Despite the disappointing scoreline, Trevoh Chalobah continued his remarkable personal record last night at Brentford. It was his 29th senior start for the club, and Chelsea have yet to lose any of them (outside of penalty shootouts): 21 wins and now 8 draws.
That makes the 23-year-old somewhat of a lucky charm for us, but of course he is so much more than that. This record doesn’t just happen by accident.
Last night, he deputized for none other than Thiago Silva, leading the way with clearances and steady passing while marshaling a backline that was tested repeatedly and mercilessly in a very open game against our West London neighbors. It wasn’t exactly what we planned for but we survived with yet another clean sheet. Not today, Ivan Toney!
“It was a tough game; you know Brentford where they pose [the danger] and I thought we really dealt well with them today. [The front two are very physical] two good players, Ivan Toney and ... the other striker ... but it was really good.”
“[It was a very open game] and that’s what we tend to not want, to play in their hands make it open. I feel at times it was it was both ways, but then we managed to calm the game down, play our play, pressure them a lot. Obviously, disappointed to not get that late winner...”
Whether in a back-three or back-four, whether against strikers he knows by name or strikers he does not know by name (sorry, Bryan Mbeumo), Chalobah continues to impress whenever called upon. He had to wait for his chance this season, playing just once in the first couple months, but he’s now appeared in five straight, starting the last four.
“[I’ve been] learning from Thiago, learning from Koulibaly and it’s good to be versatile. [Potter] changes formation a lot and the players a lot, so I want to be available in every position. [...] Any chance I get, I want to impress and do my best to get a win.”
-Trevoh Chalobah; source: Chelsea TV
Chalobah’s good form has started talk of an outside shot at the England squad for the World Cup, but Trev’s just focused on doing well with Chelsea at the moment. He’s represented the Three Lions at all the youth levels, but remains eligible for Sierra Leone as well.
“Yes, if it comes, I’m ready for what’s ahead. It’s always a kid’s dream to be called up. But my focus is to give my all for the club and then see what happens. For me, the first thing was to play for Chelsea and get myself back in the team, and I’m doing that now. That’s the most important thing for me.”
-Trevoh Chalobah; source: Evening Standard
It warms my cold, anti-internationals heart to hear Chalobah prioritizing the club game. And it’s also great to see the head coach continuing to put his trust in the whole squad.
“He’s came in and he hasn’t let us down. He gives everything. It was a tough evening for him today with the centre forwards they have, a different kind of test, but he’s stood up to it well. He’s a soldier.”
-Graham Potter; source: Chelsea TV via Chelsea Chronicle
With the relentless schedule and growing injury concerns, we’re going to need Chalobah to keep stepping up, to keep being our lucky charm, and more.