Speaking before England’s friendly match against Ireland, ex-Chelsea defender Ryan Bertrand admitted he doesn’t hold grudges against his former club.
The English full-back impressed last season at Southampton, racking up 40 appearances. That form equated in him being selected for Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the upcoming friendly against Ireland and the European Qualifier next Sunday.
Talking about his choice to leave Chelsea and join Saints, for whom he signed permanently in February. He said:
“For me it wasn’t a case of ‘my career didn’t go right, I’m not playing for Chelsea. I know personally I should still be there and I should still be playing but it is no drama. That is football and these things happen.
“I am fantastically happy at Southampton, playing week in, week out and developing as a footballer and really enjoying life.
“I know in myself – that’s my inner confidence, I have the capabilities. It’s nothing to do with my capabilities that I’m not there, it’s purely circumstance.”
Bertrand was also in the PFA Team of the Year, the only non-Chelsea player in the back four:
“That’s not really in my mind to go out and prove people wrong. I’ve no grudges, no chip on my shoulder about showing him ‘look, I’m better than him’ – it was just about me. That was the whole decision. As a footballer you can’t get too carried away or too attached.
“I would play there and was happy, but now I play at Southampton I really feel part of it. I really feel like a footballer. When the team gets a win and you are playing consistently, you feel good about it. You get a day off the next day and you feel like you deserved a day off.”
Bertrand won the Champions League with Chelsea three years ago, starting in the final in Munich:
“The whole achievement of the Champions League year [is something] I become more and more in awe of it the further it gets.
“At the time it went by so quickly and you are aware it’s the biggest club competition, but the further you get away from it, the more respect you have for it in a way, when you start to realise the greats and the teams that have won it.”