“We are under-rated a bit, and might slip under the radar, but I hope there’s a small flame flickering here that can hopefully grow into a blazing inferno.”
This statement was one of the mind-blowing statements that stole the hearts of many Chelsea fans during Antonio Conte’s unveiling and first press conference as Chelsea new Head Coach in the summer of 2016.
After the shambles of the ‘Mourinho season’, the Italian was hired to take Chelsea back to the top which he did last season in grand style. A year after winning the league, Conte’s Chelsea are in a rut. An inconsistent season so far appears to have diminished the glory heights of last season. The burning inferno that blazed on our rivals last season has been quenched. Chelsea need to improve quickly with season-defining games to be played in a two-week period.
With West Brom to visit Stamford Bridge on Monday Night, the result as well as performance in this game will be very important to our top four hopes. An extra incentive to play well is that by the time the team takes to the field against the Baggies, we might find ourselves outside the Champions League spots.
The next fixture will be the FA Cup clash against Hull City. This competition becomes more important for Chelsea considering the fact that we’re out of the title race, eliminated from the League Cup and face a big hurdle to win the Champions League. Victory will serve as a morale boost. Then the big one is our Champions League first leg clash against Barcelona. The magnitude of this game means if Chelsea are to be reckoned as a force once again then winning this game against the La Liga runaway leaders is paramount.
The flipside is that if Chelsea flounder in these clashes, this season will be seen as a failure. One that won’t live long in the memory of Chelsea supporters. The pressure is on, and Conte and his players need to overcome it.
“The pressure to me is not important because I was born with pressure. It’s normal, no? Because when you are a player or a manager of a big club like Chelsea you must play to win or to fight for the title…”
The Italian did well last season to turn pressure into pleasure by winning the league last season. But this season has seen pressure turn into displeasure. Now is the time for him to change Chelsea fortunes around. Let’s watch out!
Let’s keep the blue flag flying high. Cheers!