Eriksen could learn from Chelsea

The expected defeat surrounded Chelsea taking their chances and us not taking ours. We took the game to them straight from the start and were the better side, however the couple of chances we created we didn't convert and soon Chelsea waltzed through our back line.

Eriksen could learn from Chelsea

Hazard cut in from the left, shepherded by Lennon, then having played the ball inside cut between Lennon and Chiriches. It was Chiriches, the player goal side of him whose responsibility he was. Then the Hugo Lloris error, a similar one to Manchester City last season, put the game beyond our reach.

Christian Eriksen is lauded but our supporters but unless he scores a goal, in which case everyone says what a wonderful game he had, what does he actually do around the box? His job there is to unlock the defence, to make a pass that leads to a goal attempt. Now many will pint to the fact that we play without much width, crushing the defence tighter together to make it more difficult for ourselves to play that pass and that is true.

But we do the same with opposition teams, we have a defence tightly together at times, such as for Chelsea's first goal. With our tightly packed defence though, 1 run and 1 pass unlocked it. Where is that from Eriksen at the other end? His chip against Sunderland was superb, we need more from him creatively.

Now that may sound harsh to some but if we are to improve we have to look for the things that make the difference, the things that are not working and try to fix them, you can't fix a mistake or problem if you don't know it exists so the first task in any improvement process is to assess the problems.

You then have to decide solutions and or an order in which to rectify them.

The clear the air meetings were a first step, the senior players being told to get their finger out or they'll be sold or left to rot was the next step. We saw improvement against Everton and the performance against Chelsea wasn't bad but it was limited.

Leaving Soldado out was disappointing, having scored the winner in the last game I had hoped we would take the chance to try and boost his confidence further by playing him against Chelsea. Instead we dropped him, basically saying we don't think you are good enough. Those tactics didn't work under Tim Sherwood and surely against Chelsea we could have used our most creative player around the box. Simply giving him 20 minutes at the end when the game is over was a waste of time and probably more harmful than not playing him at all.

Still that's a tough game out the way that has done nothing to deflate the renewed optimism for the remainder of the season now the players know they are no longer in control of the club. Starting with Crystal Palace, a rare Saturday fixture, we need to go on a winning spree, Palace at home, Swansea away, Burnley at home, Leicester away before we play Man U and Chelsea.

A couple of weeks ago four wins in the next four games would have been unthinkable but now it is perfectly possibly with the right approach, that being that these games are just as big as playing Chelsea or Arsenal, they carry the same three points.

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