Watford welcomed the champions to Vicarage Road in a matchup that has been seven years separated in the league. The players were all fired up as both the clubs have seemingly switched ambitions over the season and are looking to improve in their endeavours for European football.
Here are the five talking points:
Fabregas needs to drop deep
Cesc Fabregas is a player of immense quality and it was slightly disappointing to see him starting in an unnatural role against Watford as he was meant to be the key that would unlock the Watford defence. With his great passing wasted higher up the pitch with limited space, it was always clear that he needed to drop deep to have any impact on the proceedings. Slowly but surely, that happened and soon he was pinging balls left and right into spaces and was carving the Watford defence open at will. He needs to be trusted by Hiddink if Chelsea have any hope to surge up the table. With difficult matchups coming up, Hiddink’s plans for the Spaniard will be interesting, to say the least.
Hazard is back
Eden Hazard has been going through an offseason marred with injuries but with his recent performances, it is clear that he is back and will definitely be asking for a look in the Chelsea squad as soon as he is fully recovered. He almost scored and managed to ping balls all over the pitch against Watford in a stunning display of class in the cameo of barely 20 minutes. He needs to keep this up as Chelsea look to claw their way back up the table. The closest any Watford player came to stopping him was Nyom who couldn’t do anything else except fouling him. With the ball at Hazard’s feet, it is incredibly rare that a loose touch or pass will ensue, and that is exactly what he did against Watford.
Oscar is the man in form
With Chelsea’s early season highlighted by Willian’s performances, the late season seems to be where the other Brazilian looks to shine. Oscar has been fluctuating between decent and tremendous ever since Mourinho left the club and has been the most influential player for Chelsea in the last three matches. With Chelsea looking to consolidate a claim for a European spot, the Brazilian could really step up his game and could be looking to add more goals in an already impressive tally so far for the playmaker.
Chelsea needs to bulk up
Chelsea looks to only beat their opponents with guile and class even as the opponents play something that resembles a rugby match. Chelsea needs to change that and they need to do it soon. The kind of players Chelsea had in the past, Lampard, Essien, Makelele, Drogba, Carvalho, Gallas, Cole, Ballack and so on, would simply laugh at the lack of physicality shown by Chelsea. Chelsea needs to start pushing around a lot more if they have any hope to recover from this precarious position. Wild swing of the legs from the vile opponents should be matched swing by swing. The shameful play of Capoue needs to be punished with a shove after another. Chelsea needs to stand up on their legs and not go looking at the ref considering the kind of administration that handles the refs. There needs to be solidarity amongst the squad. If Nyom kicks Hazard, he needs to be feeling the studs of Mikel or Matic or Azpilicueta on his feet. Also, Hazard, Oscar and Willian need to give back themselves to shameless opponents. We cannot always take the high road, especially in such predicament.
The English media needs to get over Costa
Diego Costa is either a hero or a super-villain. With the English media ready to pounce on any touch he makes or any tackle he gives, it would be easier to believe the latter. Considering the incident that took place near the touchline, it is embarrassing to see outlets shaming Costa for what would be a routine play for the likes of Keane, Schneiderlin or Gerrard. The kind of pushes Costa receives, he fully deserves to give them back and Quique Flores was on hand to make sure that Costa calmed down, simply because he knew that he had every right to respond to Paredes’ infringement. With players like Phil Jones, Lee Cattermole, Jack Colback, Charlie Adam, Ryan Shawcross and Vincent Kompany lurking like vile creatures in the league, it would be highly advisable for the media to follow their incredibly clean play as it can help them in their supposed goal of decent and integral journalism. It is shameful what people do for a few clicks these days.
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