As a passionate member of the Matthew Harding Stand faithful, I think it is fair to say that this season has been nothing but good from Chelsea so far. There were serious questions at the start of the season about whether Robbie could continue last year’s fairytale forward. However he has completely answered his critics with the team showing some sensational performances on the pitch. Having comfortably beaten Wigan (A) and Newcastle (H) – games we failed to win last season, and of course beating Arsenal on there own ground (something we have failed to do for three years) he has shown that he is no fluke manager.
Last night, although it was nervy at some points Chelsea did win. Many say that the mark of champions is to win ugly when playing badly – Chelsea last night not only won playing badly but to win by four is never ugly who ever you’re playing. Another attribute of a good manager is to get all his players playing at the best of their ability. It would be difficult to say Robbie has not done that. He has managed to get Torres scoring in big game (he has scored against City, Arsenal and Newcastle this season) and he has managed to get a magic midfield three (Oscar, Mata and Hazard) all putting in dazzlingly displays as well. Yes, a lot of money has been spent but money has been spent in other club, just look at Liverpool for example they spent over £150 million last year and still couldn’t beat a Championship team after 120 minutes to win there first cup. They also spent this season and have had their worst start for over 100 years.
Chelsea next go to Shakhtar Donetsk which will be a much bigger challenge than any they have faced so far in the Champions League. A difficult place to travel too and to play a team that plays very similar football (with Brazilians) to how Chelsea plays, however if they win there and I think they will, then they will be in a fantastic position to get out of a group that contains two domestic champions.
Many pundits have also said that Chelsea have no real proven goal threat if Torres get injured and Champions League football is all about depth of squad which Chelsea do not really have. Depth of squad is very important in the Champions League because of the number of domestic and international games that you have to play between March and May. Sturridge would be the obvious replacement but he has never played in a central role for us and I would not back him alone against players like Pique, Pepe, Kompany and Jerome Boateng. However I full expect a winter strengthen from Roman, A player I would personally like is Falcao, not only did he score a fantastic hat-rick against us earlier this season but he also plays the pass and move type of football the Chelsea have started to play. However I don’t think that you can have a forward as good as Falcao on the bench behind Torres – and you cannot have Torres on the bench any more.
I think Chelsea can win the Champions League again, it will be difficult and to get lightning to strike twice will need some luck but if you can beat Napoli, Barcelona, Benfica and Bayern with a fairly weak squad then imagine what you can do with a better one that is slowly starting to prove themselves against the big guns.
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