More action, less flannel



Harry Maguire of Leicester City challenges Alvaro Morata of Chelsea. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

It’s hard to express the disappointment of a goalless draw. In a sport which relies on bulging nets for excitement, 0-0 results are as enjoyable as a cold, wet flannel.

Which makes Chelsea’s all-time club record of three nil-nils on the trot even more unwelcome. Incredible that there has not been such a sequence in 113 years.

Alvaro Morata played in all three games (he was a 74th-minute sub at Norwich), but Tony Conte has made a robust defence of his off-key striker.

“Alvaro is a great guy; I have no problem with him,” he said. “This is his first full season, and he is learning a lot from this experience.”

Maybe he is still learning, but fans are starting to question whether the forward really is the club’s long-term hope.

A double frustration is that Michy Batshuayi is also goal-shy in the first team, although he rarely gets more than a few minutes at the end of any match to prove himself.

And for all Conte’s pleas for patience, Eden Hazard is also struggling as opposing team after opposing team thwart the Blues with determined defending.

To make matters worse, this weekend’s league game is a lunchtime kick-off at Brighton. Chelsea’s stars could be plugged into the mains and they still wouldn’t come alive for a 12.30pm start.

Unless someone gets a grip – and quickly – the Blues seem destined to quietly slip out of the top positions. Defending a league title is never easy, especially as last season’s was so unexpected.

But to tamely fizzle out with barely a whimper is almost as depressing as another 0-0.

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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