As Maurizio Sarri learns to effectively and usefully rotate his squad and deal with the hectic schedule that’s the norm at Chelsea — trying to strike that ever-elusive correct balance between winning, fitness, and happiness — one player who is eager to get more minutes and impress the manager is midfielder Cesc Fàbregas.
He was one of several players given a chance to impress last Wednesday in the League Cup third round match against Liverpool at Anfield, and like most on that day, he did just that in Chelsea’s 2-1 victory.
“It was a statement from all of us to the manager. We are showing him that he can count on all of us. It was my first start of the season and a real test at Anfield as half of the team hadn’t played much. I hadn’t nor Emerson, Gary [Cahill], [Victor] Moses, [Willy] Caballero and Andreas Christensen. It was a big challenge because we didn’t have any rhythm. We have only been playing together in training.”
Fàbregas had been slowed by a knee injury as well that he picked up towards the end of preseason, but now he obviously wants more minutes and more chances.
Fortunately for him, he should be getting regular opportunities to spell Jorginho and any other midfielder in Sarri’s 4-3-3 as Chelsea continue to deal with the standard twice-weekly match schedule. Not counting international weeks, Chelsea have a match every 3-4 days from now until well into the winter and the new year.
Everyone will need to be ready and up to the task.
“Up till last week, it has been difficult because the club has not been playing a lot — we were playing once a week so it’s easy for the manager to pick the same team, especially when it is doing well. But now we are in the Europa League, the EFL Cup and the League so there are a lot of games coming up and we will need everyone to be ready.”
And while the Europa League is not the competition we dream of, it’s got a fantastic potential reward (Champions League qualification), so we might as well try to win it. Not to mention, silverware is silverware, and is often the main motivator for players.
“I wish [playing in the Europa League] never had to happen. I always said I never wanted to play in the tournament in a way because that would mean I was in the Champions League. But listen, you always have a first time for everything. Now that we are here, I hope that we can win it.”
-Cesc Fàbregas; Source: Evening Standard
So say we all.