Even though Chelsea have one of the best squads in the world, the large number of games in the season is really hard on the players who find it harder and harder to keep up. In recent statements Gary Cahill came out and said he feels that there is too big of a difference between the number of matches his team has had to play and their direct competitors.
After losing on Sunday against Premier League table neighbors Manchester City, Chelsea reached the incredible 46 match benchmark which is more than any other team currently fighting for a spot in next years’ Champions League. Next in line are Arsenal who still come 5 matches short of the Blues’ unfortunate milestone. Chelsea’s Capital One Cup run and their need for replays in the FA Cup have contributed to the number of games they have played.
Many of Chelsea’s international players have not had any real rest since before August, when they started the league campaign and played the Super Cup match against Atletico Madrid. Cahill told Chelsea TV that the lack of rest is obvious and that he can feel it in his performance.
He did not make a big deal out of the problem but implied that when teams are so close as far as their ability goes, it is small things such as this that make the difference between first and 5th place. Although he is one of Chelsea’s fittest players, Cahill said that you cannot expect a player who has not had a week’s worth of rest to be 100% prepared each and every time.
Cahill also felt the need to remind fans that Manchester City had an entire week of rest before facing Chelsea giving them a big advantage that played its part in the end result. He also said that he was overwhelmed by the amount of work that needed to be done to fend off the Citizen’s attacks. Because of their general fatigue, Chelsea players all felt the same way and could not keep their adversaries from scoring. Because none of the players who started against City were 100% rested, the whole team struggled a little and the result confirmed that it is near impossible to handle so many matches in only one month without losing some and therefore they have lost momentum of late.