A strong Autumn can set Chelsea up for Champions League places, just like last year

Frank Lampard
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

We’re another week in to the Frank Lampard Debut Season at Chelsea, and the upwards trend has continued. By beating Southampton 4-1 at St Mary’s the team earned their second win in a row in the league and their fourth in all competitions.

Everything is looking exceptionally rosy, and the atmosphere at the club is as good as it’s been in years. When the players approached the travelling fans at the end of the game to salute them, the response was superb. The connection between the supporters and the players on the pitch has never been stronger, and having hailed them as unlucky losers against Liverpool, the string of wins has been a fine reward for the faith from the appreciative Blues in the stands.

It was important to go into this international break with some points in our back pocket, and we look well positioned in 5th now, ready to hopefully return and plough into an easier run with a bit of freshness restored to our young team’s legs. Newcastle, Burnley, Watford and then Crystal Palace are all on the menu ahead of our trip to Man City at the end of November. It’s not unrealistic to hope for four wins from those games, and if we were to achieve that we would take a huge step towards returning to Europe.

It would still be early days of course, but given the teams around us have significantly harder games in that period, adding 12 points to our total would likely keep us in touch with the league leaders, let along the chasing pack, all of whom look flawed to varying degrees at the moment.

At that point, we’ll be 12 games into the season. If Man United and Tottenham continue imploding and Arsenal’s inconsistency remains consistent, this easy run could see us build up a big lead over them. Even if they sort themselves out – and things can’t really get much worse in either situation right now, so we can expect some upturn – they’re going to be playing from behind all year.

Under Maurizio Sarri last year we had an even stronger start than this, and it proved vital as we collapsed in the New Year. The other teams were able to make up ground on us, but their inconsistency prevented them from ever getting their noses in front. In the end that Autumn cushion proved to be vital, and you always have to remind yourself that the points you win now are worth as many as those in that mad scramble in May.

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