Yesterday Chelsea played in a thrilling Super Cup Final against Bayern Munich. The flashbacks to the 2012 Champions League Final were palpable, even when the final shooter stepped up – although this time there was no Didier Drogba to save us.
However, the takeaways for me from the start of the season have been very positive. Somewhat surprisingly, Mourinho has managed to make the team his own and has begun to raise their overall level of play. The Blues believe in their new manager, and it was evident eight minutes in when Fernando Torres scored a blistering goal on a great one timer. The team was firing on all cylinders and seemed destined to pull out a surprise victory, until the final eight seconds when Ashley Cole inadvertently kept one of the Bayern strikers onside by playing deep within his own eight yard box.
Chelsea, believe it or not, even playing with ten men deserved to win this game. Petr Cech was unreal in this game; some of the saves he made seemed to defy possibility. He was leaping, diving and punching out balls with reckless abandon. During Bayern’s final onslaught he made four or five incredible saves.
Despite the loss in the shootouts (a mistimed stutter…) Chelsea fans should seek the positive in this contest: we should have won. We could have won and maybe later on in the season we will in fact win. After battling presumptive champs Man U to a draw, Chelsea has shown that they can raise their game when it is necessary. Hopefully they can continue to play above subpar competition as well and get points when they need to get points.
For the team, not much has changed aside from the coach. We picked up Eto’o for scoring depth, and he may win us one or two games a la Defoe for the Spurs but what we seek most is long term stability up front and at Manager. Can Jose win us the Premier League? Does Frank Lampard, Chelsea legend, have what it takes to make one more run? Will John Terry racially abuse someone else?
Welcome back Premier League, welcome back.