We are now at the “business end” of the season and it is difficult to assess who is the more anxious as we reach the season’s climax, the players or us supporters.
Over the years during which I have contributed to this site I have been left with no illusions that many followers hold to the view that players earn enough money and should have such focus on “the day job” that such notions as pressure should not restrict their performance.
Not so, I’m afraid. Players are human beings, not automatons and cannot be programmed to behave as such. That is why, on so many levels, I think we are fortunate to have Antonio Conte as our coach. As a former top-class player and successful coach at club and international level it is plain that he understands the foibles of individual players and to resist the urge, which I don’t doubt exist, to say things he may later regret to either club employees or ‘gentlemen of the press’.
All of this has created an atmosphere at Chelsea, both on and off the field, which can only improve our chances of finishing the season where we hope to be. This, however, is not the whole story.
How we end this season may/will affect our plans to i,prove our squad for next season. As champions we will present an image of top performers into whose company the Griezmans and Verratis of this world would be glad to join. After a season where, variously, we have had ten, seven or five point leads, finishing even second might present a different image.
Thus, a combination of a team full of international players with club success on their CV led by a man of Conte’s ability both as technical coach and mentor must give us confidence….whilst guaranteeing nothing. There is hard work done by clear-minded players still to be done. Another club aims to press us….as indeed they should. And they will have similar thoughts but we have the points advantage and players’ profiles which augers well, but no more without the work.
When summer does arrive, we will have a purchase wish-list whereby we trust newplayers will arrive. Who I want to see might be for another post…although, to be honest, I am more exercised by who I DON’T want than who I do. But, as I say; this is for another day. Let’s get the job done first.
£35mil for a guy with 1 yr left on his contract, who’s frequently injured and doesn’t score much is ridiculous.
Need to take £10mil or more off that price.
Arsenal fans abused their own players with “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” at Selhurst Park, some of these players like Bellerin might find it very difficult to play for the fans. I sense Arsenal are imploding. I am very optimistic about our top 4 chance, we should be aiming for 3rd place.
@manthistle – Fair enough mate, if today’s Rashford and Martial were the same as those of last year I’d agree 100% with you however their form this year has not been anywhere close to last year’s.
Even when either were playing regularly in the side they weren’t finding goals like last year, and this is in an even-more attacking side than last year, so I don’t personally feel like they would have got the same goals to game ratio over an entire season as they did last year.
Sympathy for the Devils
Is there a clause in Zlatan’s contract…?
Sympathy for the Devils
‘however their form this year has not been anywhere close to last year’s. Even when either were playing regularly in the side they weren’t finding goals like last year’
Rashford didn’t get games at the start of the season but then when he was finally given an opportunity he scored 3 in his first 4 league games. After that he dropped off (expected given that he was playing out wide) and then after 6 games without a goal he was dropped. Zlatan however also went 6 games without a goal but wasn’t dropped. He then went on to score 10 in 10. If only Marcus was given the same vote of confidence eh.
Martial set up 2 goals on the opening day but then having failed to find the net in his opening 3 games he was dropped (again he wasn’t given 6 over games like Zlatan). Since then he hasn’t got a regular opportunity in the side.
Does no one think it’s odd that Zlatan (and Pogba) are never rested in the league? Start every game (when fit and not suspended). Never subbed off. Play 90 mins every week. Even 2-0 up at Sunderland with Anderlecht just a few days away Zlatan wasn’t taken off. It’s just bizarre. Is there a clause in his contract that states he must play every single minute of league football?