Two games played. Two games won. 12 goals scored. Fine, they only beat West Brom and Wigan (two favorites for the drop) but they didn’t even get into second gear to ease six goals past the aforementioned teams. The Community Shield was simply a blip for them, as many of their stars were only returning from a rest and looking to regain match fitness. Drogba has picked off where he left off last season in sizzling form, they’ve acquired Ramires and Benayoun. Can anyone stop them?
Carlo Ancelotti has continued the magnificent work laid by Guus Hiddink during his short stint, and has his eyes set on his targets for this season. Winning it all. Manchester United, Arsenal and maybe Liverpool and Manchester City stand in their way for the Premier Legaue title.
In my opinion, United are going through another transitional period as they experienced before a trophy gold rush not so long ago. They’ll be up there, but not high enough. Arsenal will, as always, fall short and with a gaping center back problem, you would think retention of their top four status will suffice Wenger.
The jury is still out on this new Hodgson-inspired Liverpool but the postmortem from last night’s humiliation at Eastlands suggests same old story from the great Merseyside club. Manchester City are a work in progress and although I don’t believe they will challenge this season for the title, next season, come May, they’ll be right in the mix.
The Holy Grail of Chelsea FC however, and more importantly Roman Abramovich, is the UEFA Champions League. Manager after manager came, saw but never conquered. Two-time winner Jose Mourinho only got through to the semi-final stage and fell. World Cup winning manager in 2002, Luiz Felipe Scolari endured a torrid time at Stamford Bridge.
And it was the little known Avram Grant who came closest in 2008, losing on by a spot-kick in a horridly cruel final defeat. Who stands in their way? A Jose Mourinho Galactico Real Madrid seeking their record 10th title, a magical Barcelona side spearheaded by the lethal David Villa, or anyone else?
As far as I’m concerned, they’ll win the lot in England. Last season, they galloped on their way to their 4th ever League title scoring a mammoth 103 goals in the process, as well as winning the FA Cup yet again in unruffled fashion. This season I expect them to win the League Cup as well, that is, if they are bothered to win it and field strong teams.
But it’s the Champions League which will define this batch of Chelsea players. Does John Terry, Didier Drogba or Frank Lampard want to be remembered as the nearly men who won almost everything or be immortalized as the men who came, saw and conquered eveything forever?