It’s the giving season, but for once, we’re hopefully in more of a taking mood. There are nine points offer in the next three games, and while they are crammed into a seven-day span — which really isn’t all that bad considering that it’s the famously congested festive fixtures period in the Premier League — they are all eminently quite winnable.
First up are Wolves away tomorrow (Christmas Eve), then Palace at home on Wednesday (Boxing Day + 1), and then Luton Town away on Saturday (day before New Year’s Eve). On paper, the first one is the toughest and then it gets easier from there. Obviously, reality doesn’t necessarily care about what’s on paper — Wolves are just three points worse off than us and Luton Town just beat Newcastle in a much more convincing fashion than we did in the League Cup — but if we are to start coming good on our intentions and ambitions, these are three wins that we really should have.
And that’s exactly what Mauricio Pochettino wants to see, too, as much as he’s focusing on doing so match-by-match.
“At the moment we are only thinking about the game on Christmas Eve. It is going to be tough, it is going to be difficult. We have seen from many games that for the opponent it is very tough to play there at Molineux and of course it’s going to be a challenge.
“Our objective is to win the first game against Wolves, and then think about three days after against Palace and, of course, three days after that in Luton. It will be massive for us if we are able to win the three games, because nine points would provide us with the opportunity to be in a better position in the table.”
-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Chelsea FC
Sadly, nine points would barely gets us much further up the table than our current 10th position. Brighton are five points ahead in ninth and West Ham are eight points ahead in sixth (and we are 18 points off the lead already, if we can even see that high from where we are, with a game in-hand).
But that just underlines the significant improvement we must start seeing as we head into the second half of the season ... and beyond.