Manchester City may be out of the FA Cup — ed.note: HA HA — but their supremacy in the Premier League will not be challenged this season thanks to a 16-point lead over second-placed Manchester United with just 11 matches left.
And while there is plenty left to fight for in the league for the other “big” teams — only three European places left for five teams — what most players really want are actual trophies. Case in point, Marcos Alonso, who won the first trophy of his career last season and now is hungry for more.
“Yes, of course [I want to achieve more with Chelsea]. Especially considering how hard it will be for us to win the Premier League at this point. The whole team are raring to do well in the Champions League and we’re looking forward to a fantastic tie against Barça.“
”Now that I know how amazing it feels to win an important trophy such as the Premier League, I’m hungry for more. This year we’ll fight until the end.”
Until his move to Chelsea, Alonso was largely unheralded, but under Conte’s tutelage, he’s become one of the best at his position in the league and has also made a name for himself with a healthy helping of goals, both from open play and from free kicks. In fact, he’s scored more goals than any other defender since his return to England at the start of last season and thus remains one of Chelsea’s most important and impactful players.
Since he joined Chelsea, no defender has scored more Premier League goals than Marcos Alonso's 12.— Jake Cohen (@JakeFCohen) January 3, 2018
Once wrongfully dismissed by some as a panic buy, he’s proven himself to be an instrumental part of Chelsea’s squad.
”Well, I think that our coach works very well both tactically and defensively. As one can see from the outside, he brings a lot of passion to the table, which helps us to always stay focused and give our all.“
”What’s more, it was easy for me to adapt and thrive here after having played in the same position for several years while in Italy, and also because of the great players we have here.“
”I started out as a left-back in a back four and I felt very comfortable there. However, I now feel in my element in this role and, above all, I’m more involved in the attacking side of the game, which is what I like the most.”
But to reach the European heights that Alonso (and others in the squad) are craving for, all the players will have to be at the top of their form against Barcelona (and beyond, should there be a beyond).
”We know they’ve been one of the best teams in the world in recent years, if not the best, and it will undoubtedly be a very tough tie.”
”I think we’ll have to defend very well and take our chances because, like I said, they’re a very tough team to beat, let alone over two legs. Still, we will prepare as best we can and give it a shot, and we’ll see how the tie unfolds.“
”The general consensus has been that it’s better to be at home in the second leg, but I don’t think it matters much. Obviously, it will be important to acquit ourselves well on home turf in the first leg so that we’re in with a good chance going to the Camp Nou, which is a very difficult place to win.”
-Marcos Alonso; source: Chelsea FC
Alonso had been out of contention due to injury in our last three games — a rare sight indeed for the consistent and consistently healthy 28-year-old — but he’ll look to return tonight against the Blaugrana on what will hopefully be another special European night at Stamford Bridge.
Come on, Chelsea!