, I am good, I make the decisive stops when it is necessary. Sometimes I have just one or two to do. Against Hull, it was a little more at the weekend.”
“But otherwise, I try to always be ready to help the team. My game has also improved a lot in the last two seasons. I sometimes have a few moments that are very difficult to manage but I’m doing well. I feel very confident right now.”
“I like that we are asked to attack the ball and go forwards in any circumstances. There’s a good atmosphere in the group. Lots of jokes and banter but we work hard and we enjoy it.”
Chelsea made a concerted effort to make Courtois (and Conte) happy this past summer by bringing in new goalkeeping coach Gianluca Spinelli and transitioning Christophe Lollichon to a new, somewhat vague role.
It’s turned out to be a smart move as Conte and his staff have been instrumental in engineering a turnaround from last season’s mini-disaster. Of course true change has to come from within, as they say.
“Of course he changed stuff. But it is hard to say that it is only thanks to the coach.”
“Players have also changed their mentality. We were champions and maybe we were too quiet. It cost us points, we started losing matches and a negative atmosphere settled without us being able to get out. This year, after the defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal, with the players, we said that we had to give more to not relive the same season.”
“And the system change also played. We're hungry to win. The difference with the other teams also comes from the fact that we win against the smaller opponents, which is not necessarily the case of Liverpool for example.”
-Thibaut Courtois; source: The Sun
Chelsea have been exemplary at taking care of business against the “smaller” opponents, dropping only two points all season to teams outside the top six (Swansea away). But after this weekend’s FA Cup match, Chelsea will have to rise to back-to-back tests against Liverpool and Arsenal. Courtois & Co will have their work cut out for them to keep the good results and good vibes going.