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‘That’s just football’: Lampard rues luck, vibes, planetary alignment as Chelsea’s ‘funny patch’ continues

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Hmmm

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by John Walton - Pool/Getty Images

One week ago, Saturn and Jupiter appeared to pass closer to each other in the night sky than at any other point in the last 800 years in an event known as “The Great Conjuction”, a time regarded to be of great metaphysical consequence in certain circles.

Perhaps that is what Frank Lampard was referring to when assessing the latest bad result in Chelsea’s “funny patch”.

“We’ve had a funny patch [...] when you’re in a good run the ball goes in the back of the net more — Christian’s chances, the chances at the end of the game. Their goal happened when we were a man down and lucky or whatever you want to call it. And that’s just football.

“I think it’s a positive for our lads to understand that. If we keep playing with that attitude we’ll get back to winning, which we’ve had a short period where we haven’t been.”

Funny how? you might ask, my good fellow. Funny like four points in our last five games funny? Funny like mid-table mediocrity funny?

Let’s not be clowns.

Sure, Chelsea played better than on Saturday, in our 3-1 loss to a most terrible Arsenal side at the Emirates, but that’s lower than a low bar to clear. A bar of no height, if you will. Just showing up cleared that bar.

At least Aston Villa are a legitimately good team, with plenty of skill, plenty of strength and commitment, and plenty of dabbling in the dark arts of football sh*thousery, but a home draw against them is not a good result in the context of our ambitions for this season and beyond. Another failure to beat a top-half-of-the-table team then, two more points dropped, and plenty of hard questions that need to be asked of all involved.

Lampard says he saw some good things, but we also should be well beyond that stage in our development as a team by now.

“It was a draw against a good team. The performance was good. I thought we deserved to win the game but we didn’t.

“We’ve come through a difficult patch knowing we want to improve. Where it’s left us is we saw a side today that showed the attitude of the team, the fight, without having the final bit in the final third. We just have to do more of the same [...] We’ve had a difficult time and today I saw some really good signs out there.”

-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London

Lampard’s right to concentrate on the positives. That’s certainly a better post-match response than throwing the team under the bus as on Saturday.

But no, we did not “deserve” to win. There is no room for “deserve” in professional sports. You deserve what you get. And today, we got one point, one goal, some really silly mistakes, and a few wasted chances. That sounds painfully familiar.

On the plus side, we might get a mini-break over the next couple weeks, with both Manchester City and Morecambe, our next two opponents, reporting COVID-19 outbreaks and suspending activities at their clubs. Should those two games be postponed — Jan 3 vs. City, Jan 10. vs Morecambe in the FA Cup — our next match won’t be until 18 days from now, when we’re set to take on Fulham just down the road.