Things could get worse for Chelsea before they get better. After an easy run of fixtures that still saw us lose three of four, we now actually have to face proper competition, starting with José Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur away on Sunday.
It will be our first visit to Spurs’ new stadium after failing to win our last visit to their old stadium, but more relevantly, it will be yet another massive test for a young team that’s now a far cry from the confident, electrifying, impressive side of a couple months ago. While we knew that it was never going to be plain sailing this season, the team’s stuttering form has exposed deficiencies in personnel, tactics, and team selection, and those are not easy or quick things to fix.
Lampard may or may not (need to?) go back to the drawing board, but at the same time, the players themselves definitely need to perform better. Captain César Azpilicueta knows this as well as anyone, but like Lampard, he’s hoping to arrive at the solution as a collective, with strength in togetherness and a common purpose. Teamwork makes the dream work, right?
“We have to keep our heads up. The Christmas period is always a busy time and we have some important fixtures coming up, which we have to be ready for.”
“We have to make sure we are ready, because there is a big game coming up, a derby against Tottenham next Sunday and we have to be ready for it. Now is time to think, to see what we didn’t do well, and go with everything on Sunday because we need the points.”
-César Azpilicueta; source: Chelsea FC
There should be no shortage of motivation against Mourinho and Spurs, but that will also be the case for them. After a last-minute Jan Vertonghen strike gave them three points and even prompted José into one of his classic knee slides, they are now just three points behind Chelsea in the table (with a better goal difference already). When Mourinho was appointed, they were twelve points behind.
And yeah, you can bet your bottom dollar that he will have his players ready and primed for this Super Sunday showdown.
“The way my boys worked hard, the way so many of our fans — in the cold, in the rain — were with the team until the last seconds. I cannot ask for more, the only thing I can ask now is that next weekend [against Chelsea], we are there waiting for them.”
-José Mourinho; source: Metro
It’s a game that could not only determine whether we have a happy holidays or one filled with bah humbugs, but one that could very well define the second half of the season. Can we be up for it? Can we be brave and creative? Can we finish our chances? Can we stop giving up silly goals?
We’ll need to answer most, if not all of those questions with a resounding ‘yes’ to have a chance.