Amid the ridiculously loud typing noises on laptop keyboards, Guus Hiddink addressed the media this afternoon ahead of Sunday's anticipated Premier League clash against Arsenal.
Normally a big rivalry match, this time it's quite different thanks to Chelsea's cratering and Arsenal's realistic title challenge.
"[Arsenal are not our rivals] at this moment. [They] are doing very well, making a good bet for first position, and Chelsea are way down under. That is reality. I'm confident that the team on Sunday will give their upmost to get the results that have been achieved in the recent past, but of course it might be a little different."
"We don't talk much about [relegation] but if you see the statistics and you're closer to that line than the line where you are in the Champions League positions, that's the fact. I'm not a person to deny the facts. It doesn't mean we're looking down - we have to look up."
-Guus Hiddink; Source: ESPN
In the seven games since José Mourinho was sent packing, Chelsea are unbeaten, but have only recorded three wins in that span as well. The team seems to be scoring plenty of goals, but also leaking plenty of goals at the back -- three high-scoring draws have characterized Hiddink's tenure so far. In our last game against Everton at home, we needed a last-gasp (offside) equalizer to make up for massive defensive errors and salvage a point. Chelsea must not be content with these results.
"On the one hand we are unbeaten since December, on the other hand we cannot be fully satisfied with all the results. We have to make the next step and not drop back in consistency - one day good, one day bad, or half a game good and half a game bad."
"Nowadays if you don't defend well, starting up front, you can easily be outplayed because of the technical and tactical quality of the players. In the early days you couldn't be so easily outplayed tactically but now teams have that ability. If you don't work with a lot of responsibility in your area, as a midfielder or a striker, then defending becomes a problem."
"For example, if you analyse Everton's third goal without emotion we were more or less paralysed at the back post. We talked about that and practised that. We must not repeat errors."
"It's something we have to work at but I see the players working with a lot of ambition for many days and also with confidence. I think we'll see another very attractive game on Sunday. We will give it our utmost to get the result."
-Guus Hiddink; Source: Chelsea FC
So, mostly the same-old, same-old from the interim manager. But, what else could he say? The results are the results, the season is the season. We slowly grind to the end and hope for better days.