Chelsea managed to snatch a draw (that feels like a defeat) from the jaws of victory against Arsenal on Tuesday night, and while such things can happen in football — it’s what makes is such a compelling sport — for Chelsea, it’s been happening far too often.
We may still be in fourth, and will have at least a three-point lead still over fifth place once this round of fixtures is over, the season-long themes of poor chance-conversion, disastrous lapses in concentration, moments of pure panic, and soft goals given up all reared their ugly heads once again.
Lampard on wasteful Chelsea: "Not unbelievable chances. We shouldn't dwell too much on results gone but a lot of them have gone. I don't like xG but we are bottom of the league in taking them and we are second from Liverpool in creating chances." #CHEARS #CFC— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) January 21, 2020
It’d be hilarious if it weren’t so frustrating that we cannot consistently pick up wins despite consistently out-shooting, out-passing, out-possessing teams. We shouldn’t need miracle saves or miracle shots or just miracle mistakes from the opposition, but that seems to be what we’re always left hoping for.
And so, we’re all left to lament the same things we’ve been lamenting for much of the season.
“You think you have done enough, you would hope so. We got a detail wrong — [“on the edge of the box was the problem; people need to do their job,” he added later] — and the second goal was soft. It was too soft. We have to be real about it. They have had two shots and two goals.
“Yeah [it’s a broken record]. We know the problems at home and they defended their box well. It is the story of creating a lot, not unbelievable chances. We need to take them again. We are looking at it, but a lot of the results have looked the same. I don’t like too many stats in expected goals, but we are bottom of the league in taking them.
“We had loads of the ball in the second half, we tried to be positive. But they fought for it. The initiative is on us to move the ball and take chances.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
We’re at a point where practice and hard work just aren’t adequate answers. They’re never adequate answers, really, but whatever the fix may be right now, certainly isn’t MORE of something. We need to be smarter, better, more effective, in all phases and from all players. Whether that’s on the pitch, on the training ground, or in the front offices, in the hearts or in the minds — and Lampard certainly wasn’t willing to discuss any transfers — we need to find the answer quickly.
While we shouldn’t lose sight of the overall context of the season, the overall situation with the youth and so on and so forth ... but we cannot just simply write it off either. We knew it was going to be a struggle, but that doesn’t mean we should accept it without a fight.