The joy when Chelsea were toying with Hull in the first half of the opening day of last season, the frustration when we failed to find the back of the net after creating numerous chances at Upton Park, the air of invincibility when we cut open Arsenal at the Bridge putting six past them, the awe at the tactical masterclass when we beat the eventual champions at the Etihad, the heart break when we lost to Sunderland ending our title hopes, or the pure bliss when we beat Liverpool at Anfield with a weakened team, Chelsea fans have felt all possible emotions related to sport last season.
The Premier League starts on the 16th of August, just a month after the FIFA World Cup Final. Every Chelsea fan is looking forward to seeing the new additions to the squad ply their trade. A lot of hope rests on our new striker Diego Costa, the man who so effectively executed his goal scoring abilities last season for his former employers Atletico Madrid, helping them break the duopoly of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Diego Costa is known for his aggression, hot-headedness, getting feisty at the slightest provocation but also for his finishing. Chelsea fans will be hoping Mourinho is successful in using him the right way after failing to bring out the old Torres. All will hope Diego Costa, who loves to run at defenders, is able to link up with Hazard, Oscar and Fabregas, another new signing, and scores atleast 20 league goals. Torres is looking at less prominent role unless Costa is injured or is out of form. Quite surprisingly, Romelu Lukaku, in all probability, will be sent out on loan again even after playing so well for his last loan team Everton. 20 year old Patrick Bamford, who scored 8 goals from 21 appearances, mostly from the bench, may be used as a third striker if Mourinho, who met him few months ago, is to be believed.
Chelsea has been one of the most successful teams in Europe in the last decade. Much of that success is due the Old Guard – Frank Lampard, John Terry, Didier Drogba, Petr Cech and Ashley Cole. Didier Drogba left the club after winning the UEFA Champions League in 2012, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole left the club at the end of last season. Cesc Fabregas, the so-called replacement for Lampard will have to fill in big shoes to justify the signing. He will have players around him who are similar in their style of play. Oscar, Hazard, Schurrle, Willian, Salah are all pacy, skillful players, with an eye for goal, while a defence-penetrating pass to Diego Costa may not be as tough for him considering they train together for the Spanish national team. Fabregas is a player who, like Lampard, is known for scoring from midfield and from set-pieces as well. And with the kind of players around him, he can only enhance that reputaion. So everyone will look forward to a sleek, fast midfield that will keep creating chances. Possession along with penetration will be the motto.
Rafa Benitez, who was appointed as the interim manager two seasons ago, used John Terry sparringly. The Special One last season put faith in him and he repaid that faith with incredible performances. He was probably the best centre back in the league, outshining the likes of Vidic, Skrtel and Kompany earning himself a contract extension. Jose Mourinho’s teams are always well organised at the back. This season will be no different, with Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic and probably Filipe Luis to join.
It would be a shame to see Petr Cech leave after winning the Golden Gloves last season but Chelsea do have one of the best goalkeepers in the world waiting in the queue. And as Thibaut Courtois put it himself, keeping him and Cech in the same team would not be healthy. And Chelsea can’t afford to send Courtois on loan again, which would make him feel unwanted at the club. So moving on from Cech may be painful but the wise thing to do after all. So with a keeper of the caliber of Courtois, and the well organised defence, conceding goals may be a rarity.
Goals galore, clean sheets and lots of “3 points” is what is expected from Chelsea this coming season. As the footballing fraternity eagerly awaits the start of the Premier League 2014-2015, one thing is as sure as dawn, we will experience the same intense roller coaster of emotions as we have always done.