Momentum is a strange sensation, it’s invisible, but you can see it, you can feel it and there’s very little you can do to stop it moving in the direction in which it’s travelling.
It’s what makes individual sports such as golf, darts and tennis so exciting.
Watching a golfer make a charge in the final round of Augusta or a darts player find the triple 20 with ease keep viewers glued to the screens.
In football, momentum is less obvious. It happens in games, but usually in short bursts. One team will spend the majority of the game holding possession, building momentum slowly, only for the opposition to spend the final 10 minutes hammering the ball towards their goal.
It takes a long run of games for a team to be described as “in-form” and it takes very little for that momentum to be halted, as Chelsea found out on Saturday lunch time.
Chelsea had lost all momentum under Frank Lampard, the heady days after the win at Burnley away had long gone and the only direction was down.
The board decided that Lampard did not have the right answers to find a solution to halt the momentum that was travelling in the wrong direction.
In came Thomas Tuchel, who was charged with halting that momentum, turning it around and charging back towards the top four.
And to be fair, Tuchel has done that, from a brief spell in 8th, to 4th place until this weekend’s round of fixtures.
It should however come as no surprise that his opening five fixtures were Wolves (home) Burnley (home), Spurs (away) Sheffield United (away) and Newcastle (home).
In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if the board didn’t expect him to take control ahead of the Wolves game, making the trip to St Mary’s Tuchel’s 5th game.
The board, despite often doing things to the contrary, are not stupid. The decision to remove Frank would’ve been made already, but timing is paramount.
Tuchel has been handed a ‘nice’ run of opening fixtures, and although we’re unbeaten, I wouldn’t say that we’ve had a ‘new manager bounce’.
It appears this is more of a case of slowly slowly catchy monkey, then all guns blazing.
The problem with that approach, is performances like that on Saturday mean that any momentum gained from that winning run has evaporated overnight.
And given the next run of fixtures reads Manchester United (home), Liverpool (away), Everton (home), Leeds (away), WBA (home) and Crystal Palace (away).
We could exit this run of fixtures out of contention for everything or right back in the thick of things.
Only we’re starting from zero again. On the pitch and off it.
After Frank’s dismissal, this fan base has little to no time for any new project or manager finding his feet with the team.
You’ve got to come in and win nowadays. It’s as brutal as that, but then again, I suppose it always has been.
Tuchel’s job is a simple one, yet complicated all the same.
His job is, in his own words, “to win games, not to put some expensive guys together.”
But finding a solution that doesn’t involve taking off Callum Hudson-Odoi in the same game in which he brought him on in is clearly important.
It feels hard to get behind the team, not being there and still feeling disconnected from the loss of a legend, and in my opinion they need to spark on the pitch before we spark off it.
Momentum was halted at Southampton, but the non stop fixture list offers some hope it can kickstarted again quickly.