I suppose it wouldn’t be defeat without the sky subsequently falling in the Chelsea-verse. Social media loves nothing more than outrage to feed its fertile ground of disdain and drama, after all.
And sure, losing at home to Nottingham Forest (even if they barely lost to Arsenal by a goal and got royally screwed against Manchester United) is not in anyone’s plan. Struggling to beat fourth division AFC Wimbledon isn’t either, nor is collapsing against West Ham. In an ideal world we’d win every game, and easily, too, no? After all, “one billion spent”, as everyone likes to say these days, on a bespoke squad. Wins should just flow like heavenly mana.
But as frustrating and as annoying as today’s result is, it’s a bit too early to panic — both for the season itself and of course for the “project” as a whole. Everybody just needs to relax for a minute. You may not subscribe to Pochettino’s positivity, but there is a reasonable, comfortable middle ground for us all, surely.
“Today I think we create chances, I think we dominate the game but at the end we were not clinical enough in the last third. We should score if we want to win, and made one mistake and concede a goal. Yes, disappointed but not frustrated.
“[We] were not clinical in both areas, there were many mistakes and we conceded and then we create too many opportunities and we dominate and we played in the opposite half and didn’t score. When you don’t score, it’s difficult to win games.”
Chelsea lacked a cutting edge and fluency today, but defeat only came about because of miscommunication between a brand new midfield pairing, and a few shocking misses at the other end. Familiar tropes, to be sure, but with a whole new cast of characters. So there’s hope that we can figure this out before it really becomes a problem once again. As ever, that will not happen overnight (the figuring out part, that is).
Defeat against West Ham hinged on a missed penalty, from which this young team couldn’t recover. Those things will happen. Momentum and confidence play a massive role in any result, and they can’t just be conjured up out of thin air. They certainly cannot be bought on the transfer market.
“This type of game will help us to be more mature and learn the competition. It is not only to have quality, after it’s about to compete in a different way. To match their aggression to match energy, to match desire. [We] create but we didn’t score, few shots on target and we should have more. That is about the process, all of the team.”
“[When] you are building a team in an offensive situation, in a game like today, intensity and rash decisions when you need to be relaxed and more calm. This happens and we need to stay calm and work really hard to try to improve.”
Margins in the Premier League between victory and defeat are small, minuscule even, and getting smaller by the day. A bad call here, a misplaced pass there — often that’s all it takes. Winning comes from consistency of excellence as well as execution, which needs not only technical ability, but relentless effort, and full concentration at all times. All of these things are interrelated. Only by their powers combined, like Captain Planet, can we achieve success, and sustain that success.
That will take time. That’s the one thing that no one has in football, but it’s the one thing we always need. Giving it time doesn’t guarantee success of course (see: last season), but we’ve seen promising signs from these players and this coaching staff. It didn’t happen today. It won’t happen every day. But if we can maintain a bit of belief, a bit of patience, we might just make it happen, and then make it happen more and more frequently.
“We are not playing fantastic but I think the performance is not bad. If we had scored in the first few minutes, we had two big chances and we scored 2-0, maybe we finish in a different way today.
“The fans want to win and we need to give the possibility for them to be happy, we need to keep working. I understand we are in Chelsea and you should win every single game. [But] we need to keep going, be positive and it is a process that I said before, is a matter of time.”
-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Football.London
Pochettino has changed the vibes, and things have been a lot more positive since his arrival. We — players, coaches, fans — cannot lose that. We mustn’t lose that. Especially with such a young team, the youngest in the league. When that goes, we get a Mourinho 2015-16 season, a Conte 2017-18 season, or whatever that was that passed for a season last season.
Feels like we’ll be just fine.