By Tim Harrison
Two away wins and a home defeat seem a curious haul from Chelsea’s Christmas week matches, but a 2-0 home victory over Nottingham Forest in the 3rd round of the FA Cup has steadied the ship.
But why are the Blues so patchy at home, and why is Stamford Bridge no longer seen as a fortress?
Jody Morris, who spends matches whispering sweet nothings into Frank Lampard’s left ear, reckons it’s a combination of little mistakes and final-third belief.
“Sometimes when we make mistakes, it snowballs into more mistakes,” he said, adding that the Blues’ front players could create more by varying their play.
That’s something fans have been saying for weeks... Chelsea are simply too predictable at home in comfortable surroundings, and it’s a factor that visiting teams have learnt to exploit.
Burnley, like recent conquerors Southampton, Bournemouth, West Ham and Everton, are a bottom-half club, so their visit this weekend is a chance to prove lessons have been learned.
Lampard’s attitude to VAR has mellowed after the Forest game, where two knife-edge decisions went Chelsea’s way, while the match also marked the rehabilitation of midfielder Ross Barkley, who had appeared to be spending as much time dancing in nightclubs as practising on the training pitch.
Teenaged microdot Tariq Lamptey was given his home debut as a sub, and continues to show real promise.
Meanwhile Chelsea Women continue to surge forward after striker Sam Kerr’s debut against Reading in the WSL helped earn a 3-1 victory.
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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