|Desc||Another young Chelsea player to impress on loan at Pride Park, Tomori has looked up to Lampard since coming through the youth ranks in west London|
|Org||England National Team|
|Club as Player||Chelsea FC|
2019 05 22 Retrieve
[Quotes on Frank Lampard the manager] Coming from Chelsea, he is a legend. Not too long ago, I was in the academy there and he was scoring for Chelsea. I was watching his games whilst he was there and now he’s managing me. I know he knows what he is talking about. He has been at the highest level of the game, played for England and Chelsea, so for him to be my manager, I know he wants the best for me
: 2019 07 25 Fikayo Tomori - who won Player of the Season for Lampard’s Derby County in 2018-19 - to fall back on should Kurt Zouma leave, but right now the England Under-21 centre-back is the most likely to be let go on loan in a bid to earn more experience
2019 09 01 Retrieve
[Chelsea (2) vs (2) Sheffield United. Chelsea youngster Fikayo Tomori says he and his team-mates were angry to have thrown away three points] We’re all angry because when you’re 2-0 up at home then the game should be safe. We said at half-time that we wanted to up it again but we didn’t do that. We conceded a goal really early on in the second half and it becomes very difficult when you do that. It’s disappointing but we just have to learn from it. This is Chelsea, we’re a big club and there’s a lot of expectations but we’re here to try to meet those expectations
[Some voiced their frustrations on social media at a perceived naivety from Frank Lampard in bringing on 18-year-old Gilmour as his side fought to close out the game – and eventually failed to do so] There are high standards and when we fall below those standards then of course there will be questions. It’s not always going to be perfect but in games like today, when we’re in such a strong position and then we throw it away, it’s disappointing. I’m here to try and push everyone else in the squad in my position so it was nice to get my full debut. I’m very proud but it would have been even better for us to get the win. We (Tomori, Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount) have gone through the whole process and we’ve seen a lot of people come and go so to get to this stage is good but obviously now we want more. We want to really cement our places in the team and do big things for this club
2019 10 07 Retrieve
[Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori has said it has been a ‘mad turnaround’ to go from playing on loan at Derby County to a first call-up to the England squad] Yeah, I wasn’t really expecting it. I came in this season trying to improve myself and give myself the best chance to play in the Premier League. Playing for Chelsea is what I’ve been doing since I was seven years old, so it’s nice it’s happened this way. Having the manager say that about you is nice and that’s what you want. I know he has that faith in me and he’s showed me that faith last year and this year. I’ve just tried to work hard and I knew coming back for pre-season I would have to take myself up a couple of levels and I was going to have to learn from other people. So, that’s what I’ve been doing and it’s nice he’s saying that, but I want to carry on and keep improving
[Tomori could have instead opted to play for Canada, where he was born, or Nigeria, where his parents hail from, and he acknowledged he had to think hard about choosing England] England is such a big nation, as well as Nigeria and Canada, so I think I was going to be happy with whoever called me up - but it’s nice it is England. It wasn’t England all the way. I had certain people and certain things that I had to consider. I spoke to my family and people that I care about it and that’s the decision I came to. So, when England came calling, it was difficult to say no.
It was just more of a thing I was waiting for a call-up because the last international break I didn’t get a call-up from anyone. This international break, I was waiting for a call-up and England called me up. It’s been a good week. Nice to get the England call-up, but winning in Lille and today, it’s been a good week. The manager (Lampard) told me in the changing room after the Lille game (about his England call-up) so I knew a day before and I had to keep it a secret.
