Beware of the Wolves

After another disappointing result on Wednesday evening, the pressure on Andre Villas-Boas’ shoulders seems to be reaching new heights, and the cry’s to end this attacking philosophy resound even louder.

Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat at Loftus Road has acted as a catalyst to the shambolic results and performances that have followed. Since that afternoon many reasons have been mooted for the West Londoners latest demise with defensive frailties being a recurring theme, particularly in the performances of John Terry and David Luiz which have been haphazard.

David Luiz has shown exactly why many believe he is a centre back in the mould of a midfield player, and perhaps he should play a midfield role more often, although with stiff competition his chances of game time will most likely be affected. Going forward Luiz has shown he can take on players, convert chances and play with a touch class however defensively he has shown weakness and a clumsy nature at times.

The form of Petr Cech has also been very illogical of late with some of the goals passing him by being very questionable compared to a confident Cech. In fact the whole back 5 have not been their assured and composed selves over the course of the last month.

The latest defeat at the hands of Leverkusen typified Chelsea edginess to see games out, the fact soft goals are being leaked frequently combined with a lack of renowned Chelsea team spirit suggest one thing and that is the side just have no confidence at the moment.

Realistically the back to back home defeats to London rivals Arsenal and Liverpool last Sunday surely signal the end of Chelsea’s title challenge, now 12 points adrift of leaders Manchester City after as many games. The Ethiad stadium outfit remain the only unbeaten side in the Premier League and don’t look like dropping points anytime soon.

However with the race for the Champions League spots heating up, Chelsea need to start picking up the pace with rivals Tottenham up to 3rd and in fine form lately, Liverpool and Arsenal also remain locked on 22 points with the blues meaning it’s all to play for.

Saturday’s Premier League fixture against Wolves at Stamford Bridge has now taken on more importance, ‘must-win’ is a term not normally thrown around in the direction of one of the top sides in the division but surely Chelsea’s current situation requires nothing less than all 3 points.

With a justified expectancy to run out comfortable winners AVB’s men shouldn’t necessarily focus on peppering the opponents half with attack after attack, this bombardment has cost them dearly in recent weeks, all be it against better opposition, but perhaps this weekend an ugly win should be on the agenda.

Mick McCarthy’s men have their own problems this season and sit in 17th position just two points safe of the relegation zone, it is fair to say the midlands side shouldn’t pose Chelsea much of a threat but with confidence sapped at the moment they will be coming to the bridge with belief.

In reality it would have to mean Chelsea perform their worst all season for Wolves to come here and get a result, but underestimation is the worst mind frame Chelsea can adopt going into this fixture with need for a win at a high.

I feel getting back to winning ways is more important than anything else for Chelsea come 5 o’clock Saturday evening, this will ensure pressure is taken off AVB’s role as manager as well as the side in general who need a boost and some form going into the Champions League tie with Valencia which has now effectively became a ‘play-off’.

Whatever has been the problem with the blues lately it should just be put to one side by AVB and the focus should be fully on Saturday’s game, the result is all that matters now. I also feel Daniel Sturridge put in a good shift against Bayern Leverkusen and should remain the first choice striker, 3 points is crucial, a clean sheet delightful.

Simon Blaquiere


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