There’s nothing quite as demoralising as a derby defeat, least of all one in which the derby day rivals were in the relegation zone and managed by the miserable David Moyes.
Well compound that with your manager conceding the Premier League title to rivals Man City in the post match press conference and you’ve had a bad day all counted.
Talking to the media, Conte alluded to the fact that his players were “tired” and that “4 defeats in 16 matches takes us out of the title race”.
In my opinion Conte is being realistic.
We looked off the pace. We were clearly a better side than West Ham but after conceding that early goal we just didn’t have enough to break them down.
So both mental and physical tiredness then.
West Ham set their stall out and we instantly knew what kind of lunchtime game we’d be in for after 6 minutes.
The creativity we’ve seen in recent weeks just wasn’t there, even from our men in form – Hazard, Morata and co.
I think we’re also starting to see the lack of depth in the squad. We have a strong starting eleven but not much beyond that. And Conte doesn’t seem to trust his squad too much either, sticking with his tried and trusted players, unwilling to test or experiment at length.
Christensen has been the most successful of the most recent experiments but that hasn’t prompted old Antonio to try anything further, particularly in the attacking field.
I do find it frustrating that Conte complains of tiredness but then refuses to play the likes of Willian and Batshuayi.
So there’s more problems than meets the eye.
With January around the corner, where do we go from here? Certainly we need to bolster the squad, but do we start shipping out the players that Conte doesn’t seem to value? Morata has been exceptional but surely he needs more support. The midfield looks strong but I’d take another attacking minded player. And in defence, the time is coming to look to Cahill’s replacement (for me that would still be Zouma but what do I know!).
So work to be done on a day where many Chelsea fans can feel thoroughly dejected and miserable. But we’ll be behind the boys come Huddersfield on Tuesday.