Chelsea Crisis? 10 Reasons Blues Have Nothing to Worry About
With all this talk of crisis, Chelsea fans need to calm down.
Things are not great. I'm not going to lie about it. However, things could be a lot worse.
Chelsea have no reason to panic. Sure, they're not in the best position, but there is time left in the season.
There's no reason to panic, and I have a list of reasons why.
Time Left in Season
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Major trophies aren't won in February.
Sure, they can be lost (Chelsea have probably lost two), but they are in good position to win two separate trophies. That's a very good thing, but it seems to be lost in translation.
In today's day and age, it's sometimes tough to look at the big picture, but that's what Chelsea fans must do. There are still three months left in the season, and anything can happen.
Chelsea will probably not win the Premier League, especially considering they're sitting in fifth place right now. That doesn't mean things are over.
There is plenty of time left, which means a crisis simply can't be taking place. Yet.
Things Could Be Much Worse
Ramires after his injury.
Ian Walton/Getty Images
Look, things could be much worse for Chelsea.
I know how big expectations are. I know the standards of Chelsea. That doesn't mean fifth place in February is a crisis.
Chelsea are still in good position to qualify for the Champions League, and they are still playing in this year's CL. That's not too shabby.
Basically, things could be much worse. Chelsea are in poor form, but things could turn around. If they do, then this poor run of form will be forgotten.
Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle United Are Inferior
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
As Chelsea battle for fourth place, don't forget that the other teams are inferior squads.
Arsenal have the best player in the league, Robin Van Persie, but that might not last very long. Van Persie has appeared in 25 matches, and he has only done that twice. He has never played in 30 matches, which could mean an injury is due for the Dutchman.
After him, Arsenal are unable to score. Thierry Henry will be gone soon, and the Gunners could be lost for goals.
They're talented, but no more than Chelsea. Without a cohesive unit, Liverpool will struggle to make up points and goal differential.
As for Newcastle United, they simply do not have enough talent to compete. They are one of my favorite teams to watch, but they won't be able to keep up this play for another 13 matches.
It is great to have the Toon relevant again, but it will be at least another year before they're a serious threat for a Champions League spot.
Chelsea may not be playing their best, but they are still tied with Arsenal at 43 points. Meanwhile, Arsenal are playing pretty good football.
Once Chelsea right the ship, they won't have a problem making up those points.
Andre Villas-Boas Has Complete Control of the Squad
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
John Terry Is Returning to the Lineup
Ian Walton/Getty Images
Controversies aside, John Terry is a great captain.
Off the field, he may not be the nicest person. However, on the pitch, you want him on your side.
Terry is a great tackler, great organizer and a great leader. When you put all those into one centre-back, it usually makes things easier.
Chelsea have looked a little disorganized over the past few matches, and Terry's return will shore things up. With the skipper back, Chelsea are a different team.
Favorable Remaining Schedule
Clive Mason/Getty Images
When you look at Chelsea's remaining Premier League schedule, it looks pretty enticing.
Of their last 13 games, Chelsea play eight teams in the bottom half of the table. Plus, the Blues play Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at Stamford.
If they win nine of those 10 winnable matches, Chelsea will have at least 70 points. If they earn a draw in two of their other three matches (say, Arsenal and Liverpool), they will have 72 points.
In the last three years, the fourth place team has had 72 points or fewer. Essentially, 70 points is the plateau clubs need to accumulate to qualify for the Champions League.
Obviously, winning all those games is easier said than done. Still, it is extremely attainable. With four relegation-endangered teams on the horizon, Chelsea can earn some points while improving their goal differential.
The schedule looks bright; Chelsea must take advantage of it.
Still Alive in Champions League
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
If you have a friend who is an obnoxious Manchester United or Manchester City fan, just ask him how he feels about the Champions League.
No matter how bad Chelsea's season seems, they made it to the knockout round of the Champions League. That's more than United or City can say.
As much fun as the Europa League is, the Champions League is the slightly better competition. When I say slightly, I mean completely, utterly and undeniably. All at once.
So, even though an early loss to Napoli is seemingly inevitable, Chelsea are in the knockout stages.
And, at the end of the day, that's more than City or United could say.
Rotten Luck Has Plagued the Blues
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Forgive me if this slide sounds bitter.
It may just be sour grapes, but that's what I've noticed. When Chelsea (or anybody) win trophies, things go right.
The ball bounces the right way. The other team slips and falls. The official gives a soft penalty.
Those things aren't happening for Chelsea, and each thing has contributed to the alleged crisis. Football is an honest game, though, and things will level out.
Once things start going right for Chelsea again, they will return to winning consistently. Once that happens, no one will be talking about a crisis.
FA Cup Is a Winnable Trophy
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
It's tough to claim Chelsea are in a crisis when a trophy is still winnable.
In the fifth round of the FA Cup, only three of the English Premier League's top six are still around. Throw in Liverpool, and there are only four teams that are serious contenders for the cup.
Obviously, anything can happen. If a team gets hot, they could easily make a run at the final. However, Chelsea are clearly superior to the majority of the remaining teams.
If they take care of business (and get a decent draw), Chelsea should be able to get to the semifinals. Once there, the Blues are more than capable of winning the trophy.
With a trophy potentially on the horizon, Chelsea shouldn't feel like they're in a crisis.
2011-12 Was a Transition Year from the Start
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
Did you honestly think 2011-12 was going to be an easy, trophy-filled year for Chelsea?
If so, then you just don't know how football works.
Andre Villas-Boas was brought in to change the Blues into an entertaining, counter-attacking club. The players were not built for that.
As he slowly gets the players he wants, things will get better. He needs some time to work magic, and that should've been accepted from the beginning.
It's tough to deal with, but it's the truth. Chelsea have built a winning tradition, and it's tough to cope with losing. However, when you're changing a club's culture, it has to get bad before it gets good.
That's what is happening right now. Assuming the Premier League title is out of reach (pretty safe assumption, eh?), there are still two trophies up for grabs. That's not bad.
Chelsea are playing entertaining football, and they have one of the most dynamic players in the EPL (Juan Mata). Things aren't horrible, and they very well could be.
Chelsea must qualify for the Champions League. Other than that, this year is pretty much a wash. That's fine.
This year was supposed to be a transition year. It is, and Chelsea fans must be patient as things start to get better.
No matter what people say, Chelsea are not in the middle of a crisis.