Chelsea threw away a two-goal advantage twice last month against the likes of Southampton and Reading, and almost did the same when Arsenal threatened to level proceedings when we played them at Stamford Bridge a few weeks ago in a match that the Blues had initially dominated until a completely different side seemed to take to the park after the break.
Despite these mishaps and the disappointing 2-2 draw against League One side Brentford in the FA Cup our interim manager Rafael Benitez has played down these setbacks and says that the events cannot be compared, but surely there must be a reason why Chelsea are struggling even in games that they appear comfortable in.
In his press conference today Benitez echoed the same sort of words that he has used in the previous ones about the team playing well and the mood being good etc etc:
“The mood was really good today and they were training really well. I was really pleased with the performance of the team but no so pleased not the last minute lack of concentration, which changed everything.
“I don’t think you can compare what happened at Reading with Southampton, even if we also drew that game from 2-0 up.
“It was very different. At Reading we were in control for 93 minutes, just lost concentration from a long ball in the final minute.
“Yes, that is something we need to fix, we’ve talked about it and next time we must ensure we do better.
“But if you analyse the games we did not win in recent weeks, we could have won all of them.
“The team is doing well with the circumstances that we have. Sometimes you cannot win all the time.”
He also said how he was looking forward to a number of players returning which will help our cause:
“I am confident with players coming back, David Luiz, Eden Hazard, Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel, we have more players and more options and hopefully in the next couple of months we can do well.”
I disagree with Benitez and believe you can compare the situations as not only are they similar in terms of events, but the lack of concentration at the key times are becoming a common occurrence. There are certain things that the manager can do nothing about at the moment, such as changing the central midfield personnel that continuously fails us when it is called upon as he only has two available players to pick from. But why does the defence allow three Reading players go unmarked at the back post for their equaliser on Wednesday? Why does Benitez leave his changes so late when it’s obvious something needs to happen before a game slips out of our control?
However, it is becoming increasingly easy for the players to put in average performances or make stupid mistakes as they know the manager is going to take the flak whilst avoiding any sort of responsibility themselves.