After a pulsating 4-4 draw against Treble winners Manchester City, is this the start of a glorious future for Chelsea under Mauricio Pochettino?
Before facing Tottenham last Monday, the Blues had gained just 12 points from their opening 10 games, but collecting four points against a rejuvenated Spurs under Ange Postecoglou, followed by going toe-to-toe with the Champions, may just spark some light into the rest of Chelsea’s season.
Even though we are still relatively young into this season, it feels as if this season is so important for Pochettino to stamp his authority at the club, and to prove to everyone why he is one of the top Managers in the world.
And what was so good about the performance, was the fact that he went with the brave option to go for a high press against City.
A lot of teams would not dare to do this against a City side, who are so good, especially in and out of possession, but what was so impressive was the fact the Blues persisted with it, even when they were 0-1, and 3-4 down, and Pochettino praised the character and of the players, especially in the second half.Embed from Getty Images
‘We showed character, mentality,’ We showed that we also have tools – against a team like City – to dominate and create chances. We are still far away in terms of the table. But now there is a different noise in the stadium and this kind of performance we can really use for the future.Pochettino: Daily Mail
Chelsea’s record against the top six last season was appalling in the sense that they collected just 4 out of a possible 30 points, and it is one of the main reasons why they do not have any European football this season.
But perhaps this may be a blessing in disguise for Pochettino, in terms of managing his players, and spending more time on the training ground than travelling abroad.
Although playing in the Champions League isn’t that bad, just imagine if they were playing in the Europa League or Europa Conference League, which have their matches on Thursday evenings, this is not only physically, but mentally exhausting for players, and that’s where you tend to pick up injuries, becuase of the hectic scheduling of matches.
This is why even though the Blues are 10 points outside the top 4, there is still a possibility of making it to the Champions League for next season, where the competition could be expanding its participants from 32 to 36.
Palmer: A Generational Talent?
With Mason Mount now at Manchester United, Chelsea was in need of an attacking midfielder, who could score goals as well as create assists.
While purchasing Daniel Sturridge from City’s Academy didn’t quite work, perhaps it could be a different story with Cole Palmer, who was just sensational on Sunday, especially at holding his nerve to score the penalty to make it 3-3.
Post the International break, Chelsea’s next three fixtures include trips to Newcastle and Manchester United, with an even trickier test at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, if the Blues can get 5 or more points from those three games, then a place in the top four would seem a more realistic target for this season.