These quotes are several days old, which in Internet time is practically an eon, but they’re still quite applicable*, especially as we reach the half way point of this latest useless international break and start looking forward to next weekend’s return to football.
Before the break, Chelsea recorded a solid win over Crystal Palace, to give us 7 points from the first four games (2 better than last season). The 4-0 up on the scoreboard was flattering and confused some of the coverage post-match, but that shouldn’t negate the very solid performance underneath it all, which was well reflected in the 2-0 scoreline before Jorginho’s brace of penalties towards the end.
It was a performance that showed our work in progress, but also underlined that we’re still just a work in progress. That’s a sentiment that our newest budding superstar agrees with as well. Kai Havertz himself is a work in progress, but he’s also making progress alongside and with his new teammates.
“It takes a bit of time to find connections. A lot of players, like me, didn’t have pre-seasons, and a lot of players are new. It takes maybe a month for everyone to settle in nice. It’s different for players to come from another country, young as well, but now we are settled in very good.
“We are getting more comfortable on the pitch. We all have to get a little bit fitter and when we do that we will play better and better.”
As much as Chelsea have augmented and evolved the Youth Revolution™ with big summer spending, and look to be on the right path in terms of executing to a long-term plan, we have unfortunately continued the theme of injuries from last season. A month into the new season, for example, Hakim Ziyech has yet to play in a competitive match for the club while Christian Pulisic has made a lone late cameo. And now new goalkeeper Édouard Mendy’s injured, too!
But if we want to play like champions, we can’t make excuses. And we know where Kai’s head is at.
“After the international break we have to continue like this. [...] We can achieve a lot this season. We have very good players, a good coach, and we are here to win titles. That’s our goal.”
-Kai Havertz; source: Chelsea FC
So say we all.
*it also gives me an excuse to post this bit of skill from Kai