Cole Palmer to determine Chelsea’s European dream as EPL break comes at the worst time

Cole Palmer to determine Chelsea’s European dream as EPL break comes at the worst time

Chelsea emerged from their clash with Newcastle United as eventual winners despite a late scare. Goals from Nicolas Jackson, Cole Palmer and Mykhailo Mudryk proved to be required in their entirety after a late Jacob Murphy strike had Stamford Bridge biting their nails.

It is a victory which provides promise and hope despite so many absent stars. Young players turning up and delivering and Mauricio Pochettino getting another foundation he will hope to build from to win back the support of the fans.

The game was not straightforward and there were plenty of talking points at both ends of the spectrum. Let’s looks at who and what the winners and losers were from the clash which has supporters hoping that it will kick off a run that leads all the way to qualification into European competition.

WINNERS

Cole Palmer

You might say that amongst the billion that has been invested, surely somewhere Chelsea will have landed a gem and that has certainly been the case when it comes to Cole Palmer. Whilst plenty of his teammates face persistent questions, the only question facing the now senior England international is who will be next to concede to this brilliant talent?

A side like Chelsea are so fortunate to have someone in the group stand out too because without that shining light suddenly the environment lacks everything but darkness. Players look to him to make things happen and his words post-match to Sky Sportas backing up his teammates, talking about the talent they possess in the group shows leadership both off the field compared to on it.

MAURICIO POCHETTINO

If there was one man that needed a win it was the Chelsea manager and to do so against one of the teams which are also chasing European qualification too. I discussed post-match the quality of consistency, not necessarily in performance as that will come, but in team selection to allow his side the chance to gel and build together.

Slight tweaks and changes are necessary and sometimes forced but with talk of a project at the club, that can succeed through cultivating the best environment for a team to gel and learn about one another. He decided to use a new defensive line on Monday night and there were definitely problems amongst promise but if he allows them to continue together perhaps they will improve.

EUROPEAN DREAMS

As mentioned, the win sees Chelsea close the gap to Newcastle to just one point. They have a game in hand over the Magpies too and a very good run of games coming in April which could be the springboard to a strong end to the season.

It doesn’t help that their game in hand is away at league leaders Arsenal however the gap to ninth-place Wolves is just two points, eighth-place Brighton three points and the first European qualification spot, seventh, just four points. Looking ahead and the trip to Brighton is looking like a massive opportunity and of course, the home clash with Manchester United speaks for itself.

LOSERS

The defence

Pochettino said that he was using a new defensive line and there was promise offensively with Malo Gusto and Marc Cucurella offering a threat in the final third. However, there was a comedy of errors which led to the first Newcastle goal with several chances for the players to deal with the danger.

It can be written up to the inexperience of the four players playing together but this cannot happen again, not if the ambitions are to reach European qualification this season. With so many defensive options out and the best back four potentially not even featuring any of the starters, how consistency can be achieved here will be a challenge but a back four is the one area that needs it more than any other.

A long time to wait

When you win, you just want to do it again and despite the fact that league action is now over with the FA Cup next up on Sunday with Championship leaders Leicester City visiting Stamford Bridge, an international break comes at the worst time after that. It might be good in the regard of getting some players back, but with consistency, the key word having the next game to build momentum might have been more welcomed by Pochettino.

The worry will be that instead of recovery, there could be more issues arise for players who are fit now over the break. Fingers will be crossed that Chelsea emerge from the other side unscathed and can get back to Premier League action and turn this win into a run of victories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles