Football

Chelsea can salvage their season with strong run of results in December; it's not too late

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It seems scarcely believable that as we approach the Christmas period, pundits are already making their predictions for the Premier League title race with such conviction.

But that's exactly what former Arsenal striker and Premier League legend, Thierry Henry, has done, including the omission of champions Chelsea from his shortlist.

Writing in his latest column for The Sun, Henry said: "For me, the teams in contention are Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and maybe Liverpool.

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"Chelsea should not even be in the conversation. If they get back into the top four it will prove nothing more than how poorly the top teams are doing.

"If Chelsea had played like they did last year they would be 10 points clear now, with one hand already on the trophy.

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"But every time a team has had the opportunity to take charge at the top, they have wasted it."

You can see where he is coming from, of course, with Jose Mourinho’s side closer to the bottom of the league than the top after their first 14 matches, but rule them out at your peril.

Chelsea have the players first and foremost to be included in that list. Historically, they know what it takes to win and week after week they find themselves as favourites to take the three points despite their poor form.

Sure, it hasn't all clicked together thus far and it's difficult to pin point where it's all gone wrong. Eden Hazard looks a shadow of the player who terrorised defences last season, whilst Cesc Fabregas has proved far from convincing in the centre of the park, epitomised by his dour showing against Tottenham on Sunday.

Communication between John Terry, Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta at the back seems to have somewhat wavered since last season too, the back four conceding 23 goals this season.

And then there's Diego Costa, who is something of an enigma. Where he gets full marks for passion, aggression, desire and work-rate, too often has he succumbed to his own petulance and failed to make an impact on games.

Throwing his bib in the direction of Mourinho, following a half-hearted warm up during Sunday's affair, showed the bad side of the forward.

But still we ask ourselves: why can't they turn it around?

The teams at the top are all beating each other whilst other sides - Leicester City in particular - are performing above expectation and likely to slow at some point. All it would take is a run of victories for Chelsea and it's hard to deny they'll be back in the race, such is the unpredictability of England's top flight.

The new four-forward system that Mourinho used at White Hart Lane looked sharp, especially on the counter attack, and you'd have to say it was only the end product missing.

Between now and the New Year, the Blues host Bournemouth, Sunderland and Watford, and pay visits to high-flying Leicester and Manchester United. The latter is likely the only game where they won't be outstanding favourites, but of those five fixtures, 13 points is certainly doable and capable of steering Chelsea back towards the top.

This is the Premier League, after all, and as we know - anything can happen.

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Topics:
Chelsea
Premier League
Football
Didier Drogba

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