Welcome, a very merry TFFmas from all of us here at the blog. As we head into the holiday season, there is plenty to look forward to both on the pitch and off it and we are looking forward to the month ahead. This December we will be running the 25 Days of TFFmas, every day up until the big day we will be publishing Christmas wishlists from members of our team for what they would like their club to get for Christmas.
For Day 11, we spoke to TFF’s Isaac Stairs about how he thinks Chelsea can improve heading into the new year.
After a season of frustration and underachievement for the Blues last season, Chelsea look back to their best under the guidance of Italian genius Antonio Conte. After an average start, Conte soon switched to his trademark 3-4-3 formation and the results have perfect ever since. Chelsea have won all eight games in the league since converting to the new system, conceding only two goals as well as scoring big wins over Tottenham and Manchester City. New signings N’golo Kante and the much maligned David Luiz have been a revelation at the back for Chelsea and at the other end, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard are back to their brilliant best of two years ago. All of this has ensured that as far as the new manager stakes go, so far, Antonio Conte has outshone both Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola. No doubt Chelsea’s title charge has been helped by their scarcity of fixtures compared to rest of their rivals. They have no European football, bowed out of the EFL Cup early to West Ham and finished bottom of their Checkatrade Trophy group with only a single point earnt against Oxford. The double still could be on and you wouldn’t bet against Conte’s men reaching the FA Cup Fourth Round thanks to the draw handing them a home tie against Notts County or Peterboough in the Third Round. However, if this season only yields the return of the Premier League title to Stamford Bridge, the Blues faithful won’t mind one bit.
Wish 1- Frank Lampard to return to the club in a staff role
It’s been two years since the Chelsea legend left the club, despite playing in midfield, he managed to break the club’s all-time goal record, finishing with 211 strikes from his 648 games. His performances helped the club to 3 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, 2 Community Shields, 1 Champions League and 1 Europa League. In terms of coaching credentials, Chelsea can really ask for no better. “He is a club legend and to have Super Franky Lampard back at Chelsea would be a dream come true. He would add a bit of character to the team behind closed doors.”
Wish 2- A Terry replacement
After originally being without a contract heading into this season, John Terry was handed a lifeline by Antonio Conte, who offered him a contract for this season. However, it’s clear that the veteran defender is being phased out of the club’s plans. Terry has only made 5 Premier League appearances this season and hasn’t started since the away game at Swansea on September 11th. He will probably even fall further down the pecking order once Kurt Zouma makes his long-awaited return from his knee injury. “Terry is past the age where he can play at a high enough level and to do well for us consistently. Someone like Ramos, Boateng or Bonucci would be an ideal replacement for the three at the back that we currently use.”
Wish 3- A stress ball for Costa
One of the worst kept secrets in football is that Diego Costa is easy to wind up. He has gained a rather unsavoury reputation for kicking out at opposition players and incurring the wrath of fans on Twitter for his conduct during a game, usually missed by the referee. “He is better this season but prior to this season, he has been a loose cannon. If he has a chew toy or stress ball he can chillax a bit and won’t cost us games.”
Do you agree with this list?
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Thank you to Isaac Stairs for contributing today, we’ll see you tomorrow for another member and another wishlist!