César Azpilicueta may not be the official Chelsea club captain (yet?), but his word should be gold these days in setting the tone, the intention, and the ambition of the dressing room.
For Dave himself, the most competitive person in the squad, that means title challenge or bust, doubly so after the disappointment of Sunday afternoon’s kickabout at the London Stadium.
“We are the team that have won more titles in recent years in England. It is true that in the last four years, we haven’t done it well in the season after winning [the Premier League] title.
”But after we didn’t qualify for the Champions League [last season], it is clear that now the target is to be competitive again in the Premier League, to be as close as possible to the title and try to fight for it.”
-César Azpilicueta; source: ESPN
It may not have been Chelsea’s day yesterday — even Azpi wasn’t up to his usual level in the 0-0 draw at West Ham — but the first dropped points of the season should serve only to motivate the squad to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
With two games in four days against league leaders Liverpool coming up, once in the League Cup and then in the Premier League, we’ll find out quickly if Sunday’s disappointment leads to necessary improvement, or if the road ahead will be a bit more rocky than that.