Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has opened up about how the Super League fiasco affected the players which eventually led to the disappointing performance in the goalless draw with Brighton on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old did not play in that game as manager Thomas Tuchel decided to given Kepa Arrizabalaga consecutive starts after a clean-sheet in the Manchester City win.
But even Mendy admitted that he felt the impact that the news and reactions around the Super League plans had.
Obviously, as a player and an employee of the club, the players did not really have a say in the decision and, like the fans, were likely surprised when the club made the announcement.
“We’re humans, so yes, I think the Super League and the news [had an effect],” the Senegal international told Sky Sports.
“Because every time you open your phone, you see the Super League [everywhere].
“Even your friends called you, they texted you [about the news].
“So I think, yes, it affected us. We tried against Brighton, we tried to give our best, but it didn’t work.
“Now we have a big game against West Ham, and we need to only focus on the game.”
Tuchel has confirmed that Mendy will be back in goal at the London Stadium, and hopefully, with Chelsea having announced their withdrawal, he and the rest of the players can focus on the game.
This is an important game and the result will have a big impact on the race for the top four.
As things stand, Chelsea are still ahead of West Ham in the league, but bot sides are level on points (55) and the former are only ahead on goal difference.