Before Wednesday's unfortunate loss and injury, Andreas Christensen sat down for a pretty great interview with the Daily Mail. Here are a few highlights.
The extent of Christensen's hamstring injury is not yet known, but hopefully it's nothing major.
Following the footsteps of former Chelsea loan army members Thibaut Courtois and Victor Moses, defender Andreas Christensen made a seamless transition from his two-year spell on loan at Borussia Mönchengladbach to Chelsea this season. He has already been able to make his mark in the team, making 18 appearances in the Premier League with almost faultless defensive showings week in and out.
His quick adaptation was thanks not only to his own skills, but also the work of his teammates and the coaching staff. One of the major contributors has been David Luiz, the Brazilian veteran who is now Christensen’s backup and despite his predicament, continues to do everything he can to help the team.
“David makes it easy for everyone. He’s a little bit like John Terry. On one of my first visits, David was here and I wanted to take a picture with him. He did this weird face to the camera. He’s just the same now. He’s a big character. You feel his vibe and he wants to succeed.”
“He’s made it a lot easier for me to come back from the loan spell and into the team. He wants the best for the club and for everyone in it. You can feel that every day. That’s just the way he is.”
It is fair to say that barring anything critical taking place in his career, Christensen has his place in our back line locked down for (hopefully) years to come. That came at the cost of dislodging his mentor David from the spot — a less than ideal situation, and one he chooses not to dwell for long as he knows how difficult it is for a player to not get regular time on the field.
“You don’t think about that stuff. I go into every game trying to perform so he can’t get his place back and he tries to perform like he wants to play as well.”
“I don’t think anyone wants to be rested. We always want to play the games. Sometimes you feel exhausted but you want to play.”
Before arriving at Cobham, Christensen spent some of his first years of his footballing career as a youth prospect at Danish club Brondby. But the ties with the team and his family run from much earlier days, when his father Sten was picked by them to fill in the shoes of legendary goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel upon the latter’s exit to join Manchester United.
At the very beginning of his playing days, Andreas had Sten as a coach for a club created by his father since his neighbourhood did not have any. And although Christensen the son does not carry the strong temperament of Christensen the father, the extra shouts and pressure at home to perform on the pitch were a major help in his development.
“[My father’s] temperament is quite strong. He was a goalkeeper, a little bit crazy and I’m probably more like my mum, more laid back. He stopped when I was born and I never saw him play but I think he was pretty good.”
“When Peter Schmeichel went to Manchester United, Brondby bought my Dad instead. Big shoes to fill. He always played in the best league in Denmark. So I guess he wasn’t bad and I grew up with him as a coach.”
“He started up a local club because we didn’t have a team. I played with boys who were one year older than me and I’ve grown up with that all the way to Under-17.”
“He definitely shouted more at me than the others. And when we got home he would actually tell me stuff he didn’t want to tell me in front of the other boys.”
“So I grew up feeling… not exactly pressure but your dad is the coach and although he tried to make it fun he’s probably a big part of what I’ve achieved.”
Christensen left Chelsea’s youth ranks as one of the club’s most promising youth prospects, and returned two years later as a model professional. It was a rather expected development, although the centre back went even further by breaking into our regular lineups.
“There is a lot of talk. When I went away, you can feel people are talking about you being the one who can come back and break in.”
“There was some pressure to come back and deliver and you do feel that but I put pressure on myself. I always believed I could show my worth and hopefully break into the team.”
And on his exit to join Gladbach, no promises were made. Not that they would be able to do such a thing in a competitive environment such as our dressing room. Either way, Christensen has shown himself more than apt to carry the weight of playing for a club as big as Chelsea.
“I don’t think they can [make promises on playing time and such]. They do everything they can to help you and prepare you to come back.”
“You almost always get the pre-season here when you can show yourself and the feeling that the club wants you to succeed gives you more confidence that you can come back and show yourself.”
“I’ve never been afraid of it. I said if I wasn’t ready now, coming back after two years, I didn’t think I’d ever be ready.”
“It is more like a big challenge that can create more opportunities. If you get through here you’re fighting for titles and that’s what I want to do. That’s why you choose a big club.”
-Andreas Christensen; Source: Daily Mail