Chelsea FC: Draw With Spurs A Sign Of Progress

Credit: Chris Axon
Credit: Chris Axon /

A goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur is a sign of progress for the Blues

After 14 matches in the Premier League, Chelsea FC have accumulated just 15 points. They have scored just 17 goals and sit 14th in the table, just behind West Brom, Stoke City, and Watford. With all of this in mind, it is hard to imagine a scenario where a goalless draw with Tottenham is a sign of progress but there are several reasons why it is.

The first is the quality of the opposition. Chelsea FC supporters have often taken great pleasure in pointing out that Spurs have not won a real trophy in a very long time. While that is certainly true, Spurs are very much the real deal this season.

Before facing Chelsea, Tottenham have gone undefeated in their previous 12 Premier League matches. They may be 5th in the table but they have played excellent football all season long. At times they struggle to score goals, though that has changed in recent weeks, but they are extraordinarily hard to break down.

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They have conceded just 11 goals so far, good for second-best defense in the league behind Manchester United and their newfound pragmatic style. Scoring against this incarnation of the Spurs defense was never going to be an easy task which was made all the more difficult by Jose Mourinho’s decision to play without a true striker.

It was another example of this season’s sense of irony that on the day Mourinho tries to discipline Costa, Loic Remy was out because of a family issue, and Radamel Falcao is still recovering from injury. He could have still played Costa up top but Jose never passes up a chance to get his point across.

Aside from the quality of the opposition, the Blues finally looked like an organized and defensively sound side. They have not given up a goal in three matches but Sunday was the first test against true competition. Even if they are separated by just two points in the table, Chelsea FC is a far better team than Norwich City and the match against Maccabi Tel Aviv was more like training.

No matter how many goals a Mourinho side scores, his teams are always built on defense. Last season the Blues had the best defense in the Premier League but they have been among the worst in 2015. Against a team featuring potent offensive weapons like Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen, maintaining a clean sheet is an excellent accomplishment.

Too many Chelsea supporters are hoping for the Blues to simply snap out of their funk and get back to their winning ways. That change may come in the next few weeks as the Blues enter a favorable part of their domestic schedule, but these things still take time. Players have to work their way back in to form and fitness and they must also rebuild their collective confidence.

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Two wins against poor opposition and a draw at White Hart Lane may not be the cure-all that was hoped for but it is a sign that the team is growing and starting to turn the corner back towards excellence.