There are no two ways about it, the West Brom result was disappointing and not good enough. Our results against the big sides this season have been very good, in fact we’re undefeated, but we’ve failed to kill smaller sides off on too many occasions. I’ve written about this on many occasions, chastising our lack of a clinical forward but the midfielders are also to blame. Too often one of our attacking three has got into the box and hesitated on shooting because they try a trick or play a clever pass. They don’t shoot on sight as regularly as they should and that is coming back to hurt us.
However this is for another time, up next we have Manchester City once again but this time it is in the cup. After coming unstuck against us City then failed to score again, away at Norwich City. As a club we have a tremendous affinity with the FA Cup, in recent years no club has been more successful than us and another trip to Wembley would be fantastic.
Last year we were knocked out of the cup by City and revenge would be an excellent tonic for this season. With our title and European challenge there could be a temptation to throw the cup in order to pursue higher glories but this is wrong. If we can beat City again that will be the perfect response to drawing to West Brom and can give us the kick-start we need for the tricky next couple of months.
Jose has only won the FA Cup once before as opposed to winning the league and League Cup twice. I’m sure he’ll be keen to rectify this and I hope he reflects this determination with his team selection. We could be missing both Gary Cahill and John Terry for this clash and that could be pivotal. The pair have been rock solid this season and whilst David Luiz is a decent defender he is too much of a liability.
Having said that I’d like to have seen the cup taken seriously it may seem strange that I think both Salah and Schurrle deserve minutes. Both have looked promising in their cameos this season and Willian and Hazard both deserve rests. It is not as if we are trading out grade A for grade B, we’re trading out grade A* for grade A. Both Schurrle and Salah are top players who were at the top of their game when they joined Chelsea. The worst thing we can do is allow them to stall their development by not playing.
City will be much fresher than us because their match against Sunderland on Wednesday was called off because of the weather. This means that they will be still be behind us in the table and psychologically that’s important. By beating them we overtook them and them not playing will mean they’re still on a goal drought. There is no reason we can’t extend that drought by 90 minutes.