Gary Cahill has come ut to say after yesterday’s Community Shield game that Chelsea cannot afford so many injuries this season as they do everything within their power to defend their Premier League title while returning to the Champions League with a squad short on numbers.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has repeatedly talked about the need for his team to make more signings before the end of the transfer window, and said before to Sunday’s penalty-shootout defeat to Arsenal in the Community Shield that he is anticipating the “most difficult season” of his managerial career.
Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger and Willy Caballero are the only recent additions to a squad that has lost Nemanja Matic, Nathan Ake, John Terry, Nathaniel Chalobah and Asmir Begovic this summer, while Kurt Zouma and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have also been loaned out.
Gary Cahill, who has taken over from Terry as club captain, says the Premier League champions have little margin for further misfortune.
“The back of the programme was interesting,” Cahill told the Evening Standard after Sunday’s loss. “In terms of quality we’ve certainly got that, but you have to hope we don’t have too many injuries.
“Obviously the [four] new players who have just come, they’re going to be vitally important. There’s no doubt we’ve added quality to the team.
“But with playing more games due to the Champions League this season, the numbers are going to be tested. We just have to keep everybody fit and sharp.
“As players we are in control of what we do and the way we prepare for the games. The other stuff outside of that [transfers] is none of our business.”
“The mood in the camp is fine,” the England international added. “The Community Shield is not a setback but I do see it as a disappointment.
“It is hurtful because we lost a game we wanted to win and had a chance to win a trophy. We need to brush that off and prepare for an important season.”