Chelsea have performed fairly well a little more than halfway through the season considering the obvious setbacks of the transfer ban in the summer. The focus on promoting players from the academy has reaped rich dividends for the Blues with Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James all contributing spectacularly for the club, especially Tammy Abraham who has 18 goals in all competitions.
The squad is young and filled with potential, exuberance, and enthusiasm. However, considering the run-in after the devastating loss to Newcastle at St. James’ Park yesterday, we will need more than potential and enthusiasm to manage to produce results against teams of the highest calibre.
A look at our upcoming fixtures reveals just how difficult and crucial these games are for both finishing in the top four and winning silverware.
Chelsea play Arsenal at the Bridge, Hull City away in the FA Cup, Leicester City away, followed by Man United and Tottenham at home before welcoming Bayern Munich to Stamford Bridge in the Champions League.
The fixture gods have been unkind to Chelsea, giving us what has to be the most difficult and nervy run-in of the season. The Blues will have to show composure and resilience to see out these games and conjure up everything they’ve got in their locker if we are to come up on top in this series of tough fixtures.
It’s safe to say that this run-in of fixtures will make or break Chelsea’s season. Frank Lampard will have to use all his players and squad depth and rotate them to perfection if we are to win in these crucial big games. The Hull game aside, he also needs to get his tactics on point to beat the likes of Arsenal, Spurs, Leicester, United and Bayern Munich.
That’s four games against the so-called top-six opposition in the Premier League and the massive one against Bayern in the Champions League, which will be the toughest test yet for Frank Lampard and his Blues. The need of the hour in these big games is consistency. It also calls for defensive solidarity.
It will be paramount that we keep it tight at the back, defend well as a collective and make sure we don’t concede goals, especially ones because of mistakes. Chelsea have conceded late goals because of mistakes on numerous occasions this season with Newcastle being the latest team to capitalize on our inability to see games out. If the Newcastle game teaches us anything it’s that we must take our chances and see the game out.
Lampard will have to approach these fixtures in a pragmatic manner and shut out the opposition in these games. As long as we don’t concede too many goals in these games, we have a chance of winning or drawing the match. Even if Chelsea secure more draws in these big games instead of losing, it would suffice.
The squad will need to dig deep and aim to shut out the opposition by defending in numbers while keeping the work-rate high throughout the match. Effective rotation is vital and will be instrumental in achieving the desired results in these big games. Lampard should focus on defensive drills in training during the course of preparation for these fixtures because we’ve let in so many goals at the tapering end of games, unable to see it out. Discipline will be paramount and consistency and composure will be required.
Let’s hope Chelsea come out of these make or break games on top and maintain our league table position and progress in both the FA Cup and Champions League. Coming out of these fixtures with fourth place intact and staying in the FA Cup and Champions League would be Lampard’s greatest achievement in what looks to be the sternest test of his managerial career thus far.