Hello one and all… after a topsy-turvy week of Premier League football it’s very much ‘squeaky bum time’ in the race for the top four.
Our defensive disasterclass at West Ham was followed up by a convincing 3-0 win against a fairly hopeless Watford on Saturday night.
Man United look like they’ll be snapping at our heels for the rest of the season and with Leicester looking shaky just one point in front of us, every game matters more than the last. I’m not sure my nerves can take another week like the one we just had.
IRONING OUT THE ISSUES
Seriously, how bad were we at defending on Wednesday night?
We had the chance to do the Premier League a favour and put West Ham in a real danger of relegation when we headed east last week.
On the back of five consecutive wins it looked as though it would be a routine win against our London rivals but it turned out to be anything but routine.
Antonio Rudiger was to blame for two of the goals but our general set-piece defending made every corner we faced feel like a penalty.
Frank bought Kurt Zouma back in for Rudiger for the Watford game and the Frenchman got his fourth clean sheet in a row. Albeit without a huge amount of defending required in the game.
Lamps also dropped Marcos Alonso for our latest game with Dave filling in at left-back. Basically, we are no closer to working out what our best back four is.
You would imagine that James, Christensen, Zouma and Azpilicueta is the best option going forward but you can be sure that there are still mistakes in those two centre-backs.
IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM… BUY ‘EM
It looks as though Declan Rice to Chelsea could become a reality this summer.
The player we let go of as a 14-year-old looks set to jump ship from West Ham this summer. Who can blame him for that?
The issue with the England international is the price tag, which inevitably comes with your Three Lions caps. There is talk he could cost us £70million. No, that wasn’t a typo.
Man United broke the bank for Harry Maguire, Man City spent big on John Stones and we only have to look at our £35million signing of Danny Drinkwater to see how overpriced English mediocrity can be.
Defence should be the priority from now on in the transfer market but I’m not sure a young West Ham midfielder would solve our issues at the back. He is hardly Virgil van Dijk, is he?
That is until we sign him, obviously. Then he becomes the second coming of John Terry. Naturally.
It looks as though one of our six central midfielders will be on his way out of the club this summer with Jorginho not featuring since the restart of the Premier League.
Lamps said in his pre-match press conference for the Palace game that it was purely tactical and that he has been training well despite being dropped.
The writing is on the wall for the midfielder but he won’t be short of options in the summer and we can get good money for him.
It will be hard to define his Chelsea career as he is one of the most gifted players at the club but looks like he is running through custard at times.
It looks as though, over the three month break, Lampard started making decisions about certain players who could leave in the summer and his treatment of the Italian shows he was top of the list.
His passing and penalties will be missed but he is a luxury player that we can live without.
SHADES OF HAZARD
I don’t want to draw too many comparisons between Christian Pulisic and Eden Hazard but watching the American recently has made it hard to ignore the similarities.
He scored against Aston Villa, scored against Man City and won both penalties in our last two games.
What is most impressive about the 21-year-old is the speed he can run with the ball and the control he has whilst doing so. A rare talent in football and one possessed by Hazard.
Pulisic will have to carry on this kind of form for a while before we can start seriously comparing him to one of our all-time greats but it’s great to see how far he has come since his slightly anticlimactic first half to the season.
With Werner and Ziyech on the way, Pulisic will face competition to be the star man next season but he is making serious waves in the last few weeks of this campaign.