As part of this it is important to recognise and celebrate the diverse past, present and future of the club. In Black History Month, with a collection of words and video, we mark the contribution of some of our black players to the success of our club.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck says: ‘Through the work of Chelsea Foundation and Building Bridges, our campaign to celebrate diversity and inclusion across the club, Chelsea FC has for many years supported Black History Month. We are very aware many players of black heritage have been writing – and continue to write – our own club’s history, which will be remembered for decades to come. To continue our support for Black History Month, we are pleased to showcase some of that history here.’
Visit our Celebrating Black History Month page to read about current squad members from our men’s and women’s teams, superstars of the past, those who were important firsts, and to watch video of history makers, innovators and players who have risen through the ranks.
However, one of the areas Azpilicueta wants to see improvement in is our ability to defend as a team and be more ruthless in closing out games when we need to.
‘What is very clear is that if we want to improve and fight for everything we have to improve the defensive side and obviously this is a problem that we have to fix collectively and individually, because when you concede so many goals, one day you can get away with it and you can score four goals but you cannot rely on every single game to score four goals.
‘I think it’s key moving forward and we have to start getting this consistency of winning games, of not conceding goals.
‘When you have the solidity defensively I think it gives a boost for the whole team. I always see football as a collective. When we don’t score goals I try to see even as a defender, how we can put our dangerous players, attacking players, in better positions, because sometimes they don’t get the service that they should get. And as a defender I feel bad when you concede as many goals, but sometimes we have to improve our personal mistakes that have been an issue and also collectively sometimes we have to take decisions and say “we all defend together right now”.
‘Through the season you’re not going to be playing beautiful football every single day and winning 4-0, even if it’s what we wish. When we can’t, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter your position, we must do this to win the game because football is about results.’
Lampard acknowledged that is not good enough for a team wishing to challenge towards the top end of the table, but he also pointed out that some of our defensive numbers are more impressive, and perhaps more enlightening.
‘I’m aware of that stat,’ started Lampard, ‘and the other stat I’m aware of since I have been here is that we have conceded the second-fewest shots in the Premier League, behind Manchester City.
‘It helps to sometimes narrow down some of the issues. The issues are we don’t concede many shots on our goal, but when we do we concede goals.
‘It’s something we’re aware of when we look at recruitment, and more importantly you’re aware when you work every day on the pitch with the players to make sure we are set up well.
‘We want to concede less, as do all teams at the moment. There are teams in the Premier League that are conceding a lot of goals at the moment, we are all in a similar position to a degree. It will always be something we work on, as much as we do our attacking play.
‘In the small pre-season we had I was talking a lot with my agent and the club, to get some clarity on what was going on,’ added Tomori.
‘With transfers I prefer if it wasn’t last minute, but situations happen where you have to take a decision quickly.
‘I made the decision in the end to stay, to improve more, try and get in the team, play some more games, gain some more experience, and try and get to the levels I was at last season.’
Chelsea vs Sevilla live stream
The match will be broadcast live on BT Sport 3 in the UK.
Chelsea TV’s matchday programming is on the 5th Stand, Facebook Live and our official YouTube channel with three live shows: pre-match, half-time and post match.
Chelsea vs Sevilla live commentary
There will be live text commentary updates on the 5th Stand app and this website, as well as updates on our @chelseafc Twitter account.