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Azpilicueta: Chelsea are ‘far from where we want to be’


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Nottingham Forest v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Man of Many Milestones and All The Trophies, the legendary César Azpilicueta notched another milestone last night ... while observing with some dismay that his chances adding to his trophy count continue to dwindle precariously.

The Chelsea captain was making his 495th appearance for the club, moving one past Petr Čech into sixth on the all-time list. Only John Hollins, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Peter Bonetti, and Chopper Harris have worn the Blues shirt more often throughout history. Amazing!

Azpi’s now nearly 500-game Chelsea career has seen plenty of highs and certainly a few lows, and it’s unfortunately the latter end of the spectrum where we’re currently languishing. Last night’s very poor 1-1 draw against relegation-battling Nottingham Forest leaves us with 25 points from the first 16 games of the season — our worst mark since 2015-16 (15 points!) and our lowest total outside of that Season That Shall Not Be Named since 2001-02 (24).

Obviously, that’s not great.

Fun fact: we have back-to-back games against Manchester City coming up (first in the league, then in the FA Cup). Things might get worse before they get better. (I’m trying very hard to be positive, thus the “might” get...)

In those occasional Chelsea lows, Azpi’s always been one of the first to issue the standard rallying cry of unity (unityyyyyy!) and togetherness and work work work. To wit:

“Every point matters, and today we lost two points, that’s clear. Since the beginning of the season, we [have] lost too many points. Now we are far from where we want to be, and every game you don’t win is a chance that you miss. This is the reality when you see the table, that’s where we are.

“We need to have a very good second half of the season if we want to achieve Champions League for next season. We have to stick together. We know this is not the most pleasant time, but in these difficult moments, we need everybody to stick together, to work hard, to improve, to be humble.”

-César Azpilicueta; source: Sky Sports via Yahoo!

Yeah, that top-four is not looking to good right now, Dave. We may be only seven points off fourth at the moment, with over half the season still to go — it feels later due to the World Cup break — but there are at least a couple more teams all trying to achieve that same target. It’s going to take a “very good” run indeed just to make up the deficit.

But hey, it’s a new year, the transfer window is open, and ... yeah. Not sure where the inspiration, the change, the spark’s going to come from. Settle in, boys and girls, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

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