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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for Forbes.com and Soccerly.com and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


TANGENTS

Chelsea – A Return To Form Or The Schedule?

Written by on April 28, 2011 | 8 Comments »
Posted in Chelsea

Cast your mind back to the end of October when so many pundits had already anointed Chelsea the 2011 Barclay’s Premier League Champions. In their first ten games Chelsea won 8, drew 1 and lost the other. Lately Chelsea have been enjoying another great run of results.

Now the Premier League schedule is not a straight image of the first half (I have never understood why not) but there are parts of it that are pretty close. If we take the results of the rematches from the first ten matches you find that Chelsea’s form has been fairly consistent.

Over the rematches the only difference has been two wins traded for a loss and a draw. So in 20 matches against WBA, Wigan, West Ham, Blackpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Wolves and Blackburn Chelsea have picked up 45 points at an average of 2.25 points per game.

It also worth noting that Chelsea’s goal difference over these games was +33.

In the other 14 matches, Chelsea have only collected 22 points – that averages slightly over 1.5 points per game and a goal difference of only +4.  So are Chelsea playing better or is this part of the schedule just in their favour?

If Chelsea had maintained the rate they set over the aforementioned 20 games they would be going into the last four games of the season with at least a three point lead at the top of the table.

They would also be heading for an 85/86 point season – a tally that Manchester United could only match by winning their final four games of the season.

Of course moving from the theoretical to the practical has to take into consideration that in around 10 days time Chelsea travels to Old Trafford to play Manchester United and something has to give.

Chelsea won the game at Stamford Bridge 2-1. On Saturday Chelsea are home to Spurs (1-1 at White Hart Lane) and post-Old Trafford they play at home to Newcastle and away to Everton – two opponents that first time around they also drew 1-1 with.

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8 responses to “Chelsea – A Return To Form Or The Schedule?”

  1. Seattle_Loon says:

    If my memory serves me well, didn’t the wheels fall off Chelsea’s wagon mid-season about the time that Ray Wilkins was shown the door at Stamford Bridge? Maybe just a coincidence but it seemed to herald a drop in form that was as severe as it was unexpected. There really isn’t much between Chelsea and Man Utd. Man Utd have Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea to play. Given how relatively poorly Arsenal and Spurs have been playing recently it’s probably going to be Man Utd crowned as Champions.

  2. Soccerlogical says:

    I think Abramovich is jinxed to ever win the CL trophy as Chelsea owner…. PERIOD!

  3. Seattle Loon – No Spurs on the Utd schedule. After Arsenal and Chelsea it is Blackburn and Blackpool

  4. J says:

    For me, it just seemed as if Malouda disappeared. Maybe he got lost in the effort to rehabilitate Lampard. Essien and Drogba didn’t seem mentally present for long stretches.

    If it turns out that Ancelotti was force-fed a striker with dead legs, then we’re talking about 2nd place as a significant managerial achievement. If not, well…

  5. redfan says:

    The full impact Abramovic has had on the squad and first team affairs will only become known when he has sold the club or dropped off the planet. Wlkins was paid off to avoid a wrongful dismissal legal battle and I do wonder why Hiddink is so adamant he does not want to come back to Chelsea, even though he is having a less than comfortable time in Turkey?
    A little like wondering what went on under Hicks and Gillet at Liverpool, which is now being aired in a new book, I suspect Seattle is right, Butch getting the heave ho rocked the boat severely and that surely was the owner’s work though why will wait for the book that tells all.
    Otherwise, injuries, more injuries and some better teams to play in that period over new year might have had an effect. Essien seems to make Chelsea a better side and when he was out their midfield was not what is when he plays IMHO. Lampard was injured around the same time so having those two key MFs out probably contributed a little.
    Derek could probably write a book on this season of theirs with all the possible stats and permutations that could or have played a part to leave them where they currently stand after such a good start.

  6. soccercrave says:

    Chelsea have their confidence back. Simple as that. Add to that the fact that their schedule has been easier lately and you understand what’s going on. Most players are finely fit, which makes a huge difference as well.
    And I’m tired of hearing Torres was forced upon Ancelotti ! For one, where is the proof? and second Torres had the best goal to game record last season, was one of the best finishers in the world when fit. Do you really think any coach will feel like this kind of player is forced upon them? any coach would just be grateful to have this kind of player. He came in mid-season, and coming back from injury what do people expect? If he is a flop after a good summer break and preseason training with his teammates, then all the current non sense about him will be justified. In the meantime, people should give him a break as Derek pointed out on the show!

  7. Seattle_Loon says:

    I think you could make a strong argument that in addition to David Luiz (who has been a fantastic buy) that what Chelsea really needed in January was either some extra width or energy in midfield. Malouda’s form seem very ephemeral and Essien and Lampard look past their best.

    Any other team would frankly love to have their problems. That said, Abramovich is definitely a mixed blessing. If Ancelotti leaves at the end of the season who’ll want to ply their trade for the Russian billionaire? A continued trend of musical managerial chairs at Stamford Bridge is going to make Chelsea look like the England equivalent of Read Madrid.

  8. rahul says:

    a little bit of both, but maybe an experienced, older, and determined squad taking advantage of opportunity (that United hasn’t put i away) where my boys (still gosh darn it) couldnt.

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