Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin feels the Blues have nothing to fear ahead of the weekend’s huge Premier League clash at The Etihad.
The Blues sit third in the premier league, one place ahead of their hosts. Having been unbeaten away from home since the opening day defeat at Manchester United. However, facing the champions in their own back yard will prove difficult, despite City’s form of late, it’s a daunting prospect for Frank Lampard and his young charges.
Nevin regularly contributes to the club’s official website, Chelseafc.com writing a weekly column. In his latest offering, the 80’s icon emphasised the attitude the current crop of youngsters are showing –
“Every challenge these kids have been set, and there have been many huge ones already this season, they have faced up to with bravery and the same ‘can-do’ attitude every time”.
The Scotsman feels the game is more important to City, with The Champions expected to challenge Liverpool in an attempt to defend their title –
“We are so far ahead of the expectation curve that this is almost a free hit with little or nothing to lose for us. City on the other hand have everything to lose”.
The former Everton man also feels the game can be used as a yardstick for how far the team has come this season –
“For us, this in many respects is just another test of how far we have come in such a short time. Even if we lost heavily, it would not be a disaster, it would simply show us how high the next step is”.
Continuing on how far the academy graduates have come, Nevin feels they won’t be phased no matter what the result is on Saturday evening –
“A few months ago none of these lads would have been considered first team starters for the Blues and four of them weren’t even at the club, still being out on loan. It is completely incredible. Historically, for most footballers, games of this weight could be career-defining moments. For these kids it feels like nothing more than the very start of something extremely special”.
What Frank Lampard has achieved so far is better than most fans could have dreamed of. Nevin is correct, the pressure is off, and experiencing big fixtures will prove important to help the players growth. That said, a victory would be welcomed by Blues fans everywhere, and could define whether Chelsea are considered serious premier league title challengers.