By Tim Harrison
Sometimes it’s better to hover in the shadows than spring out into the light.
The Blues can no longer hide the current rich vein of form, with a sixth straight win and a sixth straight clean sheet catapulting the team into clear view at the top of the table.
Beating Boro away, especially late on a Sunday – traditionally a rather sleepy time for Chelsea, is no mean feat. Chances were few at either end, but when one presented itself to the prolific Captain Haddock, he reacted with such surprising speed and grace that the ball was in the net before defenders had had a chance to gather their thoughts.
It means that Diego Costa is the first player to reach double figures in the scorers’ league this season, and it also means that the Blues have now won six on the trot, conceding nowt.
That’s only happened 10 times to any team in the Premier League’s history.
Next up is a real challenge – Spurs at the Bridge.
Tottenham are unbeaten in 12 league matches, and will fly home from their Champions League fixture in Monaco in midweek.
The next two matches will truly sort the sheep from the goats, as Chelsea travel to Man City the following week. In their way, both are potentially title-defining, even in November.
Tony Conte is thoroughly enjoying his managerial stint in England; who wouldn’t with such a run of form?
Old stalwarts such as John Terry, John Obi Mikel and Branislav Ivanovic are starting to despair of ever getting a game again, but why would the gaffer change anything right now?
It’s a real test of his management skills to keep as many of his back-up squad in the camp when they’re itching to pull on the shirt.
Two of the youngsters will be sent on short-term loan in January’s window, then brought back in August 2017.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.