Chelsea & Tottenham Battle With Roles Reversed in Potential Title Conflict
A younger, thrilling workforce led by a comparatively inexperienced supervisor nonetheless discovering his toes on the prime stage tackle league leaders shopping for into Jose Mourinho’s strategies. Wait, are we positive Chelsea and Tottenham have this the best means spherical? Ought to we examine that Roman Abramovich and Daniel Levy are conscious of what is going on on? What do you imply they know?
It has been a bizarre outdated season, so bizarre that you’ll have forgotten that these two have already performed one another as soon as earlier than within the Carabao Cup. You understand, the sport the place Mourinho needed to drag Eric Dier out of the toilet as a result of the match was nonetheless happening.
Forward of that encounter, the narrative would have learn extra alongside the strains of ‘naive and spineless kids head to workforce with no thought with what they’re doing in completely pointless cup fixture that may educate us nothing’. How occasions change.
It appeared just like the Premier League was Liverpool’s to retain at a canter again in September, however Spurs and Chelsea have emerged as two of the Reds’ largest threats in what may very well be essentially the most open title race in years. Mourinho’s Lilywhites have shortly grown a popularity as one in all England’s most streetwise groups, whereas Frank Lampard’s Blues have outgrown their gentle underbelly and returned to their ruthless, free-scoring methods they confirmed solely in glimpses final 12 months.
If Tottenham are to interrupt their duck for silverware – and even develop into champions for the primary time in 60 years – then there will not be a greater time to make a push. Most of their key gamers are of their prime, have gathered numerous expertise in title races or European runs, their rivals are faltering. And possibly most significantly, Spurs play like a Mourinho title contender.
Satirically, the Blues have a squad profile paying homage to these Spurs had underneath Mauricio Pochettino and have been Chelsea’s largest risk. Hakim Ziyech is a flashier Christian Eriksen, Kai Havertz is much like Dele Alli, Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner have a little bit of Son Heung-min about them. At a stretch, there are least slight comparisons to be made with Tammy Abraham (Harry Kane), N’Golo Kante (Victor Wanyama), and Mateo Kovacic (Mousa Dembele).
A lot of Chelsea’s facet nonetheless have room to develop, to achieve the expertise and the scars from defeats and failures, religion in a long-term imaginative and prescient, whereas Tottenham have been by means of all that already and are just about in ‘win now’ mode. It is solely truthful that the strain falls onto Spurs moderately than their hosts – if you wish to win huge, you might want to cope with huge expectations – and it makes this a good larger fixture than the Manchester Metropolis one they admirably navigated final weekend.
Whereas Lampard may be underneath the cosh if he does not present indicators of progress this season – and Chelsea do have veterans in Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Kante to assist with any speedy problem – the membership are properly positioned to return to the highest desk in the long term after a throwback Abramovich switch window (the ‘Galactiblues’, the ‘Bluacticos’, one thing like that).
Lampard at the very least seems to have the belief and confidence of his gamers once more, and shoring up the defence has helped to no finish. Edouard Mendy hasn’t been world beating, however he is nowhere close to as holographic as Kepa Arrizabalaga, and the rise in confidence in the remainder of the workforce is notable – Chelsea have stored seven clear sheets and conceded simply three objectives in ten video games with the Senegalese stopper within the facet.
Their subsequent problem is to maintain out a Mourinho workforce that appears his most Mourinho-y since he gained the league with Chelsea in 2015. The Spurs sides they so simply dispatched of final season weren’t within the true picture of the Portuguese coach, and it would be form to name them an inexpensive imitation – even the facet the Blues confronted in September was one which had pre-season pleasant vibes. This can be Lampard and Mourinho’s first assembly the place each side can say they’re 100% prepared.
Does not imply the loser will not make excuses, although. All a part of the petty enjoyable this storied fixture – and newfound managerial rivalry – thrives on.
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