Marc Cucurella has not had the easiest 18 months to start his Chelsea career on the pitch.
He cost a lot of money, came into a team that was playing badly, and then put in some shocking performances himself. Fans were never given much of a chance to like him – to many of them he represents bad decision making from those in charge of managing the squad.
But at least his adaptation off the field has been a little easier, and it feels like that’s all been part of him gradually improving as time passes. While a Spaniard left this summer, another couple came in, along with a Spanish-speaking coach and in an interview on the club’s official website, Cucurella explained how that was helpful:
“I am very happy they joined,” he said of Robert Sanchez and Moises Caicedo’s arrivals.
“I told them it’s an important club, they would feel very good here, that I am happy here, and that we would have a Spanish mafia!
“That we can speak as well with the manager in Spanish makes it easier to explain our mistakes or what we need to do on the pitch.
“We have a really good team, are very close inside and outside the pitch, and I think when these relationships are good then on the pitch we can play together.’
Let’s hope that the Spanish mafia proves to be a positive for dressing room morale rather than a negative! We always hear fears of “cliques” developing, but being able to bond with people from the same culture or with the same language can be a good thing too.