Ten games into the 2020-21 Premier League season, Chelsea have lost just once and are just two points behind the leaders. Is a quarter of the way too early to start talking about title chances and title hopes? Probably.
If you’re José Mourinho, it definitely is. This is the time for the little horses.
If you’re Frank Lampard, it definitely is as well, at least in public. This is the time to keep emphasizing the team’s growth, the players’ development, and the need to keep focus.
If you’re Hakim Ziyech, it definitely isn’t. This is the time to channel Eden Hazard’s carefree attitude, and take head on the idea of a possible title challenge. There is no use in shirking from it, or playing cute with it.
“Of course we can make a challenge. You always have to believe in it. It starts from believing in it and then working every day harder. At the need of the day we will see what it brings.
“But you have to believe it is possible and that is what we are doing. We believe it.”
We must let the fear of talking about title chances pass over and through us. Only then will we able to live up to any expectations. When the fear has gone, only we will remain.
Chelsea had a chance to move top on Sunday, but we needed a win rather than the scoreless draw that we got against Spurs. And while that kept our unbeaten run going, it also felt like a missed opportunity.
Ziyech knows that we will have to do a bit better in attack if we are to truly believe.
“It felt like whoever was going to make the mistake would lose the game. It was not really a game to play football. It was a tactical game. For their attackers and ours there was no space to play. We had much more of the ball than they had, but it was difficult to find space and create chances.
“Our feelings were mixed. A little disappointed because we were at home and we want to win the game but on the other side you have to look to yourself and say you didn’t create enough.”
-Hakim Ziyech; source: Goal
Fortunately, the season’s long and we’ve got time to figure things out. With experience and leadership like Ziyech (serial winner in the Netherlands) and Thiago Silva (serial winner in France). we lead our little horse to water indeed.