Going to play away at Bournemouth was always going to be a difficult outing. Howe’s men may not be in the top 4, but they do play some attractive football, and in Defoe, a dangerous striker capable of punishing any opposition.
The game started with us being the brighter side, and we were for most of the fixture, except we didn’t quite do enough with our finishing. Getting the 3 points was vital, and we got it at the end. Now, we keep our sights on Roma, and we’ll go into that fixture pondering on the following…
WE STILL MISS KANTE
The French international is still out with a hamstring injury, but might be available for the trip to Italy. In his absence, we have definitely come to understand how much he brings to the side. Ever since he stopped featuring for Chelsea, we’ve not owned the midfield in all the fixtures he missed. Against Bournemouth, it was obvious again.
We didn’t quite lack in possession, but there was no Kante to press and regain possession whenever we didn’t have it.
Fabregas has also been limited in his services delivery lately. Usually, with Kante covering the midfield, Fabregas can go forward a bit, and create chances, but he hasn’t created enough lately. Of course, it’s owing to the fact that he too has to work with Bakayoko right in the middle to protect the defence.
WE HAVE GOOD ATTACKING OPTIONS
A team with a good attacking options is the one that doesn’t depend on one player to deliver the goals all the time – Chelsea is an exact embodiment of this. We have numerous players in attack who are willing to take on the scoring challenge.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve witnessed this happen. If Pedro isn’t scoring, it’s Willian or Batshuayi. And if it isn’t one of those, Morata and Hazard are always available, as we saw from the latter against Bournemouth. This of course is a positive because it’d be rare for us to go through a goal drought.
RUDIGER MIGHT REPLACE CAHILL
It’s not every time a player of Cahill’s status is benched. If it happens, it’s either because of injury or the coach isn’t quite happy with that player. Sadly, and fortunately, Cahill is fit. So why didn’t he start against Bournemouth?
We have conceded too many goals this season, and while the captain isn’t entirely to blame, he hasn’t been his usual self lately. A lot of fingers have pointed to him as the problem with the back 3, so perhaps the manager is starting to second guess him too? Time will tell, but we won’t pretend not to know that Cahill is gradually getting off his prime, and it’s only a matter of when, not if Rudiger takes his place.