After last weekend’s stalemate against Burnley that was a stark reflection of Chelsea’s dominance in previous games, there comes an FA Cup clash against Wolves. Despite our fantastic league standing, there are still issues that need to be resolved behind the scenes in relation to team performance for our title ambition.
Here are 3 reasons why the FA Cup game is a welcome distraction:
TIME TO UNWIND AND RELIEVE TITLE PRESSURE:
Let’s make no mistake about it, the title pressure is on and we must be prepared to handle it. This weekend offers Conte and his players the time to unwind – time to reflect on their games so far this season and chill off the stress that comes with the game. With many of our first team players expected to be given a rest this weekend, it will be ideal to see them work on new ideas, bond as a team, and relive their best moments of the season so far. For many with families, they could spend time with them to avoid being home sick and forget the strain of being top of the league for so long. This will ensure that they feel refreshed and revitalised for the challenge ahead.
ASSESS TEAM FITNESS, STRATEGY AND MENTALITY:
With 13 games remaining, we are surely now at the business end of the league. The games are bound to come quick and on a spin and the need for the team to be fully prepared for the challenge ahead is very crucial. There is no margin for error, so work needs to be done to ensure it doesn’t creep into our game. More so, help key players gain form and solutions to team strategy and setup should be assessed and ideas initiated to ensure we are well-prepared to display our swagger. Essentially, the right mentality is needed to avoid a title challenge collapse after coming so good for the better of the season only to hit the skids when it really matters most. Work needs to be done and the time is now.
USE FA CUP GAME TO FIND ‘DIFFERENCE MAKERS’ FROM FRINGE AND YOUTH PLAYERS:
One major blessing for Chelsea this season has been our near-perfect clean slate of health so far. We’ve not really had injury crisis of a high magnitude. But in a flash, things could change and we need to be prepared for any such eventualities. In cases of injuries or suspensions to key players, we need to get players like Kenedy, Charly Musonda, Nathan Ake, Kurt Zouma, John Terry, Michy Batshuayi and many others the chance to build fitness, find form and be mentally ready to play for the team if the need arises. They could just be the real difference makers in this season of surprises.
Let’s make it count to make our title dream come true. Cheers!