It was probably the nerviest 90 minutes of the season — so, so close, yet the potential to balls it up was there in most of our minds, which is ridiculous given our home record, who our manager is and the fact we are the best team in this league by a country mile.
The outpouring of relief and joy and a multitude of other emotions at the final whistle just demonstrated how emotional this campaign has been. The pressure was enormous. We were expected to win it, correction, Jose was expected to win it.
Anything less would have been seen as a complete failure and you can bet questions would have been asked in terms of his job.
Through this, Mourinho kept his head and did not compromise his tactics and ethos.
He is often mistakingly accused of having a big ego. His self-assuredness is nothing to do with ego, it’s to do with belief in his own accomplishments and his total understanding of the strengths of the players we have playing under him and what they can do and more importantly what they can’t. If you want to talk egos, get yourself to the red side of North London.
But even Jose couldn’t do it all — and as much as he was the conductor you have to look at a couple of soloists who have acted as catalysts in terms of turning us from a good side into a great side. Of course Hazard has been astounding this season.
Already honoured by his peers and, I imagine, the sports writers, Chelsea fans will follow suit. But we cannot over-look the contribution of John Terry this season.
Benitez had him down as finished and benched him. That alone should sound alarm bells for those Liverpool fans clamouring for his return to Anfield. He has played every minute of every league game this season. Not only has he played, but he has been exemplary.
Of course there will be those that insist on this ridiculous boring label. If you’re one of those, I hope it keeps you warm at night. One thing is for sure, we don’t care what you think and neither will John Terry when he holds that Premier League trophy aloft. It amused me greatly to see Jose give the middle finger to all of those who criticise his defensive tactics by finishing the game against Palace with five defenders as well as two defensive midfielders. Jose tactics with bells on.
Mourinho has gone to war for this club, and in doing so has united all factions, created a siege mentality, a winning mentality. He has given us back exactly what we are often accused of lacking — a soul. I know this may seem overly sentimental to some, but I make no apology for that.
When Jose and Chelsea parted company, we were a club bereft. There were highlights but they seemed like putting a sticking plaster on a gaping wound. Only Munich made us forget for a little while. But now he is back weaving his magic and we can only hope and pray that this is the beginning of a dynasty.
We have fought for this league tooth and nail. No-one has even come close in terms of desire and work-rate. And you know something else, you know that Mourinho is already planning for next season. And Abramovich doesn’t even look close to getting bored any time soon. Sorry. Anyway, I need to get stuck into these drinks waiting for me. I bid you a fond good night from SW6 — the home of the champions. It sounds so good to say that again..
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