Chelsea enter the final eight days of the season in 12th place. We can finish as high as 11th. We will finish in the bottom half of the table for the first time in over a quarter century, since 1996. And unless we unearth a treasure trove of goals in our final three games, we’ll finish with the fewest goals in a league campaign in nearly a century, since 1924.
There is little, if anything, that can redeem this campaign that will mercifully come to a conclusion shortly, but a few decent individual and collective performances could send us into the summer break and into the Pochettino Era on a positive-ish note.
Caretaker boss Frank Lampard is looking for, hoping for, asking for those sorts of small, incremental improvements as well.
“The job [now] is how many small wins can I try to impact behind the scenes. You can’t always impact results.
“Generally there’s a lot of work to do here. You can have little small impacts on individuals within the group because I have a big feeling for the club, when I walk away I want to be able to say I’ve done that.
“I enjoy coming to work trying to improve players and the ones that want to be improved and are good to work with, I think they will all have impressive careers here going forward.”
The theme of our players needing to take personal responsibility and personal pride in what they’re doing on the pitch while wearing the colors of Chelsea has been a consistent message from Lampard since he came back. It’s what defined his time as a player — the “Old Guard” and all that “player power” — and if he can instill some of those attitudes into our “new guard”, we might indeed look forward to better days ahead (and make Pochettino’s job just a little bit easier).
“When you set standards [you] have to start at the beginning. For me standards are every player that is in that squad is pushing to get into the team, the players know that they if they don’t have intensity and don’t run, the next man will come in and do it.
“That’s something to be worked on in terms of recruitment and how you build a squad and how you build a mentality. If that’s the barometer, there’s a lot of work to do for us here to try and get to that.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
We may not win any of our last three games — City away to confirm their title, then top-four battlers Manchester United away, and then their rivals Newcastle United at home on the final day next Sunday — but we’re beyond wins or losses at this point. Let’s just see something that gives at least a bit of reason to hope for next season.