Times are tough in the office of Andre Villas-Boas. The troubles started on October 23 at 4:41pm at Loftus Road where the Blues were shown their second red card of the game against QPR and then finished the game by losing 1-0. Three days later they scraped through to the quarter finals of the Carling Cup with ten men thanks to an extra-time winner from sub Daniel Sturridge, but they never would have gotten there had it not been for the goalkeeping heroics of Petr Cech.
Another three days later Arsenal were the visitors at Stamford Bridge where the Gunners hadn’t won there in nearly three years. Well that changed… Chelsea had two lifelines as they took the lead twice and still leaked in five goals after a dodgy defence watched Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie steel the thunder at the Bridge.
The Blues looked down the tunnel at a Champions League group match away at Genk three days later. Chelsea hung onto a 1-0 lead in Belgium but found it frustrating to break Genk down, and ended up drawing this fixture 1-1.
Chelsea have had their troubles off the field with John Terry and his alleged racist row with Anton Ferdinand, which Chelsea supporters voiced their displeasure in Belgium. Are Chelsea about to put all of these problems behind them as they get ready for an away game with Blackburn and then a tough fixture at home with Liverpool? It feels strange to say it, but this game against Rovers will be one of the most important games of the season for Chelsea. Blackburn have only won one game in the league on home soil all season but Rovers are due a win on the back of a Carling Cup result against Newcastle and a thrilling 3-3 draw with Norwich last Saturday.
But what’s next for Chelsea?
With City nine points clear and rivals Spurs knocking on the door with a game in hand, Villas-Boas must be sweating a little. Who will be starting? Who will be the player to step up and take the next penalty kick? Of course it has to be Frank, but these are the little things that will be testing AVB ahead of these next two games.
With ten games played and only two away wins out of five for Chelsea, this one will be the test for two managers who are without doubt under extreme pressure.