It’s another new dawn at Stamford Bridge. The Special one is back, and Daryl Harwood is talking it up
To limit the risk of this becoming little more than a 600 word Jose Mourinho love fest, I’ll attempt to get that part out of the way early…
The Special One is back, and bloody Hell it is magnificent!
So far he has said all the right things , though that isn’t hard as he could be telling me I have only a week left to live yet I’d still just grin like the village idiot.
Once one has settled down from that and has a look about the squad and various comings and goings so far during the transfer window things actually seem pretty quiet.
Out are Yossi Benayoun, Flourent Malouda, Ross Turnbull & the legendary Paulo Ferreira and in are Mark Schwarzer, Marco Van Ginkel, Andre Schurrle and Falcao, I mean Cavani, no, Rooney, errr Eto’o then???
Anyway, factor in returning loan players in the form of Romelu Lukaku, Michael Essien and Kevin De Bruyne and promoted players like Nathan Ake and Tomas Kalas and it becomes pretty clear this squad has just become a whole lot stronger with a good mix of youth and experience.
Surely though (yes, I’m going back there already) the most important change is the return of Mourinho.
The fact is he wins trophies… lots of trophies… pretty much everywhere he goes, so with the likes of Mata, Hazard, Oscar and De Bruyne (should I keep going?) at his disposal he possesses arguably the most terrifying midfield in the League.
Couple that with a most exciting goal scoring prospect in Lukaku running around in front of them he must almost be feeling like a kid in a candy store… almost.
The fact we’re still short of that one striker who is World class right now is probably all that stops him from genuinely feeling that way.
Assuming that the status quo remains then getting the most out of Torres and Ba while Lukaku is still a raw talent will prove a big challenge, even for The Special One.
At the opposite end of the park not much appears to have changed with the full time promotion of Tomas Kalas and Nathan Ake to the senior squad being the only editions so far.
Having said that, I’d trust Mourinho to take effectively the same defence that only conceded more League goals than Manchester City and Arsenal last season and make it work.
Central midfield has a few more options. Romeu is out on loan but we gain the promising Marco Van Ginkel along with the return of Michael Essien, and let’s be honest, what Chelsea fan wouldn’t want to see a fully fit Michael Essien back bossing it from box to box again?
As far as a prediction goes, the amount of change at a number of close rivals makes this season harder to pick than a broken nose.
Having said that, with Jose back and the bulk of the squad now well established at the club we have before us an outstanding opportunity to really impose ourselves upon the League.
While it will still be early days, the away trip to Old Trafford on August 27(NZT) will be a good indicator of where we currently stand.
In my last preview (for last year’s race for the remaining top 4 spots) I predicted 3rd place, a Europa League win and the return of Mourinho, so it’s fairly safe to assume everything I predict comes to fruition – though my TAB account would disagree.
That aside, if I had to take a punt I’d say lock in the following:
- Top 2 in the League
- A Champions League semi
- A decent League Cup run
- Plus an appearance in the FA Cup final – and since recent history shows when we make FA Cup finals, we win FA Cup finals let’s say a win too.
Anyway, enough talk, roll on season 2013/14!
Keep the blue flag flying high and up the Chels!
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