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Erin Cuthbert interview: Chelsea have the chance to be great... but could end up winning nothing

Erin Cuthbert interview: Chelsea have the chance to be great... but could end up winning nothing

In a recent team meeting, Emma Hayes showed her Chelsea players a PowerPoint presentation with only two slides.

The first slide showed the four trophies they could win this season - the Women’s Super League (WSL), Champions League, FA Cup and Conti Cup. The second showed a blank white screen - they could also win nothing.

Chelsea, the WSL leaders, host title rivals Arsenal in a crunch clash at Stamford Bridge on Friday and the Blues must savour occasions like these.

After this season they will no longer have Hayes to guide them through, as she departs to become the new manager of the US women’s national team.

“Arsenal and Manchester City are two top teams and they are going to keep knocking on the door, so it’s up to us to keep pulling out results”, says Chelsea midfielder Erin Cuthbert.

“I’d much rather it was wrapped up, but I think it’s exciting for the fans. Every game matters. You have one switch-off moment and that’s enough to derail the title now.

“We’re under no illusions, it’s going to be hard to have near-flawless results until the end of the season, but I think a club like Chelsea, it’s in our DNA to be competing on all fronts.

Erin Cuthbert is one of the leaders in the Chelsea dressing room (Getty Images)
Erin Cuthbert is one of the leaders in the Chelsea dressing room (Getty Images)

“We’ve done everything right until now, but we have the chance to either go on and be great or go on and win nothing. Emma has reminded us of that.”

Cuthbert has worn the captain’s armband on occasion this season, and her seven years of experience at Chelsea shine through as she discusses the mentality that has seen them claim plenty of silverware in the Hayes era.

“Honestly, it’s going to need everyone,” she says. “We do have a lot of special players in the team.

“Everyone has got to step up; everyone needs five per cent more if we’re going to win the title. What we did last year ain’t going to be enough to win us the title.”

Since Hayes took over at Chelsea in 2012, she has transformed the Blues into the most professionalised women’s football team in the country, collecting 14 major titles along the way. There are, she hopes, four more trophies to follow.

“Emma works tirelessly for what she wants to achieve”, says Cuthbert. “She dedicates her life to it, but she makes sure that when she celebrates, she does it big, and I'm no different.

“So I think that's one thing that I've certainly learned from her: never [apologise] for wearing your heart on your sleeve, because it can reward you in weird and wonderful ways.

“A quadruple - wow, that's mad! We really want to do it for Emma. She'll love nothing more than leaving a legacy and a culture that's built on winning, and it's up to us to do it. The main message is: less talk, more action.”

Cuthbert describes herself as “the joker” in the Chelsea pack, and the 25-year-old speaks with an easy-going and lucid manner.

Emma Hayes and her staff have driven the whole culture in Chelsea to be one club, and for that I am eternally grateful

Erin Cuthbert

She reveals the business end of the season is her favourite period, and leaves nothing open to interpretation with regard to her appreciation for Hayes.

“Emma has done a lot for me,” she says. “I feel like I behave more like Emma, like a mini-Emma. She is quite direct in her actions, likes to get things done, won't mess around, and I think I have become more like that.

“I see that when I go away to the national team [Scotland], that I start having behaviours like Emma. But you are a by-product of who you surround yourself with.

“Her and her staff have driven the whole culture in Chelsea to be one club, and for that I am eternally grateful.”