It’s not because he’s callous or uncaring or just a terrible teammate. It’s not because he’s gunning for their positions or their playing time. And it’s probably not even because he’s just in denial. It’s because he’s apparently supremely confident that Chelsea’s Rumor-Mill-Three are all staying at the Bridge, that Marcos Alonso is not even entertaining the thought of a different outcome. Or he’s trying to use the power of suggestion. Either way, Alonso is looking forward to another season, his third with Eden Hazard, Willian, and Thibaut Courtois.
“I am not even thinking about [their potential departures]. They are Chelsea players and I am looking forward to seeing them after their holidays.”
“They are top players and very important for us. Every season with Chelsea, we have to fight for every competition and every game and we will go for it.”
That trio is expected back in about 10 days, by which time Chelsea will have played a couple more preseason friendlies, against Inter in Nice on Saturday and against Arsenal in Dublin on Wednesday, and perhaps even the Community Shield against Manchester City a week from this coming Sunday.
As we’ve lamented repeatedly, that doesn’t leave much time at all to implement the new head coach’s system, but Alonso sees a few early positive signs. Hopefully the players coming back late from the World Cup can catch up quickly as well.
“We are working on some new things: a new formation and a new style. He wants us to press high and he wants the team together for possession of the ball.”
“A lot of the things we have just started working [on] but it is looking good.”
“I don’t have to run as much as last year! It’s good, more for us to defend and when I can, try and help the team in attack.”
-Marcos Alonso; Source: Sky Sports
Alonso quickly became a key player for Conte’s 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 systems, deployed as the left wing-back to run up and down all season long (he didn’t have a proper backup until the second half of the second season, when Emerson arrived). His stamina and ability to stay healthy were commendable enough already, and that’s before we consider his timely and important goals with which he chipped in regularly — including 4 in 8 Premier League meetings total against Spurs and Arsenal.
The 27-year-old, who finally won his long overdue first cap for Spain as well recently, will be counted on just the same in Sarri’s system, even if his specific role will be slightly different (more defensive responsibility and less running overall, but also more pressing and still plenty of involvement in the attacking end if Napoli’s fullbacks were any indication).
And hopefully Alonso’s crystal ball is on point as well.