CONSISTENCY AND STRENGTH IN DEPTH – PREMIER LEAGUE RIVALS ARE JEALOUS OF CHELSEA, SAYS NEVIN
The former Blues winger feels the options
available to Antonio Conte will be striking ‘fear’ into the hearts of fellow Premier League title hopefuls Chelsea’s remarkable run of form will have left their Premier League title rivals ‘jealous’, according to Pat Nevin.
The Blues have surged to the top-flight summit and cemented that lofty standing with a 12-game winning streak.
Antonio Conte’s side – who also boast the best defensive record in the division – are now six points clear of the chasing pack and threatening to blow the competition out of the water. They have found a formula that works, in terms of formation and tactics, with the depth of quality in their squad allowing for rotation when required.
Nevin believes it is these traits that will be making their fellow challengers for the domestic crown envious, with ‘fear’ struck into the hearts of those playing catch-up.
He told the club’s official website : “Up until now in this incredible run it was clear that we have enjoyed a level of consistency everyone is jealous of, not just in results but also in team selection too.
“This will again be tested when we face Stoke City and Spurs in the coming days, but there are clearly now options that others hadn’t considered.”
Nevin added: “There is going to be some imagination from Antonio needed as the season goes on, but that doesn’t look like a problem right now.
“With no Diego Costa or Kante, Chelsea needed another way to win [against Bournemouth] and in its execution this frontline of Willian, Hazard and Pedro was perfection on the day.
“Of course there was some expectation of going withMichy [Batshuayi] up front and keeping the style the same, but the manager must have looked at the opposition and spotted their weaknesses.
“What it gives us is another option when trying to break down defences and another fear to strike into the hearts of our competitors.”
Chelsea eased to a 3-0 victory over Bournemouth on Boxing Day, leaving them two games short of Arsenal’s record sequence of victories in the Premier League.
They can edge another step closer towards hitting that target with a home date against Stoke City on New Year’s Eve, before opening 2017 with a capital derby
against Tottenham on January 4.