Chelsea FC youngster Tomas Kalas sat down for an interview with The Guardian and said that he was ready to become a first team regular for the Blues. Here are some excerpts from the interview where Kalas discussed everything from his Premier League debut this season and his first training session at Chelsea.
Kalas was asked about his debut against Liverpool:
“Please ask. When the boss said I was playing there was no time for nerves, even if it was a big game, a difficult game, up against Luis Suárez, Daniel Sturridge, Coutinho, Raheem Sterling…”
“It helped having Branislav Ivanovic alongside me. I’d played with him in my first game for Chelsea, in pre-season at Portsmouth under André Villas-Boas, so it was like a reunion. Maybe it was also easier for me because … no, I don’t want to say that. Actually, I wanted to say I’d rather play against attackers who are quicker with more mobility, than against players like a Demba Ba or a Didier Drogba. I’m still learning how to defend against players like that. Learning in the gym. I played with Wilfried Bony at Vitesse but in training I’d stay well away from him. If you went against Wilfried you might hurt yourself. But against Suárez and Sterling I know one of my strengths is speed.
“We did it, though. Not just me. If you are open and play ‘football’ against a team like them it might have ended 3-3, and the debut wouldn’t have been considered a success. But we played strong defence.”
Kalas was also asked about training and getting more opportunities to play:
“I learn in training, and I will learn all my life, but I don’t think it’s enough at this stage. When I was 17 and first came here I was happy just to work with the first team to make up the numbers. But now the level of my ability is higher. I’m just desperate to play games, like I did at Vitesse. I got used to playing there. Over the two years I played 63 games in a row and then, with one injury, a year has gone just like that. For now it’s OK. But let’s see what happens next year.”
Tomas Kalas on his early training sessions at Chelsea:
“I grew up there because, for that first six months at Chelsea, it’d been a fairytale. I’d known all the first-team players from the television, but I didn’t recognise them in person. I remember one session early on, training with the reserves, and there was this player there who I sort of recognised. I asked Jan Sebek and Milan Lalkovic who he was and they just laughed: ‘Are you crazy? That’s Paulo Ferreira.’ Seeing these guys in the flesh, and playing with them, was completely different to the telly.”
Kalas impressed against Liverpool and has always been a fantastic prospect for the Blues. He also seems to have the maturity necessary to be successful at a huge club like Chelsea. The performance against Liverpool may not have been enough to convince Jose Mourinho that he is ready to be a full time starter but he has certainly forced his way in to the first team conversation.
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