Chelsea fans are experiencing a familiar feeling of frustration this season. The Blues find themselves mired in mid-table, mirroring their position under Graham Potter and Thomas Tuchel last year. But is it truly a case of Groundhog Day, or is there more to the story?
Let's delve into the statistics to compare Chelsea's performance after 15 games across both seasons.
Goals: 26 vs 19 (current season more potent)
Expected Goals: 31.74 vs 18.73 (current season creating more chances)
Chelsea have clearly become a more potent attacking force under Mauricio Pochettino. They've scored 13 goals in their last five matches, showcasing their attacking prowess. However, the expected goals highlight room for improvement, suggesting they could have scored five more goals based on the chances created.
Goals Against: 24 vs 17 (current season conceding more)
Expected Goals Against: 23.67 vs 22.31 (underlying numbers similar)
This is where things get worrying. While the underlying numbers suggest Chelsea aren't allowing significantly more chances, they've conceded seven more goals than last season. Questions are being raised about Robert Sanchez's role as the first-choice goalkeeper. While he's made some impressive saves, his inconsistency casts doubt on his suitability for a team aiming for the top four.
Points and Expectations:
Points: 19 vs 24 (last season's higher points misleading)
Expected Points: 25.85 vs 18.21 (current season underperforming)
The current points tally may cause similar frustration to last season, but the reasons seem different. Last year, Chelsea's early-season table position flattered their play. The subsequent regression reflected their true performance level.
This season, however, Chelsea appear to be underperforming. They are creating and converting more scoring opportunities but failing to capitalize fully. Additionally, Sanchez's inconsistency is costing them valuable points.
While the current situation may feel like a repeat of last season, the underlying data paints a different picture. Chelsea are undeniably a more potent attacking force under Pochettino, creating more chances and scoring more goals. However, defensive concerns and Sanchez's form are hindering their progress.
Whether this is a temporary blip or a reflection of deeper issues remains to be seen. However, one thing is clear: Chelsea have the potential to be a much stronger team than their current position suggests. It's now up to Pochettino and his players to unlock that potential and climb the table.