Chelsea fullback Marcos Alonso has begun the season in sensational form, bagging with a goal and two assists already, and in an interview with the club website, the Spaniard has spilled the beans on his teammates.
Eden Hazard has been hogging the limelight after his superb goalscoring run, but Alonso feels his compatriot is the one who’s been the most impressive Blues winger: “Pedro, he’s been on fire since pre-season. He was scoring in pre-season and he’s started really well so I hope he continues to score goals and helps us reach our target, which is to win everything.”
While the task of the goalkeeper and a defender is effectively the same, it’s as different as chalk and cheese, yet Alonso feels German centre-back Antoino Rudiger would make a good custodian: “Toni Rudiger. He’s quick, he has good reflexes and he’s a lion.”
Alonso is inarguably the most lethal defender in front of goal at this moment in the Premier League and it’s not easy too see why the Spaniard picks himself as the one Chelsea defender who would be a successful striker.
“That’s an easy one. I have to go for me. I used to play as a striker when I was a kid, I really enjoyed it and I’ve kept some of the things I used to do, it’s good to score goals to help the team.”
There’s a cosmopolitan feel about most Premier League dressing rooms and Chelsea’s is no different, with players from three different continents playing together.
And Alonso admitted the Spanish-speakers generally sit together as he revealed that the players play a popular board game while travelling to away games: “On a four-man table: myself, Cesc Fabregas, Willy Caballero and Pedro. We like to play a board game called Parcheesi.”
Chelsea have made a blistering start to their 2018/19 Premier League season, having won all five of their games so far to go top of the league table, albeit on goal difference.
Interestingly, the person in charge of the music in the dressing room is not a player, but an unlikely source: “The kit man. If we want a song on the playlist he takes care of everything. It’s hard work and he does a good job.”
Club legend John Terry departed the club two seasons ago and Alonso revealed that the iconic defender’s absence has been filled by several players, but not one with respect to being vocal in the dressing room.
“John Terry used to do this (lifting morale after defeat) very well. In my first year he was very good for us even if he didn’t play that much. Off the pitch he played a huge part in us winning the title and I think now Fabregas, Azpi and David Luiz are all good characters in the changing room.”
Eden Hazard is one name that immediately comes to mind when one thinks of who the funny one in the dressing room would be, but it appears the Spanish contingent has stolen a march on the rest here as well: “Pedro has been really funny lately. In the last couple of years he’s learnt English and now he cracks jokes in English as well, he’s very funny.”
There were no prizes for guessing who would be the shyest member of the Chelsea squad and Alonso confirmed it was indeed a diminutive midfielder who just lifted the World Cup: “N’Golo Kante is one but also Ross Barkley when he first came was quiet, now he has picked up a lot of confidence. He’s a nice guy, very funny. I’m used to his accent from when I lived in Manchester, near Liverpool.”
Usually, most men want an extra inch or two to be even more imposing, but it appears Alonso would rather he was a bit shorter: “I’m happy just the way I am but if I was 10 centimetres smaller I could probably be a winger.
Ross Barkley’s form has been encouraging of late and it appears the Englishman has been among the most impressive free-kick takers in training as well as Alonso affirmed he was taken aback by the midfielder’s set-piece prowess as he added, “Barkley. He stayed behind the other day and was on fire. Davide Zappacosta as well.”
The Blues, playing the UEFA Europa League this season, will next play Greek side PAOK FC on Thursday night before making the short trip to the London Stadium to face West Ham on Sunday for a Premier League clash.