I told my family and then it got announced on Thursday. Not at all [did I see it coming]. The manager told me and I was like ‘oh’. It was a nice feeling. I’d say so [that it came quicker than I expected]. Last season, I wasn’t expecting to be there but I never really put a limit on saying I couldn’t do it. It was just more a case of I’ve got to give my best for my club and wherever I was going to be playing week in, week out and try to get in the squad wherever I was. It is obviously good I am here and now, to be in the England squad, it’s a mad turnaround for myself
[He is thriving under Lampard and his coaching staff] It makes it a lot easier because the manager outlines what he wants from us and we try not to change it up too much. It’s still the same principles of we want to press, we want to work hard for each other. Regardless of the shape, those are the fundamentals and the basics of what we want to be doing. It makes it easier if we switch from a three to a four. Sometimes you have to adapt to the opposition but most of the time we want to play our own game
2019 10 07b Retrieve
[Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori has recalled accidentally breaking Diego Costa’s nose in a training session] I was actually still in school and I didn’t know I had done it in training. It was an accident, we both went up for a header and I had to flick the ball backwards and he tried to score. He headed the back of my head and he broke his nose. I didn’t know I had done it until the next day when it was all over the papers. I was getting a lot of messages with people thinking I had meant to do it! It was mostly light-hearted, a lot of banter. I got back to school and people were asking about it. I was in year 10 or 11 and my mates had all seen it. It was all right. He didn’t kick me in training after that
[Tomori admits that he did not foresee David Luiz leaving to join Arsenal] Yeah, I wasn’t really expecting [Luiz to leave]. I came in this season just kind of trying to improve myself and give myself the best chance to play in the Premier League. Obviously playing for Chelsea is what I’ve been doing since I was seven years old, so it’s nice it’s happened this way. I know the manager has that faith in me and he’s showed me that faith last season and this year. I’ve just tried to work hard, and I knew coming back for pre-season I would have to take myself up a couple of levels and I was going to have to learn from other people. So that’s what I’ve been doing, but I want to carry on and keep improving
2019 10 09 Retrieve
[Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori believes spending last season out on loan with Derby set him up for a big season at Stamford Bridge] I think that every single player that goes on loan from Chelsea, the end goal is to make it into the team and I’ve been fortunate enough to get a taste of that this season. Most importantly when I was on loan at Derby was to try and develop myself as much as possible, try and learn the game a bit more and if the time did come to come back to Chelsea, that I’d be fully prepared and more prepared than if I went somewhere else for example
2019 10 28 Retrieve
[Fikayo Tomori says Christian Pulisic’s superb treble in Chelsea’s 4-2 win over Burnley on Saturday was a just reward for his hard work and patience behind the scenes] Everyone is disappointed when they don’t play. We have got a lot of talented players, so you just have to be patient and when you get your chance you have just got to take it like he did on Saturday. I am really happy for him - that patience and hard work he showed in training has paid off. You have got to be on top of your game, not only in the games but in training as well. It is good Christian has come in because everyone has to be on their toes. No one knows their position is safe and that drives the team on and brings the best out of each individual
[Tomori thinks strong competition for places at Chelsea will help raise the overall level of the team] Callum was rested on Saturday and Christian comes in and scores a hat-trick. That is going to raise Callum’s game and then Christian is going to want to keep raising his game to stay in the team. We have a young team, an exciting team, and we all try to help each other out as the games go on and in training. We don’t feel like we are young players, we are just trying to improve ourselves and to keep our places in the team
2019 11 18 Retrieve
[Fikayo Tomori has risen sharply, having been thrust into top-flight action by Frank Lampard] It’s pretty mad. If you told me 12 months ago that I’d make my England debut I’d probably have looked at you funny because it just seemed so far away. But now that I’m here I’m grateful. It’s been a lot of hard work and determination, a lot of focus
[Tomori is on a good run of his own, having won nine and drawn one of his last 10 outings with Chelsea and England] With six wins on the bounce and a good position in the table people are going to say that. but we’re just focusing on ourselves . At the same time I don’t think we should limit ourselves to anything
2019 12 12 Retrieve
[Chelsea defender Tomori signs new five-year contract] It’s a dream come true to sign a new five-year contract. ‘m really happy the club have shown this faith in me and I’m just excited to carry on. I’ve been at the club since I was seven years old so I don’t really know much else other than Chelsea. The club has been so good to me, looking after and developing me during that time into the player and the person I am today
2020 01 25 Retrieve
[Tomori feels Chelsea need to find a way of becoming more clinical] We could have killed the game in the first half. We said at half-time that we need to be solid at the back. My goal came at a good time but it got difficult at the end. It is a one-off game and teams will go for it. If we got the third it is easy but we had to ride it out
2020 01 26 Retrieve
[Tomori opens up on journey from Hull loan to a Blues match-winner] Everything has kind of happened really fast this last year. I haven’t really had time to take it in. In the little time I’ve had to think about it, I’m proud of what I’ve done, but it’s only the beginning. I want to achieve more; I want to win some trophies and play more games for England.
