A gift (from Frank Lampard) + dreadful second half + an opponent content to defend = a monotonous 1-1 draw between Chelsea and Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.
Is there reason to worry? Of course not.
Three games into the season, and we're top of the league. We were unlucky to concede, a brilliant assist from Lampard costing us all three points. Yes, a draw with Spurs blows, but it's not the end of the world.
However, there are points of concern.
Our midfield has looked distinctly average the past two matches. Without Michael Ballack, we're missing a bit of drive. But the most pressing issue would have to be in the holding role, where we've seen both Michael Essien and Juliano Belletti (?!?) struggle. John Obi-Wan Mikel did the business against Portsmouth, with clean passing and an acute understanding of positioning. Once he retuns, I believe we'll see Chelsea's massive quartet of Ballack, Essien, Deco and Lampard with much more freedom -- and thus much more success.
Up front, Nicolas Anelka has looked bemused and is becoming less effective by the minute. He's not the ideal person to lead a single-striker system, he lacks the sheer physicality to be a true threat. The Guardian expands on this point. Aside from the fact, Anelka's confidence still appears low regardless of being slotted into a more natural position this season. Need evidence? Look at the brilliant pass from Belletti he wasted during the first half. Didier Droga's return will no doubt be a welcome one.
Still, you have to give at least a little credit to Spurs. I mean, if someone would have told me they would be organized defensively I would have shrugged it off with a laugh. Yeah, maybe they sat back but they did it better than I bet any of us thought they would.
Whatever, though. Based on our first-half performance, we certainly should have pushed on after the break despite Spurs' equalizer at the end of the first. It was pretty dire in the second half. The effort was similar to those seen under The Special One or Avram the Great. Somehow, I doubt we'll see too many of those this season.