Player’s Tribune articles are often little more than ghost-written fluff pieces about a player’s journey in the cutthroat world of professional football, usually centered around a defining anecdote or two, maybe with a baby picture thrown in for good measure. (There are some exceptions, such Antonio Rüdiger’s must-read piece on racism.)
Kepa Arrizabalaga’s doesn’t deviate from the norm, but he does revisit his famous “mutiny” at Wembley from what was a good first season (misunderstanding brought on by trying to waste some time), reflects on what was a bad second season, and takes joy in the team’s accomplishments from his third season. By then he obviously wasn’t the starting goalkeeper, but he’s happy to keep playing that support role and ready to step in at a moment’s notice.
“Right now, I feel really good at Chelsea, both physically and mentally. I’m happy and I believe I’m a better goalkeeper than I was two years ago.
“Of course I would like to play more minutes. I would be lying if I said that I was completely happy with my situation. But I also respect the coach’s decisions [and] even if I don’t get one more minute on the pitch, training well makes me feel better. It makes me feel at peace.
“I’m starting this new season full of enthusiasm and ready to continue doing what I like the most. I know that if I work hard in every session, and support the team in any way I can, then the results will follow. They always do.
“Nobody knows what will happen in the future. But today I am very happy in London, and I hope that in the coming years I can celebrate many more titles with my team, Chelsea Football Club.”
-Kepa Arrizabalaga; source: The Player’s Tribune
Transfer fee aside — which is a sunk cost at this point — Kepa’s a perfectly adequate backup who has done well in Thomas Tuchel’s system. If he’s motivated and happy enough with that arrangement, personally and professionally, we should be, too.