Premier League football returns to Stamford Bridge for the first time in three weeks when we take on Sheffield United this weekend and the matchday programme for the game is available to order now, featuring an exclusive interview with in-form Hakim Ziyech and a special front cover to commemorate Remembrance Day.
With Saturday’s game our closest fixture at Stamford Bridge to 11 November, it’s an opportunity to salute everyone that has served and is serving in our armed forces, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in conflict.
The club will once again be supporting the Royal British Legion’s poppy appeal and the programme is no different, with two Chelsea Pensioners featuring on the front cover.
There is also a photographic feature celebrating our unique history with the beloved Pensioners, while both Frank Lampard and Cesar Azpilicueta pay their own tributes within their usual columns. On top of that, club historian Rick Glanvill looks back at Stamford Bridge during the First World War in the latest instalment of Brick by Brick.
The headline feature of this weekend’s programme is an interview with Ziyech, our summer signing from Ajax who had to wait patiently on the sidelines while battling back from injury before making his mark.
Goals on each of his first two starts for the Blues, against Krasnodar and Burnley, have served notice of what the 27-year-old is capable of and, in a wide-ranging chat covering his first months at the Bridge, his mentality as a footballer and so much more, we found out what makes him tick.
‘When you play for a big team there is always pressure, and that will never change,’ said Ziyech, referring to his former club, Ajax. ‘But I was always thinking, “Yeah, there is pressure, but people make it bigger than it is.”
‘I feel like you have to put pressure on yourself. Of course, there is pressure on big games, but that is people making that for you – I think you have to put it on yourself, not let other people put you under pressure.
‘You have to motivate yourself, don’t let other people motivate you, because they’re living their own life and you’re living your own life. That’s the biggest factor that I changed in Ajax, I think.’
So, how does he put that into practice?
‘Just always stay calm,’ he added. ‘Try to be calm and, good or bad, there will always be opinion from people.
‘At the end of the day, you have to make sure that, when you go from training or the game, you’re just happy in your life. Don’t let other stuff kill your happiness. I think how happy you are outside the pitch is also how happy you are on the pitch.’
Catch up on all the latest goings on from elsewhere at the club, as Academy coaches Andy Myers and Ed Brand, and Chelsea Women boss Emma Hayes bring you up to date with their sides. For Brand and his Under-18s, it’s been quite the week as they beat Manchester United in the FA Youth Cup semi-final on Friday night but then fell at the final hurdle three days later.
For Blues fans of a certain vintage, you’ll be able to reminisce with Mark Stein about the striker’s two-goal showing against the Blades on a dramatic final day of the Premier League season in 1993/94. Steino talks us through that and what it meant to him in the latest What’s the Story.
You can order your copy of the Sheffield United programme for £3.50 (plus P&P) from our programme partner Reach Sport. There are also still copies available of tomorrow night’s programme for the game against Rennes.* Please note programme delivery is subject to Royal Mail, not guaranteed for matchday