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Rüdiger not pleased with Chelsea ‘gift’ to West Ham

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It’s all about Chelsea’s infuriating ability to build on a lead

Chelsea v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Antonio Rudiger is not pleased. Also, he doesn’t understand. (Join the crowd, my man.)

“For me, it’s not easy to explain. I don’t understand why after 1-0 we always drop and let the opponent get more ball possession.”

That’s about as close as we’ve come all season to hearing a Chelsea player call out his teammates. No, it’s not a “slam” like the sensationalist headlines would have you believe, but he’s certainly not wrong. His teammates undoubtedly know the situation just as well.

In the 36th minute Chelsea scored and took the lead against West Ham. They couldn’t add to it. In the 73rd minute they conceded. The game ended as a draw. It’s become a pattern. In fact, that’s exactly how the season started. In the Community Shield, Victor Moses put us ahead in the first half. In the 82nd minute, Arsenal equalized to send the affair to penalty kicks.

Chelsea v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Six times in 2018 (in all competitions) Chelsea have nursed a one-goal lead, only to watch it evaporate. Chelsea’s inability to capitalize when ahead is baffling. Chelsea’s total ability to concede a goal when they’re ahead by one is as infuriating as it has become predictable.

“I think we begged. We begged for the goal.

“I think in the second half we can finish the game. But like the last few months we didn’t and we concede. Like the last weeks again, we give them a gift. I think that was the first chance they have.”

Compared to last season’s all-counquering form, Chelsea have scored 24% fewer goals per Premier League match and conceded just over 11% more. That’s no way to make Europe, or not the Europe we want, anyway.

“The thing is we have to look we have start to play good football and win games. If you don’t win games there’s no top-four, it’s easy.”

The logic is clear, the math simple. And it spoiled a day given over to a wonderful, positive send off for Ray Wilkins.

“Yes of course, it’s sad we didn’t give something back to him. Sorry for that.”

-Antonio Rüdiger; source: Metro

Sorry, indeed. I think we all feel that way.