Victor Moses’s 2016-17 season may have ended in ignominy when he was shown a second yellow for diving in the Arsenal box during the FA Cup final — “I have definitely learned from it,” he reflects in his interview with the Evening Standard — but he was still one of the biggest stories of Chelsea’s title win in Conte’s first season in England.
“My game has changed and it’s all down to the manager. He gave me the confidence to play in the position.
“I’m enjoying my football and I just want to say thanks to him, really. It is always good for a player when a manager believes in you. It gives you the belief to go out on the pitch and express yourself. I just want to pay him back and do my best to help the team.
“I feel like I belong. After last season, I feel a lot more comfortable now. I’m home, I’m playing for my club now.”
Conte elevated Moses from serial loanee to a key member of the starting lineup, converting him from an out-and-out winger to a two-way wing-back who runs all day up and down the pitch, stays strong in defense and still finds his way past opposition defenders 1-v-1. There are perhaps no other players in the squad who can do things as well as Moses can at both ends of the pitch. César Azpilicueta is great in defense but more limited going forward while the jury is still out on new signing Davide Zappacosta.
The Italian international is expected to rotate in regularly and push for playing time at the position, but Moses is ready for this new challenge.
“I am ready for the competition. We needed more players, to be honest. We have a lot of games to play this season. You can’t expect to play 60 games or so. I’m ready to take on anyone that is coming here. I just want to play my football.”
Chelsea have three wing-backs in the squad at the moment, with Moses spelling Marcos Alonso on the left on a couple occasions during pre-season, while a host of semi-impressive options (Azpi, Pedro, Kenedy, and perhaps even Baba Rahman?) could deputize in an emergency or a cup tie as well. If all goes according to plan in the four competitions, we’ll be needing to distribute plenty of minutes between all comers.
“We missed out on the Champions League last season but we are back in it now. We have a strong team and will keep doing the best we can in all the competitions.
“We are happy with the way the season has started, especially after what happened in the first game, when we had two players sent off. Apart from that, everything else is fine. We are enjoying our football. We beat Spurs and Everton and that has been massive for us.”
-Victor Moses; source: Evening Standard
May the good times roll on for a while longer.