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Chelsea cannot allow another loss to Spurs, declares acting captain Azpilicueta

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Chelsea will face Spurs in the League Cup semifinal

Chelsea v AFC Bournemouth - Carabao Cup: Quarter Final Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Adding two games against Spurs to an already busy schedule is no one’s idea of a fun and relaxing time — these aren’t the same Spurs of just a few years ago — but Chelsea are talking the talk already, even though the first leg of the League Cup semifinal is still three weeks away.

“That game (the 3-1 loss in the league a few weeks ago), from the first minute to the last we were really bad. They were better than us. We cannot let this happen again. We have to improve.

“We have the chance to qualify for a final, we play a derby over two legs so we will try everything to get through.”

Azpilicueta’s intention matches the assistant manager Gianfranco Zola’s as well — the took press duties for the League Cup as has been the case all season — and we’re all hoping that Chelsea have learned their lesson.

And of course we’re hoping that there also won’t be any trouble off the pitch, in words or actions, either in the stands, in the pubs, on the Tube, or wherever else.

“It’s a massive derby for the fans and we hope that all the behaviour on and off the pitch is what football deserves. There is a lot of rivalry between us, but this is a game where we have to show everyone [how we are]. It’s a massive game for everyone. We have to show how we are personally as a club. Hopefully we can show how we are, how we behave.”

-César Azpilicueta; source: ESPN

Spurs and Chelsea are apparently making plans for (talking about) safety and crowd control arrangements, but in order to truly change the sort of behavior that brings shame on the club and on the fans — and compel Chairman Bruce Buck into a strongly worded open letter as well (promising Chelsea’s full attention to his matter) — we can’t just rely on punitive measures from the authorities. True change needs time, education, understanding, and, most of all, a desire to change one’s own behaviors.

Victory on the pitch and victory off of it. Is that too much to hope for this January?