I was playing full-back [at Hull] and, yeah, I wouldn’t say I didn’t foresee it because I wasn’t looking that far ahead. I was just thinking about Hull and trying to do as well as I could for myself. I think at a club like Chelsea, there’s competition for places everywhere.
You have to be on top of your game and then the manager has to make decisions. He chose to leave me out for some games. I have to respect his decision and try and work hard on the training pitch so when my chance comes, I can hopefully take it.
Hopefully I’ve given him something to think about and next week I can be in the team. I am not only learning about myself but the way the game is played and how to communicate in a good way. Every single game I am learning and I am trying to relay that to everyone else.
I think with winning games and playing games it builds confidence. I feel a lot more confident than I was in the beginning of the season so I feel like I have a bigger role to play in the team. That’s whether I am in the team or not I feel like that’s in what I need to bring to the training sessions and the changing room even though I am just starting out. Us young players are encouraged to talk in the changing room and use our voices. This season as it has gone on I have tried to do that a lot more. We young players have a lot of personalities even though we are young and we just want to show what we can do
[Tomori admitted that if his side are as sloppy against Leicester as they were against Hull that they will lose in the upcoming game at the King Power Stadium on Saturday] We know that they are a good team and they are having a good season. We know they have a lot of threats and today, if we play like we did, we can get punished. If we have chances, we have to take them. We have to defend better. I think if we have the chance to kill the game next week, then we should. It is easier said than done but throughout this week we are going to work out how we can stop them and bring our game out as well. In the first half, we probably should have had the game won. We knew, especially in the second half, they were going to come at us. They did make it difficult for us and we scored our goal at a good time. They then scored their goal and that made it more difficult for us
2020 01 27 Retrieve
[Tomori: Chelsea want to win the FA Cup as much as the Champions League] There’s a trophy to play for at the end of it. When you step on the pitch we are not thinking this is just an FA Cup game or this is a Champions League game. We want to win. We want to win.
Every game is the same. Going into the FA Cup games, we want to do the same thing. We want to try to go as far as we can. We all want to play, we all want to be part of it and win. We can all contribute. We’re into the fifth round, so we can watch the draw and wait to see who we get.
Hopefully we can get a good draw and win again. Chelsea have a rich history in the FA Cup. With the gaffer being in there we went to a lot of finals at Wembley. We have seen Chelsea lift it many times, with Antonio Conte and in the past as well. Of course, it is Chelsea and we want to fight for every competition
2020 02 24 Retrieve
[Chelsea’s Fikayo Tomori looking forward to reunion with Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies] I remember when the squad got announced the media was talking about the 15-year-old that was playing for Canada Under-20s. It was Alphonso Davies.
I actually hadn’t heard of him before and we got to the camp and we were sharing a room. I was like ‘oh, I am sharing a room with a 15-year-old’ and I was 18 at this point. But we actually got on really well. That was maybe three, four years ago, but since then we have kept in touch and we have got each other on social media. I have actually just spoken to him literally just before I got here today.
Obviously, he plays for Bayern Munich and we have got each other in the Champions League. We have been talking about the game and we catch up every now and again. Back then, you could see there was something. Being at Bayern Munich has obviously improved him massively but back then if you didn’t know you wouldn’t say he was 15 from the way he was built and playing.
