As much relief as a win brings, we all are waiting for a winning run than a win. There have been enough false starts this season that Chelsea fans know that we haven’t turned a corner until we produce a series of performances and results like yesterday. I don’t remember seeing Chelsea play this good in the premier league this season. The tempo and intensity was so like the Chelsea we know. This season, we have been guilty of being too weak and too slow in our movement of the ball but not yesterday. The team, for once, played like top players playing with joy and confidence.
As Jose said, for the kind of performance we put in, we didn’t deserve to watch the last 5 minutes of the game with anxiety. I’ve never seen a more unlucky team than Chelsea this season. So, with every missed or wasted chance, the expectation of a late punishment was simply growing. I was really half-expecting a stoppage time heartbreaker from a set piece.
After the game, Eden Hazard said something important and interesting. He said “we don’t have pressure, we play like we want, sometimes we get results, sometimes not”. Of late, I’ve also been observing this. The team does seem to play with freedom that you may not associate with a team going through such a crisis. Jose also has been experimenting and risking like he’s leading the table by a few points. When these are rewarded by good results, naturally confidence improves. I’m sure the players cannot wait for the next game now.
In order to prove that this Norwich win wasn’t another false start and that we have truly turned a corner, Chelsea will need to win this mid week champions league game against Maccabi Tel Aviv and the game against Spurs on Sunday. In champions league, we need to win because we need to qualify and also ensure we top the group so we have a less challenging first knock out round. In premier league though, given where we are, we need to win every game we play. If Chelsea beat Maccabi and Spurs, the confidence and momentum will take us forward.
On the contrary, if we don’t win either or both of these games, we will fall back into a much familiar scenario this season – rumours of player revolt, owner’s showdown meeting at cobham, dismissal of manager – we know the routine. For now though, it does seem like the media has calmed down about Chelsea. The unfortunate incidents in Paris and Mali, and also in stade de france and hannover in particular, have incidentally focused media on these more pertinent global issues than the managerial situation at Chelsea which is stable much to their disappointment.
While Chelsea travel to Israel on Wednesday, Spurs play West Ham today (Sunday) and also travel to Azerbaijan on Thursday with the premier league on Sunday. Chelsea are in good nick now with sufficient rest between the next couple of matches. If Chelsea smash Maccabi off the park, that will prepare us nicely for the premier league game on Sunday. The Eden Hazard we know appears to be back. And that should mean only one thing. Cheers.