October 3, 2023

Chelsea may continue to lose, but their relegation prospects may be killed this weekend due to Manchester City.

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Since taking temporary command at the Emirates Stadium in early April, the image of Frank Lampard’s dejected look with arms folded on the touchline has been the norm.
Tuesday night offered another sad night for Chelsea fans who were already depressed. This time, it was at the hands of a merciless and impressive Arsenal, which refused to let recent defeats derail their title hopes. This was the kind of humiliation Chelsea used to inflict on the Gunners during Arsene Wenger’s final years.
Although this was not the infamous 6-0 win in March of 2014, the disparity in quality was as painful as the impending loss. With most of Chelsea’s opponents this season, the glaring contrast in value and productivity between the two sides feels like a weekly realization.
Arsenal may not win the Premier League, but their league season has already surpassed any points total the Blues have achieved since 2017, highlighting how far Chelsea has fallen from a credible championship contender in recent years. Going without a trophy may pain Arsenal supporters, but at least they have a club that seems competent and playing above pre-season expectations.
Although talk of a title push seems decades rather than years away given Chelsea’s current bleak outlook, it reflects the humility that will be required in every aspect of the club to accept how far Chelsea has fallen from previous teams’ standards.
That challenge, however, will not be met by Frank Lampard, whose coaching career appears to be in shambles after failing to elicit any response since taking over from Graham Potter and still displaying the tactical flaws that cost him at Derby, Chelsea the first time and Everton.
Martin Odergaard and Granit Xhaka exploited the gaps in Lampard’s 4-3-3, which looks like the latest unsuccessful attempt with a jumbled roster since the infusion of stars in January. The shambolic defense for Gabriel Jesus’ 3-0 score was as amusing as any surrendered this season.
A sixth defeat keeps Chelsea from reaching 40 points, prompting some to look warily down the table into the relegation zone.
The fact is that if Manchester City beats Leeds this weekend, Chelsea will be essentially secure since Leeds can only reach 39 points by winning their final three games and have the lowest goal difference. Leicester City and Nottingham Forest are in the same boat.

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Even if Chelsea lost all of their remaining games against Bournemouth, Forest, both Manchester teams and Newcastle, the bottom three would be difficult to pass.
The fact that we’re even talking like way about a team that was World and European Champions just 18 months ago demonstrates the magnitude of this season’s humiliation. The remaining games feel more like a contractual duty from everyone involved than a genuine desire for anything bigger.

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