Chalobah opens up on being an inspiration in Africa, his faith and Rudiger’s vital role in his progress

His journey began in West Africa and he tells Edwards how he is aiming to inspire the next generation of players from that part of the world.

‘I was born in Sierra Leone and moved over here,’ Trevoh says in the interview, which you can watch in full above.

‘Them seeing me now will probably give them hope. If they do get the opportunity, that’s all it needs. For a lot of black African players, there is a lot of talent out there, but it’s then getting the opportunity to showcase their skills.’

As well as underlining the importance of his family, including his elder brother Nathaniel who also came through at Chelsea, Chalobah picks out the member of the current squad who he says has helped him the most in recent years.

‘Toni. When Toni first came, Conte was here and I used to train with the first team. He’s from Sierra Leone as well.

Petr Cech column: The importance of having the whole squad ready

We had a great performance from Edou in those last 20 minutes, when he made very important and decisive saves, which is obviously brilliant, but I think this game and now these coming games and the schedule, which is very busy over the next few weeks, shows how important it is to have a competitive squad and everybody on board. With a lot of games coming up, you might have some injuries or suspensions, and you need players to be ready.

It’s always hard for the players when they play less, because everybody wants to play every game even though that is impossible, as with the congested schedule and a lot of games you need to have some time where you recover and recharge. But clearly people want to play as much as possible.

So I think it’s always the responsibility of the player to make sure that when they are playing less they work hard and train with the intensity to be ready to play games. I have to say it is a credit to every one of our players, because every time we have players coming into the team after some time when they have not played, they have done well. That’s the target for everybody.

That’s why it’s great to have a competitive squad. Of course it is harder for the players, because there is more competition and sometimes you have to start on the bench, so the issue is that you always have to disappoint someone every game. Unfortunately that’s the way it works in a top club in football.

Two more games moved in December

We had been scheduled to host Everton at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday 15 December, but this has now been pushed back one day and that match will be played on Thursday 16 December, with kick-off at 7.45pm. It remains live on BT Sport

Likewise, our visit to Wolves will also now take place a day later than originally scheduled, meaning we visit Molineux at 2pm on Sunday 19 December. That game is not televised in the UK. 

Those are our last two league fixtures before the festive schedule begins in earnest on Boxing Day, when we face Aston Villa, Brighton & Hove Albion and Liverpool in quick succession.

The matches against Everton and Wolves have both been moved as a result of the rescheduling of the FIFA Club World Cup, which we were due to be competing in during December in Japan, courtesy of last season’s Champions League triumph.

However, following Japan’s withdrawal as hosts due to Covid-19, FIFA have now announced that the tournament will be delayed until early 2022, when it will be played in the United Arab Emirates.

Match report: Chelsea 4 Malmo 0

Chelsea (3-4-3): Mendy; Christensen, Thiago Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta (c) (James 65), Kante (Saul 65), Jorginho, Chilwell (Alonso 65); Mount, Lukaku (Havertz 23), Werner (Hudson-Odoi 44).
Unused subs Arrizabalaga, Bettinelli, Chalobah, Barkley, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Ziyech.
Scorers Christensen 9, Jorginho 21 pen, 57 pen, Havertz 48

Malmo (3-5-2): Dahlin (Diawara h-t); Larsson, Nielsen, Brorsson; Berget (Moisander 83), Pena (Rakip 58), Innocent, Christiansen (c) (Nalic 58), Olsson; Colak, Birmancevic (Abubakari h-t).
Unused subs Ellborg, Eile, Bjorkvist, Lindman, Gwargis.
Booked Nielsen 19, Christiansen 53, Larsson 55.

Referee Francois Letexier from France
Crowd 39,095

Chelsea line up vs Malmo

Malmo make two changes from their team that lost to Zenit on matchday two.

Chelsea: Mendy; Christensen, Thiago Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta (c), Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell; Mount, Lukaku, Werner.
Subs: Arrizabalaga, Bettinelli, Alonso, James, Chalobah, Barkley, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Saul, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech.

Malmo: Dahlin; Larsson, Olsson, Nielsen, Brorsson, Berget, Innocent, Christiansen (c), Pena, Colak, Birmancevic.
Subs: Ellborg, Diawara, Moisander, Eile, Bjorkvist, Lindman, Rakip, Gwargis, Abubakari, Nalic.

The referee is Francois Letexier from France.

Tuchel on how best to manage Lukaku

‘He is a fantastic athlete and such a competitive guy that he wants to win these things. I know how much he wanted to have a good outcome for a European Championship with Belgium and now again in the Nations League, which was a huge match for him personally as it means a lot to him to play for his country, so he takes it really seriously.

‘If that doesn’t work well, he always takes it on his shoulders, thinks about it and reflects and I feel he is mentally tired. Not hugely so that we have a concern, but for me he is not fully enjoying it without having second thoughts.

‘It is difficult to judge. Does he really need a break, or is it better to keep him on the pitch? The next national break is coming but this is what I feel particularly for him, and some other players too.’

Chelsea tributes at Malmo and Norwich games

Our Premier League home game against Norwich comes the day after the 25th anniversary of Harding’s death in a helicopter crash while travelling back from a League Cup game away at Bolton Wanderers. His fellow passengers Ray Deane, Tony Burridge, John Bauldie and Mick Goss also lost their lives in the tragedy.

Before kick-off against Norwich there will be a minute’s applause in honour of Harding, a Chelsea supporter who became heavily involved with the club and played a significant role in helping to finance the reconstruction at the north end of Stamford Bridge, which was renamed the Matthew Harding Stand following his death.

His financial investment in the club also helped us to sign players but he was lost to us before he could see his beloved Blues win silverware in the form of the FA Cup, later that season of the Bolton game. 

Andy Myers on building ‘confidence’ for the games ahead and his praise for Lewis Baker

Myers said that despite the positive results there is always room for improvement, adding:

‘The experience of having to be focused all game is invaluable for the boys. We must score a lot more from the the opportunites that we create, there are situations where you can be punished for not finishing off chances, so we must work on that.

‘The target for this group is to keep on learning, taking all the objectives and aspects from the last two games, in fact all games and using it to improve as a player and becoming a stronger, better team. It is these experiences that will shape you as a player and no matter their pathway into senior football, we want our boys to be ready.’

Gutting it out – hard-earned 1-0 wins

Thomas Tuchel’s side had to dig deep at the Brentford Community Stadium to preserve the lead given to us by Ben Chilwell just before half-time with Edouard Mendy producing a string of fine saves late on to ensure we won the west London derby.

However, grinding out three points against determined opponents in a tricky away fixture highlights the doggedness of the Blues to get a result in difficult circumstances and has often laid the foundation for success in our league-winning campaigns.

Blackburn Rovers – February 2005

Arjen Robben put Chelsea on course for an eighth straight league win and an 11-point lead in the table when fired us ahead after only five minutes at Ewood Park but when the Dutch winger was taken off injured after a poor challenge soon after, the game devolved into a tempestuous scrap.

Blackburn tried to rile the Blues with high-tempo pressing and feisty challenges which resulted in heated exchanges between both sets of players as the match threatened to boil over. However, Petr Cech superbly stopped a penalty by Rovers’ instigator-in-chief Paul Dickov as we repelled everything the home side could throw at us to claim a crucial 1-0 win.

The sight of several Blues walking off the pitch bare-chested in chilly conditions after throwing their shirts to fans in the away end following the final whistle epitomised the team’s battling spirit as we went on to keep 10 clear sheets in a row and claimed our first league title for 50 years.