Today’s matchday programme cover features Willian and inside there is an exclusive interview with Antonio Rudiger, who discusses his upbringing in Berlin among other topics in the latest In His Own Words feature.
The German international is back in the Blues team after struggling with injury in the first part of the season and he opens up about a childhood in which money was scarce but the values of family and community were deeply ingrained. He also discusses his role in the development of the youngsters in our squad, although you won't catch him playing Playstation with them!
In his regular page, Frank Lampard writes about the relationship between players and supporters in building a positive atmosphere at the Bridge and how a rare midweek without a game has given him an important opportunity to work with his players uninterrupted at our Cobham training ground.
‘It’s good to have that time to work with the players,’ he said. ‘There are always things you want to look at on the training pitch, particularly when you’re a new manager at a club, with ideas in mind. So it’s been nice to go back to basics on the training pitch and work on some of those things.’
In the captain’s column, Cesar Azpilicueta addresses our recent home form and the need to get back to winning ways in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge, building on last weekend’s FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest.
‘It is a must for us to be solid and consistent at home, to make Stamford Bridge a tough place to come,’ he writes. ‘We know we didn’t do enough in our last few Premier League fixtures here, but we have been working hard to improve that.’
Tammy Abraham also features in the programme as the subject of Previously, which is a photographic look back at an aspect of a current Blues player’s career, and this week it’s a reminder of his tally of away goals, the most recent of which was of course the winner against Arsenal.
The managers of our development squad, Under-18s and Women’s sides all have their usual columns, with this week’s offering from Emma Hayes taking an in-depth look back at last Sunday’s win over Reading in Sam Kerr’s first game for the club.
There is plenty of historical content, too, as Ron Harris is the focus of club historian Rick Glanvill’s latest feature looking back at our FA Cup-winning campaign in 1970 and Tommy Lawton, who once cost a British record transfer fee, reveals the Secrets of the Dressing Room. Another legend of the game is talked about in the latest Stargazing, as Frank Sinclair recalls the time he came up against Romario on his international debut for Jamaica.
And there’s also a piece looking at the start of the Docherty’s Diamonds era, although our charismatic former manager and his young side were almost derailed by the Big Freeze which hit Britain in 1963 and led to over a month without any league football!
- This season’s matchday programme remains at £3.50 and is available in and around Stamford Bridge, the Megastore and online. Cashless payment is now available from certain sellers.