In his latest column for the Chelsea website, fan and Olympic legend Lord Sebastian Coe tells us he is feeling positive about the Blues as we approach the business end of the season...
I write this column following the transfer window closing, with the team still in four competitions but coming off the back of a mixed bag of results.
So how should we assess the situation we find ourselves in at the moment? Are you a glass half-full or a glass half-empty person?
I tend to be glass half-full. We have thrown some points away recently and we should not gloss over some disappointing performances, but on the other hand we just beat Spurs in a tight semi-final and we’ve made a really exciting signing in Gonzalo Higuain, who has got off the mark quickly, so I don’t think things are nearly as bad as some people think.
If silverware is what ultimately matters at the end of the season, we’re through to the first possible final we can get to, next weekend at Wembley, and we are still heavily involved in four competitions.
With Higuain, the closest relationship in sport is between a coach and an athlete. With his signing, we are already over the first hurdle because Maurizio Sarri and he clearly believe in each other’s ability – they have worked together fantastically well before and it is clear the coach was keen to be reunited with his player
Before his arrival, we had been playing a little bit narrower with Eden Hazard through the middle and I felt we were becoming a bit predictable in some of our play.
We have been creating fewer chances than we were at the beginning of the season, so the hope now is that we can create more and Higuain can take some of those chances when they come along.
Premier League heating up
I still think Manchester City will win it, regardless of what happens in our game this weekend or the Carabao Cup final at the end of the month.
Liverpool are having a bit of a wobble but won’t be out of the top four, and Spurs have so far weathered the storm without Harry Kane and Dele Alli. I don’t think
Arsenal are good enough, so it looks like it could be down to us or Man Utd for fourth spot. You wouldn’t have said that six weeks ago, so it goes to show how things can change quickly. It is going to be a dogfight but I don’t see why we won’t be successful, and of course we are well in with a chance of winning the Europa League, which guarantees Champions League football next season.
Christian Pulisic, Eden Hazard and the transfer window
I watch a lot of US soccer and spend a lot of my time in America. Everybody there knows Christian Pulisic is an outstanding talent, and commercially I am sure his presence as a Chelsea player will inspire a lot of kids to take up the sport and follow the club.
On the pitch, he has shown his talent at one of the best teams in the Bundesliga, which is a good league, but the Premier League is tougher and he will have to adapt and get used to it next season. Every week offers tough matches, with no easy wins.
Alongside the Higuain loan, that was our main business in the January window, and transfer deadline day was remarkably quiet in the Premier League as a whole.
It is becoming more and more complicated to get players. You can often be waiting on other deals, but in the past, we have done things pretty well and I think we can be quite pleased with where we are at the end of the window.
Looking ahead, everybody wants Eden Hazard to stay. I think he is in the top three players in the world and I would hate for him to be plying his trade somewhere else. Nothing is ever straightforward in football, it’s a bit like buying a house – there are people you never meet or know about, a whole chain of decisions that can impact what happens, but let’s all hope that we end the season well and Eden decides his future is with the Blues.