It is obviously a big challenge [to face Bayern]. We know how many quality players they have and what they can do. But these are the kinds of games that suit us as a team. We like the big stage and we like to win big games and play in the big games. We want to progress
I remember Rashford just burst onto the scene and he was scoring loads of goals for Man Utd. He was the talk of English football. Going into that game, I was really focused on doing as well as possible
I was at Chelsea at the time and wanted Chelsea to win. When they won it, I remember my friend called me immediately and he was just screaming down the phone. I remember when me and my dad first went to a Chelsea game. We were sat literally next to the tunnel and me and my dad were looking at each other and we were like ‘they don’t look real, they don’t look like real people, they look like robots’. Back then it was surreal but now you see these people on a regular basis so you just realise they are regular people and it has kind of sunk in now
2020 02 24b Retrieve
[Tomori: Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry and Zidane inspired me] Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho - and I was playing just at the time when my dad was crazy about [Zinedine] Zidane - so Zidane was one of my players that I grew up hearing about. There was also David Beckham, Michael Owen and those kinds of players, Wayne Rooney
When I first moved to Chelsea at Under-9s, you had three months in defence, three months in midfield and three months in the attack. Then from there, they gauge where everyone is. I think it was when I was about 11 [when moved into defence] and before then I played midfielder or as an attacker.
Back then, no one wanted to be a defender. I remember the manager kept putting me in defence and I kept getting upset. My dad was like ‘listen I am going to be honest with you, the way your make up is and the way you play football means you are a defender.’ So from there I just became a defender.
John Terry became my idol. At that point in time he was the England captain and the Chelsea captain. He was probably the best defender in the world so there was no one better to look up to. Him for sure and [Fabio] Cannavaro was around at the same time when Italy won the World Cup. He won the Ballon d’Or. Then as I have got older I looked at Sergio Ramos, Virgil van Dijk and those are the first current names that pop into my head
I had Joe Edwards up until I was about 18. I had him at four age groups so he knows me really well. I have had Jody at Derby and now this year. They are a big part of my development in the U-18s and U-23s. To have them here now is another big help. Not only is it the trust but it helps us [academy players in the first team] to keep our standards high. They know how good we can be. If you start to slip below the levels, they can tell us that this is where you need to improve or this is where you have gone wrong. As young players, we need that
I remember we played Lille away, we just won the game and we knew the [England] squad was going to be announced. The manager came up to Tammy and me and said, ‘oh, you are getting the call-up tomorrow’. He just walked away and then me and Tammy smiled at each other.
It was like ‘wow! that’s crazy!’. I just kind of had the moment to myself when I was taking it in. Then I called my dad on the coach and he was like ‘Oh! Oh!’ I think he was just surprised and shocked that it would have happened.
If you said that I would have played for Chelsea in the Champions League and Premier League, scored my first Premier League goal and got an England call-up you would be like … ‘Oh!’ So for it to all happen so quickly and at once was just a dream
2020 02 24c Retrieve
[Tomori still remembers where he was when Drogba & Co. silenced Bayern Munich in 2012] I was actually at my friend’s house with my mum. It got to half-time and we were 30 minutes away from our house, so we had to drive at half time. We missed the first 15 minutes of the second half and then Thomas Muller scored but Drogba equalised. When they went on to win it, I remember my friend called me immediately and he was just screaming down the phone.
