Turning points abound



Victor Moses celebrates scoring Chelsea's third goal against Burnley. Picture: Action Images

Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

Chelsea’s 3rd round FA Cup draw against Notts County or Peterborough offers the real prospect of progress in a trophy the club adores.

Buoyed by a glorious turnaround at the Etihad against a Manchester City side who remain serious title rivals, the Blues can focus on FA silverware in January without European or League Cup distraction.

The weekend’s game, and its shambolic conclusion which resulted in red cards and match bans for Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho as City lost all discipline, meant Chelsea notched up an eighth win on the trot.

In-form West Brom visit the Bridge this weekend.

Tony Conte is currently getting a collective man-hug from players, fans and a wider footballing public who love his passion.

He needs to make the most of it. As Jose Mourinho might ruefully tell him, nothing lasts.

Whatever happens with Chelsea’s fascinating season, when football historians look back at 2016/17, another turning point may be missed.

It happened in early April 2016 in Slaven Bilic’s old managerial office at Upton Park, as West Ham’s squad needs were being discussed ahead of the move to the Help Yourself stadium.

On Slaven’s list, Victor Moses. The season-long Chelsea loanee had started 11 games for the Irons, and impressed, but he’d picked up a hamstring injury three months earlier against Man U and was temporarily out of starting line-ups.

Bilic made a fateful, some will say fatal, decision not to make Moses’ latest loan spell permanent and buy him for the Hammers.

West Ham’s loss has been Chelsea’s making. Conte saw the potential, and Moses has become his most loyal servant, always responsive to instructions (mainly because he’s on the wing and can’t avoid hearing them being bellowed into his ear as he runs past the dugout).

If the Blues beat West Brom they will equal a Mourinho record for most consecutive Premier League wins. Then things get interesting.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

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