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Rüdiger: ‘There’s no player on Earth who wants this run’

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Rudiger on training, focus, confidence, Sarri future, and the desire to win above all else

Chelsea FC v Fulham FC - Premier League Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Another day, another game. Get hyped?

Today, it’s a home match against Malmö in Europa League, which we should easily win. After all, who loses to the likes of Malmo, Bournemouth etc.? Certainly not us!

Maurizio Sarri was joined by Antonio Rüdiger in yesterday’s pre-match press conference. Toni’s known to be one of the few outspoken and outwardly passionate members of this current Chelsea squad, but even he could only offer vague platitudes about confidence and working hard as solutions to our current malaise.

“It’s a tough week for us but how to fix it? The easiest thing is to get back and get results and because it’s all based on results. When we had them no one was talking about these things. We didn’t get the best results and also we had too many ups and downs and that has caused our situation today.”

“We always work in training and try to do better each day. I think right now it’s about confidence, not a tactical aspect, it’s just confidence and also under performing.”

In fairness to Rüdiger, it’s not his job to figure that out. His job is to train hard, play harder, and do his best at all times.

“I’m not the coach, I’m a footballer and [tactics] is what the coach has to decide.”

“Fatigue [isn’t a problem]. It’s not physical, it’s just the [tactics] that are new for the majority of us but we have to adapt to it.”

“It’s the same if you sit in school all day and listen to someone. It sometimes gets [tiring mentally], but you have to do your job.”

It’s also not his job to take things too personally. Sometimes things are said in the heat of the moment that otherwise wouldn’t be said, and Rüdiger fully understands that.

“[Sarri’s public comments] don’t affect me. Sometimes you say things you don’t mean, out of emotions, like how I spoke about the results in the past couple of weeks. After you speak with the team, you say it differently and it doesn’t affect me.”

But maybe throwing a bit more solid support could be his job? While others, like David Luiz and Pedro speak of the squads continuing belief in the coach and his methods, Rüdiger doesn’t quite go that far. Is that significant? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s certainly not the most standard answer.

“I make nothing of [the speculation Re Sarri’s future]. This is not my thing, I play football and that’s it.”

Well, those are certainly some straight, cold answers, but Rüdiger’s never been one to mince words.

But when the focus turned on the players themselves, about the perceived lack of leadership, he got a bit more philosophical, a bit more critical, but acknowledged that there is work to do for the players as well. The current situation stinks from top to bottom and we all have to do our part to change it.

“People like to say because we had leaders before, which is fair enough, but we weren’t talking about leaders in our unbeaten run. It’s all based on results and we are not speaking about leaders. Sometimes it’s hard to replace people like Terry. I think we have to try and get into the footsteps of these players.”

“You always play for your manager, but first you want results and want to win. There’s no player on Earth who wants this run.”

-Antonio Rudiger; source: Football.London

Onwards and upwards.