Victor Moses is getting closer to returning from the hamstring injury that’s kept him sidelined for the last month for both club and country, and you know what that means? Winning streak incoming! Or at least it’s going to have to mean that if Chelsea are to have any hope of catching the run-away leaders of the Premier League who are eight points clear of second place and nine ahead of defending champions Chelsea.
In (the second part of) an interview with Goal’s Nizaar Kinsella, the 26-year-old saw no reason to give up just yet, even if Manchester City have been crowned winners of this season’s Premier League several times over already by fans and media at large.
"Why can’t we compete with City, United or any other club? Our players are good enough to compete with anyone. We have a lot of games to go so you can’t tell who’s going to win the league. We are nine points from Man City but we believe in ourselves and we believe that something can happen further down the line and that we will find ourselves back at the top.
"We still believe in ourselves and in the manager we have got so we will keep working hard and see where it takes us. Yes, this season is going to be harder than last season now we’re in the Champions League as well. We are playing Tuesday, Saturday or Sunday on most weeks, but as players we are not looking at that. We are just trying to play as many games as possible and trying to win football matches. If we can win all the trophies then that would be a great bonus for us. We don’t need to compete with City alone. We beat them home and away last season and we are the champions of England so we can believe in ourselves and we all want to win every trophy this season. We are still in the Champions League, Premier League and Carabao Cup, then there’s the FA Cup as well.”
Just all the trophies? Is that all?
I suppose that’s the mentality required for success at the very top levels of the game. But Moses does bring up a couple specific reasons for the confidence he has for the season ahead, which has well over two-thirds of it left still.
"I think we have done well. We as a team, whatever happens, we stick together as a team and do the best we can. I think people have been a bit too harsh but we as players don’t need to think about that or concentrate on what people have been saying. These criticisms are the kinds of things that makes a player stronger. We know that we just need to believe in ourselves and prove them wrong then win as many games as I can. We are 100 per cent together. We are like brothers here and we are all sticking together and working hard together.
“Even after losing against Roma, we believe in ourselves collectively and individually. We have great players. We just take each game as it comes. We beat Manchester United, now everyone is saying that we’re the best. Football is like this. We believe in ourselves and work hard together as a team.”
And on a more individual level, Moses also feels like a true part of the team after his breakout season, which was crowned by not only the Premier League trophy but a new contract as well.
“Definitely, it gave me even more of a boost to go out there and enjoy my football. The new deal gave me a lot more confidence to say this is where I belong, this is where I want to play, this is where I want to help my team and to win trophies.
"Chelsea is one of the biggest football clubs in the world. I am happy here and enjoying it. I have always believed in myself. As a footballer it is essential to have that belief. I had been on loan three times. I always said to myself that I wanted to break into this team, to do the best I can for this football club.”
Moses obviously credits Conte for giving him the chance (as well as the likes of Christensen), but he also thanks now-former technical director Michael Emenalo for being one of the few people at the club who always believed in him. Emenalo oversaw Moses’s transfer from Wigan in 2012 as well as the three seasons the winger then spent on various loans as well after winning the Europa League with the Blues. But Moses never gave up, kept signing new contracts, and kept believing that one day, somebody will actually let him make an impact outside of pre-season once again.
Now it sounds like Moses is ready to make everyone else believe once again, too, as Chelsea look to at least solidify a top four position in the ultra-competitive Premier League while also making a deep run in the two domestic cup competitions and the Champions League as well. That sounds like a big task, but confidence and hard work can go a long way towards conquering impossible odds even.
“As a footballer, if you work hard, then everything else falls into place."
-Victor Moses; source: Goal
Hopefully Moses will indeed be back to work soon. We’re going to need him.