Cole Palmer has not only burst onto the scene as the proverbial quarterback of our fledgling attack, but he’s quickly emerging as a leader on the pitch as well, in action, in mentality, and in words, too.
And after Monday’s character-building derby win against Tottenham, a hard-fought, dramatic, and at times even ridiculous
90 110 minutes, the youngster’s hoping that the team can emerge with newfound confidence, upon which we can build a bit of momentum.
“We knew before we came into it how big the game would be, for many reasons. [We] knew they were unbeaten, they’re a great side, but we’re a great side too. We thought we could go there and get a result and that’s what we did. We just need to keep pushing on from here and keep building.
“In the early stages we were losing too many second balls. When the balls were bouncing in the 50-50s, it was getting on top of us and they were breaking, so we needed to fix that and I think we grew into the game as it went on. [...] It’s definitely easier to play against nine men, but on the other hand we knew we needed to win the game when they went down to 10 men.
“Then when they went down to nine especially, we knew we needed to score, to keep pressing, to keep making the runs in behind because their line was so high. [...] They maintained the line very well to be fair to them, so it was difficult, but as it went on we figured out how to get in behind. The coaches just said to us at half-time to keep pushing and the chances will come. We knew that and we’re just glad we took them.”
Spurs got a lot of weird credit for their staunch refusal to play with some common sense, especially after their second red card, but at the end of the day, they played right into our hands. Chelsea have struggled to break down deep-lying defenses all season, but Spurs presented no such problems. And even with Chelsea’s usual finishing foibles, it was only going to be a matter of time before we broke the deadlock — and we had plenty of time indeed.
Plenty of time is something we don’t really have to get our project off the ground and running, but Monday’s win could certainly proper us forward ... especially if we were to get anything out of Sunday’s game against Manchester City and the Bridge.
Palmer’s boyhood club will make that game even more special for him personally, and hopefully inspire even more greatness.
“[Monday] was a slow start from us and a fast start from [Spurs], which happens sometimes. We need to avoid it as much as possible, but credit to the team, we got back into it and then carried on stepping up and got the three points.”
“I’m really enjoying it at Chelsea every day, on and off the pitch. It was a big change for me and my family to come here, but opportunities like this don’t come around often, so I’m glad it’s paying off at this moment in time.”
“[Sunday] is another big game against a great side. A side that I spent nearly all of my life at so far. It’s going to be a good game, I’m looking forward to it.”
-Cole Palmer; source: Chelsea FC