“I’d want a leader in my team” – Leicester defender’s take on Chelsea chaos

Conor Coady is a likable guy and we like to hear to hear what he has to say on most subjects.

His comments on what happened with Raheem Sterling on Sunday were interesting, especially as Coady was playing for Leicester at the time and got to see the booing and the events that led up to it personally:

“If you look at what is going on around him [Sterling] at Chelsea – on and off the pitch – it’s difficult to have the simplicity that was in place at Manchester City. You’re taken out of that into chaos,” he explained to BBC Sport.

I don’t know what we want from footballers. You want them to step up and try to put things right, but when they don’t, we’ll sit here and say: ‘Why hasn’t he?’ If I were supporting Chelsea, I’d want a leader in my team.”

It’s interesting to hear that Coady interprets taking a penalty off a teammate who is much better at taking them as “leadership.” We’d see it quite the other way. A leader is one who is doing everything for the team, and in this case that meant letting Cole Palmer take the spot kick rather than going for it yourself.

He’s certainly right about the difference between Man City and Chelsea. Imagine Pep Guardiola not having an assigned penalty taker. It’s a different reality entirely for Sterling after so many years in that setup.

1 Comment

  1. Anyone who has played football knows that virtually every squad has a first-choice penalty taker and then a few backups and that the manager usually leaves it up to the players on the field to make the final decision, if, for example, that first-choice taker is feeling nervy or otherwise wants to defer to another teammate the manager wil trust their judgment. So, it’s not like it’s totally crazy that Sterling (and not Palmer) took the penalty. But what IS (deeply) unsettling is that a player as experienced as Sterling didn’t take a better shot! He could have shown leadership by backing Palmer to take the penalty (especially given the latter’s stellar record from the spot), but having usurped his role, it’s ESSENTIAL that Sterling converts. Instead, he comes nowhere close!

    Hopefully, this will cement Palmer’s role from the spot going forward and Sterling will take it upon himself to find other ways to lead (e.g., by giving 100% effort more consistently and by deferring to the younger players like Palmer to take free kicks since Sterling’s own kicks have too often been poor).

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