Many adjectives can be used to describe Chelsea’s 2017-18 season; most of them are not positive. There have been some highlights — Andreas Christensen’s rise from Academy prospect to first-team reality coming to mind — but overall, it is hard to be in any way satisfied with how yet another Premier League title defence turned out from the Blues.
Perhaps we were naive to expect anything else.
Mathematically speaking there is still a chance that Chelsea will reach top four, although it requires a rather unlikely combination of results too remote to entertain seriously. Even eternal optimist and club captain Gary Cahill, veteran of multiple glorious campaigns and many rabbit-pulls from hats along the way, cannot bring himself to talk it up.
”If you’re asking me if Tottenham are going to drop eight points plus, it is not going to happen. A good team is not going to let that kind of lead slip. We’ve done it before when we were top of the league, it doesn’t slip. If you’re a good side, which they are, it doesn’t slip.”
”I will be very, very doubtful if that is the situation. The way that me and my team-mates play, we don’t give up on anything, but we know that the season hasn’t gone to plan. The league is where it is at the minute and we have the FA Cup to rescue the season. The season is about trying to win the FA Cup.”
No takers for the Slippy G Memorial Trophy then this season. Unless we’re counting Chelsea of course, who were sitting decently enough not that long ago in 2nd and now are closer to 7th than 4th, and just a couple points closer to the top of the table than to the relegation zone. That’s the sort of season that will not be saved by the FA Cup trophy. Sorry, EBGC.
Sure, it would be nice to win it, make no mistake.
But the real damage is already done. Sunday’s verse was one we had seen many times before.
”It sums up this season to be honest. The amount of chances we had in the first half was incredible. We created them, we started the game really well, but we didn’t take them and obviously 1-0 is a dangerous scoreline against anyone in this League.”
”Ruthless is the word. We should have been more ruthless as a team and kill the game off early on.”
”I was just waiting for the second goal. It was all there apart from the end product and that was the frustration for the whole team.”
”We’re not just digging out the forwards here. At 1-0 we needed to see the game out at the back. But it seems to be the trend of this season: a little break, ball gets squared back and goal. We got punished and lost three points.”
-Gary Cahill; source: Chelsea TV via London Evening Standard
Six games to go in the league, plus maybe a couple more in the FA Cup. Still time to change the tune, even if we know how the song ends.