I was playing for Chelsea and I was so happy. I saw my friend the next day; he was buzzing and I was buzzing. I remember when me and my dad first went to a Chelsea game. We were sat literally next to the tunnel and me and my dad were looking at each other and we were like, ‘They don’t look real, they don’t look like real people, they look like robots’. Back then, it was surreal but now you see these people on a regular basis, so you just realise they are regular people and it has kind of sunk in now
2020 03 07 Retrieve
[Tomori admits to ‘difficult period’ at Chelsea after seeing breakthrough season stall] It’s been a difficult period for me, but I’m working hard to try and get back in the team. There is a lot of competition for places, not just in my position, so there are going to be disappointed people when they’re not playing. Throughout the whole season the manager has said if you train well and show why you should be in the team, he will put you in, and then it’s up to you to try and stay in the team. There have been many examples where people have come in and done well. Training is competitive and intense, and then when you get on the pitch someone is banging on the door which keeps everyone on their toes. I’m just staying positive, and in the grand scheme of things the most important thing is that the team wins
We expect a tough game. Earlier on in the season they managed to beat us. They have a new manager now; they have had a lot of good results. But they are coming to Stamford Bridge and we want to make it difficult for them. They have good players but if we approach the game in the right way I’m sure we can get the three points. We’re on a high after the Liverpool result. For us to play the way we did and beat them gives us a lot of confidence. We want to take that into the Everton game. It’s another home game, in front of our fans who I am sure will be buzzing, and it’s a chance to get three points and cement our place in the top four a bit more
2020 03 17 Retrieve
[Fikayo Tomori is looking to follow in the footsteps of John Terry at Chelsea] Obviously we had John Terry who had made that step from the academy and he was the player I looked at when thinking of the pathway to the first team. The club has really developed since he broke in to where we are now, with a lot of academy players involved. In recent years we have seen a lot of players get close to that level but probably not have a sustained run in the side like the younger players have had this season. So JT was the one we looked at as the inspiration that we could get a chance here at Chelsea, and that was always the motivation. Once you get there [playing for the senior team] the challenge then is to stay there, to keep your place and try to impress the manager
The manager has been great, certainly with me and the younger players. He put his trust in us from day one, even earlier for me and Mason [Mount] because he took us on loan with him to Derby. He has the confidence to play the younger players if we are performing well in training, he gives us that opportunity and that’s massive. I feel that I’m ready to come back in [and play] but I’m not knocking the manager’s door down or anything. I want to show him on the training ground with my performances and attitude and I trust the manager to decide when it is right for me to play. I’m still young, I’m still learning and it’s the football that does the talking
2020 03 19 Retrieve
[Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori says John Terry is an inspiration to the club’s young players] Obviously we had John Terry who had made that step from the academy and he was the player I looked at when thinking of the pathway to the first team.
The club has really developed since he broke in to where we are now, with a lot of academy players involved. In recent years we have seen a lot of players get close to that level but probably not have a sustained run in the side like the younger players have had this season.
So JT was the one we looked at as the inspiration that we could get a chance here at Chelsea, and that was always the motivation. Once you get there [playing for the senior team] the challenge then is to stay there, to keep your place and try to impress the manager
The manager has been great, certainly with me and the younger players. He put his trust in us from day one, even earlier for me and Mason [Mount] because he took us on loan with him to Derby. He has the confidence to play the younger players if we are performing well in training, he gives us that opportunity and that’s massive. I feel that I’m ready to come back in [and play] but I’m not knocking the manager’s door down or anything. I want to show him on the training ground with my performances and attitude and I trust the manager to decide when it is right for me to play. I’m still young, I’m still learning and it’s the football that does the talking.
2020 04 07 Retrieve
[When asked about the fastest player at Chelsea] Personally, I’d say I’m up there with (Antonio) Rudiger because if you see the stats from matchdays, it’s me and him who are at the top. I think Callum (Hudson-Odoi) comes in lately with a good score
[When Christian Pulisic was revealed having the highest pace stats on FIFA 20 among Chelsea players, Tomori was not surprised] For the first 10-15 yards, he is really, really quick. And on the pitch, it what really matters
[Then he was asked about the slowest player at Chelsea. Tomori laughed at first but then said] It’s Jorginho, isn’t it?
