Chelsea are a full ten points off the Premier League’s top four after two more points were dropped in rather disappointing fashion yesterday, and even if we win our game-in-hand over Liverpool, we’d be a rather insurmountable seven points behind. With six games left on the schedule, that gap is mathematically not impossible to overcome, but realistically quite unlikely.
Most have accepted that as fact, even before Sunday’s game. Despite that, Chelsea’s hearts and minds seemed to be in the right place for much of the game against West Ham, but as we’ve seen many times before this season, they couldn’t quite do it for the full 90. Crucial mistakes at the worst times, both in attack and in defense, consigned the Blues to yet another disappointing afternoon.
This theme was not lost on the talismanic Eden Hazard either, whose own form has dropped off just as Chelsea’s results have. And that’s probably not a coincidence.
“When you see the game we did everything, especially in the first half. This season isn’t going well, we made some mistakes and conceded a goal. Then, in front of goal we didn’t score, so that’s it, at the end of the game it’s 1-1 and we are all sad.
“This season a lot of the games have been the same. I remember away at Manchester United, we were in control of the game and in the end we lost. Last week against Tottenham, we were in control in the first half and then we lost the game, so this season isn’t going well. We need to work together.”
Hazard’s message of unity comes at a time when the frayed edges of the squad are threatening to develop into real tears ... and real tears as well. Palpable frustration has enveloped the club these last few weeks, and in a sense, everyone’s just waiting for the end of the season, whether that be due to the World Cup or vacation or a more permanent change of scenery.
But there are still six games left and Hazard is at least paying lip service to the squad putting in a proper effort. They probably don’t need reminding that a trophy can still be won.
“I hope, for the Chelsea fans and ourselves, that we can achieve something. We still have the FA Cup to play for so we need to bring this trophy to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.”
As Vice-captain and Eden’s good pal Cesar Azpilicueta said yesterday, not even the FA Cup will save Chelsea’s season, with the prospect of another Champions League-less season looming for the second time in three years.
“When you play for Chelsea you want to be in the Champions League every year but last year we didn’t play in it and we won the title, so sometimes a bad thing can create a good thing, but we will play [to try to qualify] for the Champions League, for sure.”
“We need to work together. There are six games left to play in the league and we will try everything to be in the top four at the end of the season.”
-Eden Hazard; source: Chelsea FC
Hazard spoke ambitiously at the start of the season about Chelsea’s and his own prospects in the Champions League. And while Chelsea put in a good effort against Barcelona, and were perhaps a fair bit unlucky not to make it at least a closer contest, those trophy ambitions will now have to wait for a bit. Eden could of course leave for Real Madrid in the summer, but he’d not shown any actual desire to push for that move and the rumors themselves have dried up a bit in light of Cheslea’s struggles. Contract talks between Chelsea and Eden are scheduled for later this summer (he has two years left on his current deal); hopefully we’ll all be a little happier by then.