As Harry is often quick to point out, the disappointment at what now looks likely to be an unsuccessful tilt at qualifying for the Moneybags League once again needs to be taken in the context of our increased expectations. It has though been a league season that has borne more resemblance to a fizzling firework rather than one that has exploded into life. Revisiting the domestic campaign between the spectacular European displays has often been a reminder of the old maxim to not return to a lit rocket if things arenâ€™t going as expected. Apart from a few brief glimpses of form, such as runs of three consecutive wins in November, December & February, the blue touch paper has remained stubbornly unlit despite any amount of tinkering with the ignition system.
We face a Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening who seem to have recovered the form that at the start of the season threatened to carry all before them. Drogba, Malouda and Lampard have all refound their goal touch. Even Torres has finally got in on the act. As everyone knows if they continue in this vein and Man U stumble they could repeat their league title victory of last season.Â Chelsea have won seven of their last eight Premier League games, we in contrast have drawn five of our last six.
Before last weekend winning all of our remaining home games was seen as a prerequisite of continuing our challenge on fourth so not being able to see off West Brom was a severe blow to our ambitions. The injury to the generally indestructible Assou-Ekotto was another downer. But what can you do? Fight on and battle back is the answer and if thereâ€™s one thing about this season we have proved it is that we have a team that is more than capable of doing just that. Injuries and frustrating draws have characterised the last eight months together with comebacks. Losing the first goal in games has been a constant theme, but overturning that setback to end up with at least a point has been a common sight. There have been the two wins with ten men as well.
The rest of our season needs to embody this fighting spirit. Five games left, fifteen points available. Our only chance of getting anything close to the total we need is if we approach every game as if itâ€™s the decider and not wait for the game at Eastlands in May. It may be too late by then.
Have something to tell us about this article?