Willian needed fewer days to be convinced of Sarri (3) than it took to add new pages to his passport (5) — apparently his passport didn’t expire; it simply ran out of pages — which finally allowed him to return to Cobham late last week and start to get acquainted with the new head coach and the new ideas.
And oh what fresh new ideas they are!
Speaking with Brazilian media after the match (which I can’t embed as ESPN Brasil doesn’t use HTTPS), Willian practically gushed over the changed circumstances at Chelsea (as much as Willian ever shows any emotion in interviews), recommitting himself to the cause and for the season ahead.
“Without a doubt we like this type of football. All the players we think the same. We need to keep working and we will improve. The beginning is always hard to adapt to a new way of playing. But we are going to be ready once the season starts.”
Exit rumors have swirled around Willian ever since the end of the season, but he says that, at least ever since Sarri was appointed, he thought of nothing but staying.
“I always told him I’m really happy playing for Chelsea. I never talk about me leaving the club. This is a new era with a new boss and our first conversations have gone really well, and I hope to have a lot of victories for us.”
-Willian; source: ESPN Brasil via Football.London
There is a similar interview in English, though not as full of conviction, with Chelsea TV, which is (now) viewable on the official website or the new official app — Android and now iOS, too — which Chelsea continue to push by releasing exclusive content on it, which is really frustrating, archaic, and stupid ... but I digress.
Willian played a little over a half hour against Manchester City yesterday in his first action since the World Cup, so he was just happy to be out there on the pitch to start getting his match-legs back, but he also talked about how the changing of the guard at the managerial position keeps him and the players motivated. There’s something really backwards about that to me, but I suppose in these modern times, the power rests with the players.
“We have to learn from every game, not just this game. Of course we want to win, but we didn’t so now we have to keep going. It’s a new manager with a new philosophy and a new profile of football so we have to keep going and train hard every day.
“When a new manager arrives, you have more motivation and after holidays you are refreshed mentally, so you just try to do everything possible to win games and win titles. We go for it (the titles) this season.”
-Willian; source: Chelsea TV
Sarri promised us fun football, and he probably said the same to the players too. But first, work work work work work. Success always boils down to work.