Regardless of the fact he has won a host of major honours, both for club and country, Pedro’s desire to achieve further success remains as strong as ever, and the forward hopes he can add to his medal collection with the Blues this season…
Having enjoyed a solid pre-season campaign, in which he scored in games against Perth Glory and Inter Milan, Pedro was impressive in last Saturday’s 3-0 win at Huddersfield, playing a role in the move which led to N’Golo Kante’s opening goal, before completing the scoring late on with a superb finish.
The Blues play our first home game of the new campaign later today against Arsenal who, like ourselves, are under the guidance of a new manager in Unai Emery, and Pedro says the team want to start well in front of our own fans.
‘It was a very good start for me and the team because we played a very good game against Huddersfield,’ said the Spaniard.
‘Now it’s a very big test for us and an opportunity to continue in this way and get three points against Arsenal, I think it’s a very important game for us.
‘Unai Emery is a very good coach and Arsenal are a very good team with very good players, so it will be difficult, but it’s our first match at Stamford Bridge, a massive game, and for us the motivation is very high. It’s a great opportunity to gain confidence, win three points and create a gap over them.
‘When you play against Arsenal it’s very difficult, they play very well with and without the ball.’
Pedro has already won the Premier League and FA Cup since moving to Stamford Bridge almost exactly three years ago, having enjoyed huge success at previous club Barcelona, as well as being part of the Spain squads which secured the World Cup and two European Championships’ prior to his arrival in SW6.
So, for a player who has achieved so much in the game, how does he remain motivated at the start of a new season?
‘Every player always wants to win titles,’ said Pedro. ‘You fight for results, and to play in finals, to win titles because it’s good for your career. That’s the principal challenge, to get confidence and to start in the right way, focused on having a very good season.
‘You always want more. It’s very important to have big ambitions. You can always do better and improve. It’s very good for you and your life and, in the future, when you retire you can look at those trophies and feel very happy.’
After last week’s win at Huddersfield, Maurizio Sarri said he was pleased with the way in which his team controlled the game in the second half. Naturally it will take time for the players to fully understand exactly what the Italian expects from them, both individually and collectively, but Pedro says the early indications are promising.
‘He’s a good coach with good ideas, he wants us to play football and enjoy it. We have to run a lot, but with ambition and with a clear idea to press very high, recover the ball and create chances while having good possession and finding space between the lines.’
Pedro has also spoken about his compatriot Kepa Arrizabalaga, our new goalkeeper who joined the club just over a week ago and kept a clean sheet on his debut at Huddersfield.
‘I think he’s very young but with experience as well,’ said Pedro. ‘He’s played a lot of games in Spain with Athletic Bilbao and also played for the national team. He’s very clever and very good in the air, he’s fast when trying to save the ball and for this reason he’s a good option for the team and he makes us stronger.
‘It’s very different [in England], I know that and I’ve spoken with him. For example, from corners it’s very difficult to defend them with the central defenders and strikers but he knows this and he’s seen in training the fast rhythm of the game. But joining Chelsea is a good choice for him and his career and it will help his grow as a player.’