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The Ben Jacobs Chelsea column!
Chelsea are safe! They surpassed the magical 40-point mark with a 3-1 win at Bournemouth on Saturday. Of course, there was never any realistic danger of Chelsea going down. But by being mathematically safe, it stops the club being the butt of relegation jokes, which may be some comfort to Chelsea fans.
The bigger relief is Frank Lampard finally got his first win as caretaker manager and Chelsea scored three goals. It could be the kind of victory that gets Chelsea going. It might seem a strange thing to say, with nothing significant to play for this season in terms of honours or European football, but Chelsea have still got some big fixtures to come.
With nothing to lose now Chelsea must show what they can do against Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle (and obviously beat Nottingham Forest before that).
When Leicester won the Premier League in 2015/16, it wasn’t solely down to momentum throughout that season. It was built during the so-called ‘Great Escape’ under Nigel Pearson in the last nine games of 2015/16. Leicester won seven of those matches – and actually their only loss was 3-1 against Chelsea.
If Chelsea can beat some big six teams – especially after the poor loss to Arsenal – it will remind the squad what they are truly capable of, and that might prove significant ahead of next season.
As far as the win over Bournemouth was concerned, I thought it was touch and go at times. That's why some of the visiting fans turned on Todd Boehly. I don’t approve of the language used or any kind of personal abuse, but I am not surprised the owners have been directly targeted. Fans are rightly frustrated and pay hard-earned money.
Lampard was never going to be scapegoated in the same way Graham Potter was. He's only in charge for a few games and is an iconic club figure. And ultimately it’s at the stage of the season now, and after four different managers (if we include Bruno Saltor) where the owners are more susceptible to blame than when they were first through the door. For what it’s worth, I still think Boehly and Behdad Eghbali will have the last laugh come next season, and if they do Chelsea fans will be laughing and smiling with them because it means progress is being made.
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