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“We are not machines”- Chelsea defender opens up on criticism this season



Chelsea could sell Marc Cucurella and Kalidou Koulibaly among others in the 2023 summer window.

Chelsea defender Marc Cucurella reveals things he does to overcome pressure and criticism

Chelsea defender Marc Cucurella candidly talked about dealing with criticism and heavy pressure from everyone around and how to overcome these things.

After an underwhelming first half of his first season as a Chelsea player, the former Brighton and Hove Albion left-back showed his quality in games against Borussia Dortmund when the team overturned a one-goal deficit to win the last-16 tie of the Champions League. He was the man of the match in that game.

The Spaniard played well against Leicester City too, before staying on the bench for the Everton game. Graham Potter is playing him as a left-sided centre-back, which seems to be suiting him well.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: Marc Cucurella of Chelsea applauds fans as they warm up prior to the UEFA Champions League round of 16 leg two match between Chelsea FC and Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge on March 07, 2023 in London, England.
Chelsea defender Marc Cucurella opened about the difficulties of having to deal with pressure and criticism. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Here’s what Cucurella said about dealing with extreme pressure and criticism (h/t Chelsea website):

“We are people, we are not machines, and we have problems the same as all the people in the world. Sometimes it’s difficult because the people watch you on the pitch and they think you are a top player and you do not have problems and only play good football, but this is not the life.

“The life that is normal for everyone is for us as well. With this and then the pressure, maybe since I arrived here I don’t play my best games, to my real level, but I think these last two weeks I played really good and I am happy with this.”

It is always good to listen to players who are willing to open up about their difficulties while in a profession that is demanding, of high pressure but high in reward too.

With Potter fixating himself on the back-three formation and Ben Chilwell back fit and flying as a left wing-back, Cucurella’s game time for the remainder of this season may come only as a left-sided centre-back.

Chelsea's Spanish defender Marc Cucurella (R) vies with Dortmund's English midfielder Jude Bellingham during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second-leg football match between Chelsea and Borrusia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge in London on March 7, 2023.
Cucurella (R) has raised his performance levels in the last few games. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / IKIMAGES / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)

As shown against Dortmund, the 24-year-old depicted his usual tenacity off the ball, great recovery pace and interceptions along with accurate passing out from the back even when under pressure.

We welcome a two-week international break before important league games against Aston Villa and Liverpool. A week later, the first leg of the quarter-final tie of the Champions League against Real Madrid will kickstart. Cucurella could start that game and may have to deal with the likes of Rodrygo and Federico Valverde on that side of the field.

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We hope that the Spaniard continues the good form he has picked up recently and finishes the season strongly. He was an unused substitute in our 2-2 draw against Everton on Saturday at Stamford Bridge as Ben Chilwell played the full 90 minutes at LWB.

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