Conor Gallagher had a disappointing season last year, like most everybody else on Chelsea. But like most everybody who has (so far) survived the great culling of the summer, he’s looked a fair bit better this season under new head coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Last night was perhaps Conor’s best performance yet in a Chelsea shirt (highlights, full match available on the 5th Stand app and the official Chelsea website), and he even got to wear the captain’s armband for the first time as a senior Chelsea player as Pochettino rotated the side for the cup tie. Gallagher was one of just four to keep their place (Disasi, Colwill, Sánchez the others).
Having now started every game so far this season, playing in a generally more withdrawn role in support of the attacking players ahead of him with his indefatigable all-action style, Gallagher’s hoping to keep this run of form going. (And keep it going for Chelsea, obviously, if you want to read into these quotes.)
“It’s a dream at the moment but I just don’t want to stop, I want to keep improving, keep helping the club. It was a great moment tonight [captaining the team] and hopefully many more.
“Everyone’s playing well, obviously a lot of top midfielders [have joined the club], but I’m just playing with quite a lot of confidence at the minute, and I feel fit and strong. It’s great to have a great squad that we have for this season, it’s really important to help us win games.
“I’m happy with how it’s going so far for myself, I want to keep improving and keep helping the team get more wins.”
There’s been speculation all summer about Gallagher joining the exodus, but thankfully Pochettino seems to rate him perfectly well and has relied on him fully in these opening few weeks. And considering that the strongest links have been with Tottenham, let’s hope that nothing that silly happens in the next 24-48 hours.