We the football loving nation of Britain have come to realise over recent years, Chelsea FC get off to hot starts in the Premiership… very hot starts. The 2010/2011 season was no different and the typical Chelsea start had us all thinking here we go again…However this tradition of recent years failed to bear fruition in a more long term sense, as Chelsea succumbed to a bout of untimely injuries and a lack of goals which had been their trademark in seasons gone by.
A 1-0 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday has only compounded this fact even with the much talked addition of ‘El Nino’ to their ranks the slump in form continues. Chelsea’s poor performance on the pitch was mirrored by their supporter’s efforts to welcome Torres by replicating a former Liverpool in royal blue. However mockingly they forgot to remove the depiction of the Shankly Gates on the banner, was this a sign of impending defeat from above and that Shankly was watching down upon the team he loved so much on Saturday?
However a 4-0 win against Bolton on the 24th January seemed to show Chelsea back to their ominous best as they tore apart the Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium. This lead to bullish claims by both Terry and Ancelotti saying the title race was not out of the West Londoners hands yet.
Chelsea had not won by more than a two goal margin in any of their last 17 matches. Drogba and co started in blistering fashion as always, winning three out of their first five games by a four or more goal margin. This win in Bolton was also the first time in three months that Chelsea had put together back to back wins. Their form seemed to have turned a corner. However for Ancelotti to say his team had turned a ‘corner’ they would need a series of wins, this was abruptly ended by the events on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s style of play has been somewhat different this season. Chelsea are a team that when at their best blow teams early on in the match and then defend as a unit for the rest of the match due to their strong players at the back such as Terry, Ivanovic and Alex even though he is a injury concern at the moment. However after the usual solid start to the season this style of play and the way in which Chelsea FC has indoctrinated this style of play into their fans they have struggled to put teams away this season and nail away any home advantage.
Drogba and Anelka have been reasonably quiet so far this season. Malouda has had a very solid season in contrast yet his failure to perform in tandem with the performances of both Drogba and Anelka has caused some concern on the goals front for Chelsea due to the recent strength of Chelsea’s goal scoring football. However if these three along with Lampard can hit top form it spells trouble for the Blue’s rivals as shown in the game against Bolton which resulted in a 4-0 drumming.
Chelsea remain ten points adrift from Manchester United after their defeat to the Reds. Didier Drogba believes their manager Ancelotti has been affected by their recent results, to be honest though which manager under such pressure wouldn’t? ‘We are suffering, given that Chelsea are not accustomed to losing matches’ said Drogba.
Chelsea have some serious work to do and so does Ancelotti, be that a squad orientated solution or just generally sorting out the mindset of the players, the squad however ageing it may be is certainly riddled with talent. At the moment however this is a Chelsea that we as football lovers have not seen in recent years and their challenge for the Premiership this year seems a lost cause, be that through Ancelotti’s tactics or a lack of desire from the players we have come to expect so much from.