Two homes games lie ahead, across two different competitions and, unusually for so early on in the season, everything rides on getting a positive result in both. If we’re to continue with title aspirations for the rest of the season then nothing but two victories will do. Failure is Channel 5. Failure would mean the league title is all but out of our reach before Christmas. It’d be enough to make you sob into your turkey and sprouts. It’s enough to make you nervous thinking about it, to be apprehensive at the two fixtures bearing ahead. It’s win or bust.
So let’s not think about the failure, let’s think about the winning. What if we win both games? The fans, the players, the club would have a surge of positivity going into the congested December fixtures and, just as importantly, the second round European draw. Chelsea can take a huge step forward in both competitions in little over 180 minutes of football. This is a superb opportunity to get our season right back on track. It’s a chance to get the stadium rocking and send the belief soaring. For us fans it’s the possibility to have an influence, to roar on our team, to make a difference.
We can’t hide from the fact that our big game form so far has been dismal. Zero points against any of our title rivals and comfortable leads given away cheaply in this season’s Champions League travels. But it’s worth noting that in many of these clashes we haven’t had the rub of the green and it might be that our luck is slowly changing. A clumsy tackle from Luiz in front of a passionate ‘SportsDirect Arena’ crowd could have resulted in a straight red on another day. But it didn’t. We went on to control the game and deservedly win. It was a performance filled with some thrilling skills from Sturridge and Mata, classy assured passing from our new number 6 Oriol Romeu, and the return of some dogged defending from the rear guard. Even Torres looked lively again. In summary, there was plenty to be cheerful about and a whole lot less to be concerned with – unlike some of the previous performances last month.
Both of these games are at the Bridge. Let’s make the most of home advantage – we need to be vocal, passionate and positive. The fans can help make both of these nights unforgettable, all we have to do is back our team from the first whistle to the last. As anyone who has enjoyed a brilliant, atmospheric night at the Bridge will testify – there’s nowhere else like it and it’s us, the fans, who can help make that happen again this week.