We started the 2012/13 season with a huge confidence after winning last season’s Champions League and FA Cup. There were 8 trophies to play for at the beginning but now, only two( FA cup & Europa League) are available. Many experienced top players left at the summer transfer window and they have been replaced by young, promising players for the future like Hazard, Oscar, Moses, Azplicueta, Thorgan Hazard and Marin. The squad as a whole is one of the best Europe despite lacking massive depth.
Most of our players in the squad are very talented and promising youngsters who need time together to gel as a team and realize their potential to go down as one of the great teams in Europe. Yes, some of you might doubt it after some of the disappointing showings this season. But, lets look at matches like against Man Utd at Stamford Bridge in October and yesterday’s FA Cup away draw at Old Trafford. in both games, the team fought back from a 2-0 lead by Manchester United. And in both matches, the goals we conceded have been resulted from some silly mistakes at the back which can be corrected. So, despite Clattenburg’s stupid decisions in the premier league match last October, i was proud of the performance from our players. You could clearly see the hunger and desire of the players not to lose for a rival like Man Utd. And yesterday as well, the team completely looked a different side after Eden Hazard and Mikel came on for Victor Moses in succession at 2nd half. Hazard scored a beautiful curler past De Gea and later on Ramires scored the equalizer just like he did against the same opposition at Stamford Bridge earlier this season.
After our well earned draw at Old Trafford, there is a replay match to be played at our home. This means we have a good chance to advance in the FA Cup to face Manchester City in the semi-final. Yesterday’s result against United, will also motivate the squad to turn-around our first leg deficit vs Sparta Prague at Stamford Bridge on Thursday in the Europa League. Along side the FA Cup, the Europa league is the only chance to salvage our season from being dubbed as the most disappointing by a champion of Europe. We can also become the first club to win the Champions League and the Europa League in two consecutive seasons.
Chelsea have been ranked the top club in the world from March of last year to February, last month. The ranking have been provided by an organization supported, but not affiliated with FIFA. This was resulted by our impressive, against the odds performances in the champions league against top oppositions like Barcelona and Bayern Munich. This squad is still much more compiled by players that won us the champions league and FA Cup last season. So, all the players have a huge responsibility to turn our Europa League. If, the team came back from a 3-1 away deficit against Napoli, it should be more than possible to do it in front of a Stamford Bridge crowd against Steaua Bucharest. The only problem from the first leg is that we underestimated them and didn’t play to our standards. This can be caused by the fixture pile up and fatigue. So, let’s be optimistic and positive about some of the performances because this is a team of talented players mostly who need a little time. Starting next season, it can be the year we will be serious contenders for UCL trophy as well as Premier League. For that to happen though, the club should take the right decisions to appoint a good manager that will suit us( none other than Mourinho for me) and also add depth to our squad.