Ben Chilwell believes Chelsea thrive due to a lack of ego and insists he never questioned his own abilities during a frustrating start to the season.
England defender Chilwell missed a minute of his country’s run to the Euro 2020 final this summer and was later overlooked for his club’s first six Premier League games.
The 24-year-old, who was initially ruled out of the Blues’ starting XI by Marcos Alonso, is back in favor at Stamford Bridge and seized his chance by scoring three times in four top-level outings, in addition to a young international goal last month.
Chilwell is preparing for the move of the Champions League supporters to Swedish club MalmÃ¶ on Tuesday night and believes he is reaping the benefits of patience and determination.
“It’s obviously frustrating because as a footballer you want to play week after week,” he said of the first few weeks of the campaign.
âWhen you have a team like the one we have here at Chelsea, with 20, 25 world class players and two or three fights in each position, you have to understand that you are not going to play every game and just to support the group.
â(There was) no doubt (during that time). As a footballer you have to be confident in your own abilities.
“I just wanted to train hard every day so that when I had the chance I would give my manager a headache and that’s all I could really do.
âWhen you come out of the Euro in your home country, of course everyone will be disappointed if they don’t play in it.
“But coming back to Chelsea I felt I was in a good position to help the team, but of course Marcos started the season really well, was there the whole pre-season and had a great start to the season. .
âI knew I had to be patient and bide my time.
“And I think that’s a sign that we have such a strong squad that is doing well right now because there is no ego in this squad; there is a squad of players who want to work hard for the manager, work hard for the club and for each other and for whoever has the chance they are ready. “
Chelsea are three points clear at the top of the Premier League after Saturday’s resounding 3-0 victory at Newcastle.
Remarkably, Chilwell – who has managed three goals in each of his last two top campaigns – had scored in the previous three league outings ahead of the trip to St James’ Park.
The former Leicester man, who arrived in west London in the summer of 2020, enjoys being deployed as an attacking left-winger in manager Thomas Tuchel’s fluid 3-4-2-1 system.
“Scoring goals as a defender is not something I do often,” said Chilwell, who played the full 90 minutes of the Champions League final victory in May against Manchester City.
“When I score it’s a nice feeling and luckily last month I was able to help the team with a few goals, I got my first goal for England which was also an amazing feeling.
“And I think that’s a part of my game where the manager has helped me the most and improved me the most – just getting the opportunities in and around the box to be more of a goal threat and contribute more with goals and assists in the team.
“With the way the manager wants us to play, we spend more time in the attacking positions.”