Five points worth noting from the defeat at West Ham - Chelsea's title challenge is officially over.

Defeat to West Ham on Saturday afternoon has put an end to Chelsea's title challenge this year. Here are five key points that are wor...

Defeat to West Ham on Saturday afternoon has put an end to Chelsea's title challenge this year. Here are five key points that are worth noting from the game. 

1. Rotation. 

For the life of me I cannot understand why Antonio Conte never rotated the Chelsea team for the game. It was clear that we were always going to play our strongest eleven (or as close to that as possible) against Atletico Madrid to ensure we at least tried to win the group (even though we screwed that up!), so it was important to freshen up the starting eleven against a side who are still trying to find their way under the new manager David Moyes.

2. Tactical Shape.

Having watched David Moyes' tactical approach as he took his West Ham side to Manchester City, playing deep and defending their 18-yard box, it was obvious to me that he would look to build on that ahead of the game against Chelsea.

Expecting Antonio Conte to rotate the starting eleven, I was looking for him to make a tactical switch to 3-4-3 and really look to attack our hosts. With West Ham playing three centre-backs, it was important that we pushed three attacking players up against them to force their wing-backs to drop deep and cover. By playing Alvaro Morata up on his own and Eden Hazard in behind, we made life easy for the likes of Winston Reid who had it easy for the most part.

3. Davide Zappacosta / Victor Moses.

It was an unfortunate afternoon for the Davide Zappacosta who is still adjusting to the Premier League and life at Chelsea. He didn't have the best first-half of football at all and he should have been hooked at half-time for Victor Moses. For whatever reason, that didn't happen which baffled me.

It's clear that despite him only adapting to his new role last season, Victor Moses has become the main man in that right wing-back position. This was a cut and thrust London derby being played on a Saturday lunchtime in a hostile environment and he should have started the game, or at least replaced Zappacosta with Marcos Alonso remaining on the left-hand side for the duration of the game. I too would have been pissed-off as Alonso was to being replaced with the Italian still on the pitch in that game.

4. Chances created. 

It was only in the last ten minutes that Chelsea managed to create themselves two good chances to score and to nick the game. I say that because it would have been hard on West Ham but also speaks volumes for how the game played out.

Chelsea and Antonio Conte must come to terms with the fact that 95% of the teams we will face for the remainder of the Premier League season will adopt the same defensive system. We have to find a way of attacking these teams in the right areas because on Saturday in the final third everything pretty much came to a halt. Our wing-backs and Alvaro Morata pushed right up onto their five-man defence with West Ham's wing-backs dropping into the defensive line. In doing so, when the likes of Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas collected the ball and looked up, there was no-one to pass to or making a run off the shoulder to create space.

5. Motivation. 

Gary Cahill's post-match comments that Chelsea were "Miles off it from the start" of the game is a massive concern for me. How anyone playing in the Premier League for Chelsea with a chance to close the gap on both Manchester clubs can say that they are not motivated to get out there and perform is beyond me it really is.

I understand that we were coming off the back of an important Champions League night in midweek but this is a massive game and a London derby to boot!

It was the same mentality that cost us badly two seasons ago in the last defence of our Premier League title under Jose Mourinho. We cannot afford a repeat of that season. Get players on that pitch that are motivated to perform and prove themselves!


The Football Blog Network

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