[Tomori hailed Jorginho and Giroud] They have got a yard (in their head), they always think two steps ahead
2020 04 08 Retrieve
[In an interview with Soccer AM, Tomori was asked about the moment where he threw Ziyech off balance with a silky turn] I wasn’t going to mention it. It just kind of happened, I was not thinking ‘I’m going to do a Cruyff turn’. Then when he signed, you know, lots of people were sending me the video. Hopefully, he is going to do it to other people next season
2020 05 06 Retrieve
[Tomori says he has had to adapt his game since stepping up to the top flight from the Championship] It has been different for me this season, just because it is the Premier League and it is a step up. You have to be more focused and prepared, always alert. In the Championship you have a lot of different strikers - some love it in the air or like to go in behind. But then I’m playing against [Roberto] Firmino and he’s dropping deep into midfield. Things happen a lot faster and mistakes are punished more harshly. Firmino was probably the most difficult [to play against] - along with Salah. Every time they got the ball, I was thinking, ‘This is a challenge but this is where I want to be - this is a chance to prove that I can play at this level.’
Coming into [this season] I was trying to be relaxed about it all - but you’ve got your friends and family saying you’re playing for Chelsea, you’re playing in the Champions League and stuff. Sometimes that gets in your head, and you just think this is actually happening, it’s a dream. I try to stay focused and we’ve got the manager who’s played at World Cups and Champions League finals, he keeps us all calm and especially with the young players who are new to this stuff, there’s a lot of arm around our shoulders. The season’s been great and hopefully we can finish it off
Tammy [Abraham] and Mason [Mount] were scoring goals, I managed to get into the team, Reece [James] came back and started doing well after his injury. But being able to bounce off each other makes it a much more comfortable environment for us and we can relax and play our game. Then the experienced players like Antonio [Rudiger] and Azpi (Cesar Azpilicueta), the ones who have been there and done it, sharing a changing room with Pedro who has won everything, it makes it easier to adapt and get to learn from these players
2020 05 11 Retrieve
[Salah & Mane teaching Tomori how tough life in ‘men’s team environment’ can be at Chelsea] It is tough because you come up against different strikers and different systems that teams use. Some teams might play two strikers up top, some may play one and then you have teams like Liverpool - we all know how Roberto Firmino likes to drop in, with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane running in behind so you need to have that concentration all the time. It’s about always being aware of what’s going on around you, communicating with team-mates around you to help them and make your job easier. Everybody knows that if you make a mistake in the Premier League, you’re likely to get punished so being able to stay focused and making sure you do everything at 100 per cent is another part that you have to grasp quickly
You’re suddenly thrust into this men’s team environment and playing against seasoned professionals who have played the game for 15 or 20 years in some cases. It’s a big transition because you have to train well, try to get yourself into the team and then you’re fighting every week for three points that could get you promoted, into the play-offs or save you from relegation
2020 05 18 Retrieve
[Tomori welcomes Chelsea competition after battling to prove he belongs at the top] It was just about me feeling like I belonged and that I could play at this level. I had spent two-and-a-half years in the Championship and with Derby last season I managed to win Player of the Year and get to Wembley for the play-off final so I knew I’d had a good season. I wanted to challenge myself at the next level, which was the Premier League. I wanted to do it for Chelsea, the club that I’ve been at since I was eight; a club that’s won the Champions League, the Premier League, FA Cups, everything. They won the Europa League the previous season so being able to come into that team and show myself, show the manager and the fans and my team-mates, show everyone that I could play at that level, was really important. I managed to do that in those early games and showcase what I could do and I’ve managed to carry that through. Now, it’s just about trying to maintain that level, not drop below it and keep on improving it.
Having competition helps the team to improve because everyone wants to play. You know if you want to get in the team then you have to better than the person who’s got the shirt at that time so you have to take it from them. Individually, it spurs you on but then it also makes the team better because everyone is going to be firing on all cylinders trying to get into the team. When you do get your spot, you have to play well to keep your place so I think the fact that there is that friendly competition means everybody knows you have to be on your game. If you train well, you can get in the team and if you play well then you’ll stay in the team. Having that breeds this friendly, competitive nature and spirit that we have and it can only be a positive thing