Competition for places in the team under Thomas Tuchel is key to the new boss’s unbeaten start at Chelsea, according to Ben Chilwell.
The run of results, which has included eight wins and four draws, has restored the Blues into a top-four position in the Premier League, it has us with a first-leg lead in our Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid, and it has earned a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
Chilwell, who helped keep a clean sheet in our most recent game – the 0-0 draw at Leeds on Saturday – has been personally affected by the stiff competition for a starting shirt, with Marcos Alonso’s increased involvement meaning reduced minutes on the pitch for the England left-back compared with earlier in the season, but he can see the strong squad benefitting the club as a whole.
‘The manager has come in and every weekend going into the game no one knows who is going to be starting and in what position, and that is a positive thing because we have a massive squad of very talented players who are all fighting for 11 spots.
‘That just brings the best out in all of us because in training everyone is fighting for one of those starting shirts. That is why coming into the weekend we are sharp and defensively we are doing well, and that is why we are unbeaten.
‘We have been training hard. Tactically the manager is spot on. Defensively we do look solid and I can’t put my finger on what it is apart from we are training hard and everyone is fighting for 11 spots and everyone is getting a game. It is important that we are getting clean sheets but on the flip side we want to be scoring more goals and winning more games.’
Chilwell admitted straight after the game at Leeds that he should have scored with at least one of the chances that came his way.
‘I’ve had a few chances that I probably should have scored and I think that is the same for a lot of people in attacking positions,’ he adds.
‘Once we get up there we need to be a bit more clinical. ‘We need to get more bodies in the box and try to be a bit more clinical with the final pass and the final shot.’
The next chance to do that comes on Wednesday night at the Bridge when the Blues will look to build on our lead from the away leg against Atletico Madrid.
‘One-nil away was a good result but we are only halfway done,’ says Chilwell, ‘and if we can get that win then that will be massive for that final push going into the last stretch of the season.’