Women's Football

Emma Hayes: 'The minute you get comfortable you're dead'

Jamie Spencer
Emma Hayes insists people don't realise how hard it is to stay at the top
Emma Hayes insists people don't realise how hard it is to stay at the top / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has shed light on the importance of never letting her players get ‘comfortable’ in her efforts to keep the Blues at the very top of the women’s game.

Chelsea have dominated the WSL in recent seasons, winning four of the last six titles as well as the shortened 2017 Spring Series. They also became the first English club to reach the Champions League final in 14 years last season when they faced Barcelona.

Hayes, who arrived in 2012, has driven that success with her winning mentality and insatiable desire for trophies, making the club what they are today. But she insists it is a never-ending fight to stay in a position of dominance because of the work it takes.

“I think everybody underestimates what it takes to stay at the top,” Hayes explained on the Wrighty’s House podcast in a live recording with Barclays this week.

“I say it all the time, people come into our building where it’s new players or staff and I always say to them, ‘We’re the best team because we’ve got the most money’ and I say it facetiously because the work to stay at the top is always underestimated.

“If you don’t evolve - it’s not as simple as just evolving - you’ve got to make difficult decisions all the time to change your squads, to change your training, to change your staff.

“You have to keep everybody on their toes. That’s a lot of work. It’s easy to say ‘We’re going to stay at the top because we’re Chelsea, we’re Arsenal.’ You have to work to be in that place.

“The minute you get comfortable is the minute you’re dead…every now and then when the players get comfortable, the rug goes again. I have to pull the rug.”

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