There can be no doubt that Chelsea players are, by now, fed up with doing keepie-uppies in their back gardens. How else might they pass the time until life reopens?
The novelty of kicking a toilet roll into a strategically placed waste paper bin and filming it for Instagram must have worn off by now. The professional sportsmen and women of Chelsea FC must be chomping at the bit to get back onto a football pitch. With any risk of pranksterism safely in the past, it can do no harm to now surmise – using unnamed, unverified, likely unreal sources – how some of Chelsea’s players are finding ways to fill the long hours inside.
1. Ross Barkley: See the world from home!
Ross Barkley has found the lockdown very difficult to handle. He likes to go out and about. He likes to socialise with his friends. However, Barkley knows he can’t, so is looking to get his kicks from doing jigsaw puzzles.
“Jigsaw puzzling is so cool,” the former Everton man said recently. “You get a picture that’s, like, cut up into loads of little pieces and you put the picture back together again.
The fact that you can be transported to any place in the world gives BB8 the opportunity to dream of the places he can visit once the current lock-down is over. He’s currently working on a 400-piece puzzle of one of his favourite haunts – Blackpool Promenade – complete with the tower and a tram.
2. Jorginho: Stitch, point, shout
Likewise, Jorginho has chosen to do something a less taxing on his body. For him, it’s cross-stitch that floats his boat.
Short-repetitive stitches suit his laid-back style – he can spend hour upon hour doing the same thing with no end result.
“It’s good. If ever I need to change to a new thread, I point over to my sewing box and shout for my wife to get me a new colour.”
Jorge is currently embroidering a picture of the Marlboro Cigarette factory as a potential gift to Maurizio Sarri, should he make the move to Juventus in the summer. It’s going to take a lot of work, though, and should he not finish before the lock-down is over, he plans on getting another disciplinary ban to complete those finishing touches.
3. Pedro: Any movement is good movement
Pedro really misses the cut and thrust of his day job. He doesn’t mind if he doesn’t play in Chelsea games, he just likes to train and run. Sources close to the club say his nickname around Cobham is Forrest Gump, the film character played by Tom Hanks who loved to run for mile after mile.
In line with current lock-down protocol, Pedro’s limited to just one hour of exercise outside of his home per day. Fortunately for him, technology allows the opportunity to carry on doing what he loves within the confines of his garage. He has, himself, temporarily converted the former car storage facility into a state-of-the-art gym complete with a treadmill and rowing machine.
“It’s great to just come in here and run”, the Spaniard said. He hopes to be running on the football field again very soon.
4. Eden Hazard: Great Belgian Bake-Off?
Meanwhile, over in Spain, Chelsea’s former star Eden Hazard has also been passing the time by improving his skill-set. We all know he’s nippy on the football field, but few people are aware of his ability in the kitchen. Hazard has been a long time admirer of the TV show, the Great British Bake Off. One day, he hopes to appear on a show himself.
“That’s the dream. Never mind World Cups and Champions League medals. My goal is to produce an outstanding show-stopper.”
It’s something the current lock-down is giving him the opportunity to perfect. So far he’s tried to replicate both Stamford Bridge and the Bernabeu in cake form with similar results.
“I think my flour to butter to sugar ratios were all wrong” the tricky Belgian said.
Given time, it’s almost certain the Real Madrid man will get it right and, perhaps once he’s hung up his boots, we can look forward to seeing him grace our TV screens in his apron.
5. Callum Hudson-Odoi: Call my number!
Callum Hudson-Odoi was the first Premier League player to contract the COVID-19 virus. Having now recovered full health he’s taken up a new hobby that he says helps him to relax and take his mind back to happier times.
Being one the “kids,” Hudson-Odoi has used his wealth of high-tech know-how to participate in one of the world’s oldest games, brought into the 21st century: Bingo fills his hours whilst he awaits the call back to Chelsea.
It’s a game he played as a small child on family trips to the seaside. This is not the game that takes place on piers and in converted cinemas throughout the country with blue-haired ladies aplenty, though. This is on-line bingo. You can safely play without leaving your home or being accosted by fans. For bingo aficionadoes, it’s a revelation.
As Hudson-Odoi says:
“Just waiting for that one number, gives you such a buzz. It’s not quite the adrenaline you get from scoring a goal but these are difficult times and I’ll take that.”