English Premier League

Antonio Conte hopes decision to rest key players pays off against Arsenal on Sunday

David Luiz, Victor Moses, Antonio Rudiger and Alvaro Morata were all rested as minnows Azerbaijan were thrashed by the English champions.

Antonio Conte believes his decision to rest several of Chelsea stars for their Champions League demolition of Qarabag will be rewarded when the Blues face Arsenal on Sunday.

Conte left out David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger, Victor Moses and Alvaro Morata for Tuesday’s 6-0 thumping of the Azerbaijan minnows at Stamford Bridge.

With those key players kept fresh and Eden Hazard coming off the bench for only his second appearance since close-season ankle surgery, Conte is confident Chelsea will go into their London derby in good condition to claim three valuable points.

“It was a good start, a perfect start us,” Conte said.

“To play the first game of the Champions League, then to win with a good result, to score many goals, to finish the game with a clean sheet.

“I saw a lot of positive things. Now we have to rest and get ready for a tough game against a strong Arsenal team.”

Conte’s selection gamble was never in danger of backfiring as goals from Pedro, Davide Zappacosta, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Cesar Azpilicueta and Michy Batshuayi ensured Chelsea made a strong start to their group stage campaign.

Giving his understudies a chance for valuable game time was an added bonus for Conte, who said: “I wanted to give a chance to Michy and also to Andreas Christensen.

“To play in the Champions League means the coach trusts you.

“My message tonight was this: I trust all my players, not with only words, but with facts.

Player development

“Last season we played with only 13 players, to do that again would be crazy.

“We have to develop these players, to try and create a good competition, a positive competition, between them. It’s very important.”

Conte was also encouraged by Zappacosta’s first start following his deadline day move from Torino.

The Italy right-back capped a lung-bursting run with a cross that flew in for Chelsea’s second goal.

“He played a really good game. For sure he knew very well my style of football and for this reason I decided to start with him,” Conte said.

“It’s not easy to change your life in one week, but his answer was very good.

“He scored and that’s important us but I’m more pleased for his performance.”

Despite Hazard’s solid showing as a second half substitute, Conte admitted it might be too soon for the Belgian playmaker to start against Arsenal.

“It’s early to speak about this. We must have a bit of patience with Eden,” Conte said.

“We must give him the possibility to recover very well, to be totally fit.

“We must have calm to do the best for the player and the team. Otherwise we risk a bad injury.”

It was a chastening first taste of the Champions League group stage for Qarabag, but Gurban Gurbanov, boss of the Azerbaijan minnows, insisted it was still a proud day for his club.

“The game was very difficult for us, Chelsea played very well,” he said.

“We made lots of errors. I accept we must play better but I’m still satisfied with the performance given the quality of the opponent.

“We are happy we are part of this tournament.”

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

“My body instantly craves chai and samosa”

German expats talk about adapting to India, and the surprising similarities between the two cultures.

The cultural similarities between Germany and India are well known, especially with regards to the language. Linguists believe that Sanskrit and German share the same Indo-Germanic heritage of languages. A quick comparison indeed holds up theory - ratha in Sanskrit (chariot) is rad in German, aksha (axle) in Sanskrit is achse in German and so on. Germans have long held a fascination for Indology and Sanskrit. While Max Müller is still admired for his translation of ancient Indian scriptures, other German intellectuals such as Goethe, Herder and Schlegel were deeply influenced by Kalidasa. His poetry is said to have informed Goethe’s plays, and inspired Schlegel to eventually introduce formal Indology in Germany. Beyond the arts and academia, Indian influences even found their way into German fast food! Indians would recognise the famous German curry powder as a modification of the Indian masala mix. It’s most popular application is the currywurst - fried sausage covered in curried ketchup.

It is no wonder then that German travellers in India find a quite a lot in common between the two cultures, even today. Some, especially those who’ve settled here, even confess to Indian culture growing on them with time. Isabelle, like most travellers, first came to India to explore the country’s rich heritage. She returned the following year as an exchange student, and a couple of years later found herself working for an Indian consultancy firm. When asked what prompted her to stay on, Isabelle said, “I love the market dynamics here, working here is so much fun. Anywhere else would seem boring compared to India.” Having cofounded a company, she eventually realised her entrepreneurial dream here and now resides in Goa with her husband.

Isabelle says there are several aspects of life in India that remind her of home. “How we interact with our everyday life is similar in both Germany and India. Separate house slippers to wear at home, the celebration of food and festivals, the importance of friendship…” She feels Germany and India share the same spirit especially in terms of festivities. “We love food and we love celebrating food. There is an entire countdown to Christmas. Every day there is some dinner or get-together,” much like how Indians excitedly countdown to Navratri or Diwali. Franziska, who was born in India to German parents, adds that both the countries exhibit the same kind of passion for their favourite sport. “In India, they support cricket like anything while in Germany it would be football.”

Having lived in India for almost a decade, Isabelle has also noticed some broad similarities in the way children are brought up in the two countries. “We have a saying in South Germany ‘Schaffe Schaffe Hausle baue’ that loosely translates to ‘work, work, work and build a house’. I found that parents here have a similar outlook…to teach their children to work hard. They feel that they’ve fulfilled their duty only once the children have moved out or gotten married. Also, my mother never let me leave the house without a big breakfast. It’s the same here.” The importance given to the care of the family is one similarity that came up again and again in conversations with all German expats.

While most people wouldn’t draw parallels between German and Indian discipline (or lack thereof), Germans married to Indians have found a way to bridge the gap. Take for example, Ilka, who thinks that the famed differences of discipline between the two cultures actually works to her marital advantage. She sees the difference as Germans being highly planning-oriented; while Indians are more flexible in their approach. Ilka and her husband balance each other out in several ways. She says, like most Germans, she too tends to get stressed when her plans don’t work out, but her husband calms her down.

Consequently, Ilka feels India is “so full of life. The social life here is more happening; people smile at you, bond over food and are much more relaxed.” Isabelle, too, can attest to Indians’ friendliness. When asked about an Indian characteristic that makes her feel most at home, she quickly answers “humour.” “Whether it’s a taxi driver or someone I’m meeting professionally, I’ve learnt that it’s easy to lighten the mood here by just cracking a few jokes. Indians love to laugh,” she adds.

Indeed, these Germans-who-never-left as just diehard Indophiles are more Indian than you’d guess at first, having even developed some classic Indian skills with time. Ilka assures us that her husband can’t bargain as well as she does, and that she can even drape a saree on her own.

Isabelle, meanwhile, feels some amount of Indianness has seeped into her because “whenever its raining, my body instantly craves chai and samosa”.

Like the long-settled German expats in India, the German airline, Lufthansa, too has incorporated some quintessential aspects of Indian culture in its service. Recognising the centuries-old cultural affinity between the two countries, Lufthansa now provides a rich experience of Indian hospitality to all flyers on board its flights to and from India. You can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalized by Lufthansa to the extent that they are More Indian Than You Think. To experience Lufthansa’s hospitality on your next trip abroad, click here.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.