Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chelsea are exactly where they should be.

Most football teams are surrounded with varying degrees of hyperbole when things are going well or going badly.

Liverpool right now are according to most of the British press just about the greatest team that has ever been produced by the Anfield club, ho hum.

Conversely, Arsenal right now are absolute tatters, Wenger should be jettisoned and it's probably best that no one mentions Manchester United.

With poor results against Crystal Palace and PSG, it's now Chelsea's turn.

Except that is if you look at what the pre season expectations were and where the club actually is. A title challenge was expected, they have duly mounted one and are still in the race.

No one expected Chelsea to win the Champions League and it looks unlikely they will. A 2-0 home win against PSG next week however would take them to yet another semi final. Other than last year's flop, Chelsea have been remarkably consistently in the Champions League.

Chelsea to a large degree have shot themselves in the foot in the past week with meek performances in both matches.

Two own goals and a very weak third effort against PSG and it's little surprise that they have been on the receiving end twice in five days.

Chelsea it was clear had deficiencies at the start of the season. Their pursuit of Wayne Rooney proved in vain.

The trio of a declined Torres, a substandard Ba and an ageing Eto'o was always going to leave Chelsea lacking in that department.

Mourinho signed Nemanda Matic to go a large way to solving the other issue of the deep lying midfield players that Chelsea were lacking.

At times this season Chelsea have looked like a 'Mourinho team', especially after Christmas and with the arrival of Matic. The team however started the season very unbalanced and Mourinho does not have a magic wand even if at times he appears to indeed have one.

Chelsea may yet recover and win the league and knock out PSG but even if they don't, assuming there isn't an almighty collapse in the Premiership, this should be seen as a bright season for Chelsea.

New strikers are of paramount necessity this Summer and Mourinho will have to decide whether he trusts David Luiz to replace John Terry in the long term - I suspect he does not.

The other issue that will require addressing is whether to persevere with Petr Cech or cash in on him bearing in mind he would still be a valuable commodity thinking about FFP.

Chelsea have had Thibaut Courtois out on loan for several seasons to Atletico Madrid with an extension to both his Chelsea contract and his Madrid loan now being mooted. Cech was at fault for two of the goals against PSG and whilst he has been a fine servant, it is worth a discussion at least.

Chelsea fans should not be to downcast right now and the press should find some context in the team's development. Chelsea are far from underdogs in nearly any match up these days but they are still a team emerging from a period of transition - No Nonsense.