Have Chelsea arrived a little too late?

by Ryan Duggins

Monday, March 7th, 2011

‘What ifs’ and tinted glasses have been placed to the back of the draw for quite some time now, as sensibility had taken over the latter stages of this season’s campaign. But now, those glasses are poking its spectacles towards you, beckoning you to throw them on for one last energetic push of positivity.

Previous to tonight’s game, even earlier last week in the 2-1 defeat of Manchester United, the opinion makers were suggesting that Chelsea were a shut case, and the scraping of a Champion’s League place should be classed as a fortunate clause. Now, as Arsenal failed to put Sunderland away, and United being completely outclassed at Anfield, Chelsea are just one more high-profile slip up from their rivals to be considered back in the race. Judging from this weekend, this seems likely.

Chelsea, before their trip to Bloomfield Road, are 12 points off the top, with two games in hand and a visit to Old Trafford to consider, which, if maximum points are accumulated, would put them just within 3 points of Manchester United. Although this steel and grit from the blues may just play out to be the helping pressure that Arsenal needed to win the title, Chelsea can’t be overlooked.

For Blackpool, this game just represents one of six home matches that they have to play with during the final ten games of the season. Worryingly, they looked abysmal and toothless away at Wolves last weekend, lacking any nudge towards their attacking threat that has made them so enjoyable to watch this season. With no DJ Campbell or Charlie Adam, Ian Holloway will be hoping that his January-purchased strikers Sergei Kornilenko and James Beattie will be able to step into some form, and drag them away from a relegation scrap that they don’t deserve to be in.

From what we saw last Tuesday, Fernando Torres does seem to recognising that he actually is quite a talented footballer, with a display last week of neat passing and great movement. Yes, Chelsea looked a much more potent threat when he was replaced, but that’s not really Torres’s fault, but more the nature of adjusting to a system that doesn’t really require him. The 4-3-3 in Chelsea’s case relies on the Centre Forward not just waiting to get in behind, expecting the chances to be created for him. It’s taken him a few weeks, but I think he has got the gist now.

Blackpool have grabbed just 4 points from a possible 21 in the run up to this game, and with a team that still doesn’t understand the meaning of sitting back, we may see that the constant punching of the Chelsea wall will just result in an even messier Tangerine fist.

Ryan Duggins can be found tweeting lyrical HERE

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