Antonio Rudiger doesn’t quite know what’s ailing Chelsea — does anyone? — but he’s sure the answer is not as simple as a question of motivation (or mentality, in general), which has become Maurizio Sarri’s favorite talking point.
For Rudiger, the motivation isn’t a problem. The team wants to win, wants to work hard and play hard, there is no problem there. The problem is just that sometimes, that’s as far as we get. We want to win, but sometimes we forget to actually do it.
“It’s up to us now. What happened against Bournemouth must not happen again.
“Our biggest shortcoming is that we lost consistency. We always want [it], but sometimes not a lot works out. We go blank a bit currently, but it’s no reason to talk everything down. I am not that kind of guy.
“[Sarri] is a very emotional coach. But you can’t put everything down to motivation.”
Of course, as much as Sarri has harped on issues with mentality, he’s also lamented the squad’s slow adaptation to his tactical ideals. In this regard, Rüdiger urges a bit of patience, but, ironically, advocates for the team to get a bit more emotional during games.
“For a long time, Chelsea had a defensive approach. And you can’t get used to something new overnight. Pep Guardiola’s first year wasn’t all that smooth as well.”
“We have been there when it mattered. We were the first team to beat Manchester City after all. We must be tougher. By now, we have a lot of possession, but we need get something dirty back in our game.”
-Antonio Rüdiger; source: ESPN
There’s no doubting Rüdiger’s passion for the game and for Chelsea to do well. With the team desperate for such leaders, perhaps he’s emerging as a much-needed one right in front of our eyes.
Follow him into battle, shall we?