After my first few months here in England I can call myself an English champion after winning the league with Chelsea FC. It has been an amazing first few months and we only have wo more games left of the season, one of them the Champions Legue final in Sweden. I have joined winning team, that is for sure and I feel really thankful and blessed for that. Not everyone gets the opportunity to join a winning team where anything but winning is considered a failure. But what does it take to be a winning team? What do I think Chelsea FC have that makes us a winning team? One thing is certain: you do not create a winner over night.
When I joined the team in January I had expectations about what the team was aiming for this season. I was not expecting anything less than winning the league and the english cups that they participate in. Regarding the Champions League I knew that the club aimed high and I was pretty convinced that they had every possibility to go all the way. Soon after my arrival I had it confirmed: we were aiming to win everything. Players as well as all the staff around the team had the faith. Common and clear goals are something that have been with us all the way, both on and off the pitch. The goals set out were realistic ones given the level of quality present in our team and this resulted in a collective belief and buy in to work towards the attainment of them.
Culture is the sum of the contributions from all of the individuals within an organization, in our case by the players and the staff. It is something ”that is in the walls” and takes long time to build. When I came in January, in the middle of the season and as the only new signing, I felt welcomed straight away. I soon felt like a part of a family, that always looked out for each other. The culture in this club is clear and many people in and around Chelsea FC have worked hard to create it. It has been a long process which is now bearing fruit. Something that I think epitomize this culture and this team is that this family is extremely skilled at combining having fun with doing things with quality, both on an individual and a group level. It just comes naturally that that is the norm.
The third area which has impressed me about this team is the individuals and the group as a whole, and the ability to find a good balance between them both. That is something that I think is crucial if a team wants to be a winning team and to be able to create a winning culture. Chelsea FC is one of the best teams in the world, with players that are exceptionally. We all know that only eleven players can start the game and likewise we all know that there are a lot more players than that who want to start. The Blues are a team that want to win everything as a team but it is also a team containing players that always push themselves to reach their own best level. Many players are already one of the best in the world in their respective positions and many players want to be that in the future. I am often fascinated, but not surprised, at players´ different skills, their will to compete and to get better. At the same time I am fascinated by how a group of world class players can start by focussing on themselves and their play before suddenly switching and focusing on the team and their given role when required. In training we compete to be able to support each other on game day. That is something that is a huge strength in this team.
Clear and common goals that everyone believes in, a strong winning culture and the balance between the Individual and the Team. These are the different parts which I believe Chelsea FC are doing particularly well and are a crucial part of the success so far. There are two games left of the season. On Sunday we play the Champions League final. It remains to be seen whether that goal can be reached, to lift the trophy in Gothenburg. One thing is certain: you do not create a winner over night.