It’s giving season, but that’s nothing new for Chelsea.
The Blues are one of the most charitable clubs you will find. They are doing a lot in the fight against anti-Semitism, and Roman Abramovich has given NHS staff free use of the club’s hotel during the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak. Chelsea always try to support those less fortunate than themselves.
Unfortunately, this also applies to life in the field.
This year, West Brom was last in the standings scoring three first-half goals ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga. Last season struggling teams like West Ham and Southampton collected three points off the Blues, and we don’t even need to talk about how much Chelsea tried to help Bournemouth stay in the Premier League by giving them four points out of six possible.
This even applies to forwards on extended scoreless runs.
Sheffield United’s David McGoldrick made 28 Premier League appearances last season and only scored one: his side’s 3-0 win over Chelsea in July, in which he actually won two. Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke scored one of his two league goals last year against Les Bleus. And Roberto Firmino scored his lone league goal at Anfield last year in Liverpool’s 19th home game – against Chelsea.
Chelsea don’t know how to hit the sides when they’re down. The best teams in the Premier League have a cut-throat streak that will leave so-called “smaller” teams dreading the idea of playing them. This is not the case with the Blues.
This is what Arsenal, 15th should feel before Chelsea’s visit on Boxing Day. They have been winless in the Premier League since November 1 and see their scores led by the three goals scored by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
Arsenal are the kind of opponents that usually cause Chelsea countless unwarranted problems, so it’s up to Frank Lampard to make sure that isn’t the case this year.
Chelsea must find a way to assert their authority over the game and do justice to the ten-place gap between the two teams in the table. Arsenal are a team in turmoil, and the Blues must make the situation worse for them.
Statement victories weren’t exactly common under Lampard, especially during the holiday season. The 2-1 loss to Manchester City on November 23 of last year sparked a run of poor form that only really balanced out in March when the Blues were well out of the title picture.
Although Lampard has always insisted that Chelsea aren’t going to win the title this year, you can’t spend more than £ 200million and see your title hopes vanish by January. It would be inexcusable.
There have been worrying signs of a coming winter crisis. Back-to-back losses to Everton and Wolves – both of whom were in average form themselves – raised concerns, though the 3-0 win over West Ham last time around – despite a poor display – was a perfect response.
Chelsea need to keep that momentum going when they travel to the Emirates on Boxing Day by letting Arsenal lick their already gaping injuries with yet another loss.
Lampard may not yet publicly want Chelsea in contention for the title, but his three-step plan has always resulted in a big improvement in 2020/21. It might not end with silverware, but by the end of the campaign the boss wants the rest of England to fear Chelsea again.
There have been positive steps in this direction and suggestions that the Blues are in fact, the suitors point out how Chelsea are viewed as a dangerous team, but until they learn to be ruthless, there will always be a ceiling on this team’s success.
A positive result against an Arsenal side in an unprecedented free fall is the only way Chelsea can ensure they are taken seriously in a title race.
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