One does not have to think very hard to imagine a future where the Kepa “mutiny” turns out to have been the moment that saved the season.
After presenting a unified and common sense front in managing the PR around it, we’ve taken the first big step on the pitch as well with yesterday’s buoyant victory over Spurs. The 2-0 win not only showcased some of Chelsea’s best qualities, but also showed that head coach Maurizio Sarri can be convinced to be less stubborn in his ideals, and perhaps most importantly in the short-term, shifted the conversation away from the Kepa nonsense.
Match-winner Pedro assured afterwards that all the talk and media attention (not to mention the incident itself and the subsequent fine and benching for Kepa) had not affected the squad. If anything, it may have made us stronger, bringing the team together in support of each other. Us vs. Them is a classic motivational construct, and Chelsea appear to be enjoying its benefits at the moment.
“This was a great match for us to gain confidence and stay there [in the fight for the top four].
”We have all talked to each other in the dressing room. We’ve also talked to Willy and we’ve talked to the coach. The truth is that we have solved all the problems and I think it has been a [small] incident rather than a serious problem.
”It always serves to learn. We are with Kepa, with Willy and with the manager. This is the path that we have to follow. We have always been with [Sarri]. We have always talked about all the problems we have had [and] we simply respect him because we always respect all the managers.”
Of course, we’ve heard plenty of well-intentioned words from the players over the past few months but without the results to match them. Inconsistencies have plagued Chelsea since the end of November and the first loss of the season (3-1 to Spurs in the reverse fixture of last night’s game). And while Sarri has targeted a solid 10-match run, Chelsea have won back-to-back games just once in 2019. So maybe we should think small first, one match a time, starting with Sunday’s match against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
“We have played very well in the last two games, we were more solid, more compact and we created more chances. Against City we already played a great game. It was a pity that we did not have luck in front of goal. Today we did have that and this is the way to go. We have to keep playing like this against the top teams and against any team every week to try not to drop points and be in the top [four], because now it is our main goal.”
“Now we need to get ready very well for the match against Fulham because it is another final.”
-Pedro; source: ESPN
Out of the Cups but still in the running for Champions League next season, Chelsea’s season is far from over yet.