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Cesar Azpilicueta on Chelsea’s universal language and challenging with Reece James

Cesar Azpilicueta has revealed how the Chelsea backline used French, rather than English, to communicate in our recent victory over Crystal Palace.

The Blues ran out 4-0 winners at Stamford Bridge, with goals from Ben Chilwell, Kurt Zouma and a pair of Jorginho penalties ensuring we headed into the international break on a high.

With Edouard Mendy making his Premier League debut in goal, and Thiago Silva at the heart of the defence, it was down to Zouma and French-speaking Azpilicueta to help out with any instructions and ensure they wouldn’t get lost in translation.

‘Yes it’s true, we were communicating in French,’ confirmed Cesar.

‘I speak French, as does Thiago, and obviously Kurt does as well. It was a good way for us to talk at the back. Edu [Mendy] in goal speaks French too, so it was the best way for us.

‘We try to help out as much as possible with the players that don’t speak English at the moment and it is no problem for us. Thiago also speaks the same language as Jorginho, so he can communicate with him too.

‘I think language is secondary though. Football is a universal game and for people like Thiago, he’s been around the game for a long time and can lead others even without speaking the language so well.

'We want to make the adaptation as easy as possible for the new players and if we have to speak French in defence until the guys understand English, then that is fine.’

The Spaniard has forced his way into Frank Lampard’s side recently, coming off the bench and having an impact against West Brom before starting his first Premier League game of the season in our win over Palace.

Despite playing second fiddle to Reece James for the opening few games, the skipper has nothing but praise for the young right-back and fully respects the decision of our head coach.

‘The competition with Reece is very strong,’ said Azpilicueta. ‘As I have said before, this is Chelsea and you have to fight for your place in the team along with many other good players. This has been the same since I arrived here in 2012.

‘Reece is a fantastic boy, he’s a huge talent and he has lots of quality. I’m happy to try to help him and the team wherever I can. It’s a huge challenge every day to work hard, prove yourself and fight for your place in the team. I want to play as much as possible, that is my target, but of course I want to help the team first and foremost.

‘Of course, every player wants to play every single game but we have to respect the decision of the manager and just know that everyone in the squad will have their chance through the season. I didn’t start the first few Premier League games, but I came on against West Brom and then played against Crystal Palace.

‘When you get your chance, you have to take it and make it difficult for the manager to leave you out. I think having that strong competition that we have here is key and is what is needed for the club to improve and develop.'


Read: Our Debrief on the big win over Crystal Palace 

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