Every time when Jose Mourinho took the field in his prior face-offs with Arsene Wenger there had been his statements making the headlines. It was a jibe at times, accusation on others. In most instances, he managed to rile up the Gunner’s boss and came away after the game with points in the kitty thanks to his brilliant tactics. Make no mistake, Jose will be back to his old habits pretty soon. However, this time he somehow managed to break an old rule of not falling short of expectations.
Diego Costa was sorely missed in the FA Community Shield against Arsenal at Wembley. Loic Remy, who deputised superbly, last season showed why he was not trusted by Mourinho. It was perhaps just the preseason mentality, reflected well by Mourinho’s attire on the day. However, Mourinho was walking up and down the pitch all the time, grimacing at every missed chance.
He took the game seriously, but it was the players that let him down. It was reminiscent of Chelsea’s exit at the hands of PSG in the Champions League. The players had not/could not give their all for this game. If one has to look back at the preseason matches, it is easy to notice that the signs had been there. I understand this was only a preseason game but it was against Arsenal and more importantly it was Mourinho vs. Wenger.
It is common sense that records such as Mourinho’s against Wenger can not go on forever but there was an exquisite possibility for the Special One to keep it going for longer. This match could have been won by the Champions. However, it is a fact that much should not be read into the result of this one particular game.
As for the season opener against Swansea, the entire team would be much fitter and ready to steamroll their opponents than they were at Wembley. Lethargy played a big part, but so did the ineffectiveness of several Blues players in front of goal. Most glaring of them was Ramires’.
It is a well-known fact that the Brazilian is not the most prolific of players. Hence, why Mourinho chose him instead of Willian, instead opting to bench Oscar. Oscar’s introduction brought a sea-change in the frequency and magnitude of Chelsea’s attacks. It was, however, not to be because Remy’s replacement in Falcao was just as ineffective. The reasons to Falcao’s profligacy could be numerous. Nonetheless, it is too soon to pass judgement on the Colombian. After all, we have seen Torres score some goals. Surely, it can’t be far worse than that.
In defence, the most accountable was Ivanovic, and this performance serves a reminder that more preparation and commitment are needed to retain the title. Another defensive addition to the squad has long been rumoured and would be a welcome start.
After recounting all aspects of the game apart from the goal, where Courtois and Begovic will do more than fine; we arrive at the conclusion that Wenger might have got the better of the Special One for the first time but Chelsea will be hard to go down when it really counts. Mourinho did not look serious for this one, but when it’s in the League, you can rely on the Blues to give a fair fight and then some.
For the time being let Arsenal be happy with the latest addition to their trophy cabinet. If the last season is anything to go by, Arsenal winning the Community Shield is an excellent omen for Chelsea.
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