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Chelsea’s Little Horse Is Now A Thoroughbred Bound For Premier League Glory
Footytubeblog (Blog) 2 years ago
We all laughed at Jose Mourinho when he came out with this gem after his side beat Manchester City 1-0 in February. Mind games was what it was out down to, after all, how could a team put together with hundreds of millions of pounds of Russian money with a striker who once broke the British transfer record in their ranks be anything other than heavyweights?

Ultimately Chelsea slipped away from champions Manchester City and surprise challengers Liverpool, with some poor results – defeat at home to Sunderland perhaps the pick – displaying the soft underbelly and lack of experience ‘The Special One’ was talking about.

But now with a few more months under their collective belt – and another £60m+ from Roman Abramovich’s bank account – that very same “little horse” is looking rather more like a thoroughbred destined for Grand National glory.

Let’s start with the addition of note, Diego Costa. The one thing missing from the Blues’ ranks last term was a goalscorer. Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o bore the brunt of Mourinho’s rage through the campaign, and with 31 goals in all competitions – the same output as Luis Suarez in the Premier League – it’s easy to see why. Eden Hazard took the responsibility for finding the net, but from a wide role the Belgian was never going to match the tallies of big name strikers. Costa, despite his woeful World Cup, is a proven hitman, with 35 goals for Atleti as they secured the Spanish title and ran to the Champions League Final proof of his composure and talent in and around the box. Around the likes of Hazard, Oscar, Willian and Schurrle, chances will come, and he’s sure to return more than Chelsea’s frontline of 2013/14.

Next up on the arrivals front is Cesc Fabregas. The Spaniard is not really a player the club were crying out for, but with his big game nous and all-round abilities he will certainly add plenty to Jose’s ranks. 13 assists and eight goals in La Liga alone last term for Barca are testament to his output, and he will go some way to providing the answer to the question: how will Chelsea cope without Lampard?

Experience is also on board from last term, with some of the squad’s younger players having only been involved in that one title and European push. Performing on the biggest stage cannot be taught, it has to be learnt, and the lessons from the season gone will be invaluable to some young stars.

Lastly there is the ‘Mourinho factor’. Like or loathe the Portuguese coach, he really does know how to get the job done. The 2-0 win at Anfield late on last season was really an illustration of that, as he played a number of fringe players to halt the momentum of Liverpool – who at the time looked odds on for the title. There are numerous other occasions through the history books of Jose’s ‘genius’, but there are simply too many to mention in one article.

I’ll end this where it began, with Mourinho’s quote in the aftermath of the win at the Etihad Stadium

"The title race is between two horses [Arsenal and Manchester City] and a little horse that needs milk and needs to learn how to jump.

"Maybe next season we can race."

Maybe. There’s no maybe about it, this was the plan. Mourinho was always targeting 2014/15 as his season. If there’s one thing we know about him, he usually gets his own way. It looks like Chelsea could well be the first over the last fence… But we’ll only find out the fate of the “little horse” next May.

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