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Are Chelsea Becoming a Big Game Team?

In short Yes. How can a side that has beaten Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Spurs and Everton at the bridge as well as produce arguably the two best performances of the season to got to the Etihad and Anfield and come back to West London with wins. Then go and lose to Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Sunderland as well as drop points at home following disappointing 0-0 draws to West Ham and Norwich. Put it this way there is not a single doubt in my mind that the Mourinho side that dominated the premiership in the 05/06 season would certainly have dispatched these teams producing a goal from somewhere even when the team is playing poor or the opposition are defending fantastically. The Chelsea of this campaign however seem to only get results when they are playing supreme, and that seems only to occur when the opponents are of a high standard. Take the 1-0 victory over city at the Etihad for example for the first and only time this season Toure had no impact on the game, the combined force of Matic and Luiz using their physical presence reduced Toure to a bystander. Terry and Cahill were immense they dealt with Dzeko and Negredo wonderfully leaving them spectators to any ball that came in to their area. Importantly however when the opportunity came it was taken which simply hasn’t happened enough this season against lesser opposition.

People may say it is due to the lack of a world class striker certainly Mourinho has been saying this all year. He is probably right if Chelsea had Costa in their side or perhaps more ironically Daniel Sturridge they may have won league by now. However in my opinion the issue runs deeper take the appalling performance against Norwich at home. Matic who as I said early was outstanding against City, was poor against Norwich giving away sloppy balls in midfield, the three creative players Willian, Schurrle and in particular Salah were lacking while whenever anything was played into the feet of Demba Ba his touch was heavy and it was cleared. Such issues were never present in all of these for mentioned big games where every player had a job to do and did it well putting in every tackle, making the incisive runs and producing the key passes. I feel it can be said that either Mourinho has lost his touch in preparation for these types of games or the players go with the attitude that they simply have to turn up, play and win which is never the case in the Premier League.

Put it this way one conclusion can easily be drawn and that is that if Chelsea had not dropt these points against the lower teams of the Premiership, it can be said that the Trophy would already be back in London with Chelsea’s name inscribed on it as Premier League Champions.

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