If you’ve not noticed that smaller teams in the EPL have devised a strategy to try and stop the Chelsea Roller coaster this term, then you must not have followed our last few games against mid-table teams. Unlike last season when we had a major drop in confidence, and virtually every team came out hopeful they could beat us, this season, we’re playing very well; beating any team we’re up against, and that scares them, so they’re all coming up with a plan to play the new Chelsea — negative football. As we saw over the weekend, smaller teams in the league come up against us, defend, and try to take us on counters. It was a strategy West Brom used on Sunday, and it almost paid off until that moment of brilliance from Costa. Middlesbrough almost did the same, but we were too good to handle on that occasion, as we created too many chances, and could have run out 0-3 or 4 winners. West Brom was a different opponent, as they had their plan well mapped out. From the start of the game to finish, we were limited to a handful of shots at goal. In fact, Costa’s goal was one of the few shots we had on target. I didn’t expect any different from a manager like Tony Pulis, who’s very defence-minded. I just hoped we’d get past them somehow, and thankfully, we did.
Against Sunderland, I don’t expect a different game. I expect David Moyes to employ the same approach — defend and try to stop our play, and counter with every opportunity. They didn’t start the season well, but have won 3 of their last 5 games, and seeing as they still lie in the drop zone, they won’t want to lose to us. They also have dangerous players that can create problems for us, given the slightest chance – Victor Anichebe and Jermain Defoe. That is why we have to come up against them prepared. We have to be more creative, and find ways to break down whatever walls they’ll create. We need nothing short of a win from that game, especially seeing as Arsenal lost. If we get maximum points, we’ll pull further away from our rivals. It won’t be easy, as I have acknowledged, but I know we can definitely keep our winning run going.