As I watched John Terry hold that Premier League trophy aloft it struck me how lucky we have been as fans in the last 10 years — not in terms of success — that goes without saying, but more in terms of the players that we have had the privilege of calling our own.
Players who have been intrinsically woven into the history of the club — the kind that clubs consider themselves fortunate if they see one in a generation — we have seen an abundance of riches. Drogba, Terry, Lampard, Cech, Cole, Makelele, Zola — the list goes on an on.
This is before you even get to the most successful, charismatic manager in the game. One thing it has not been — and that is boring.
Of course over the years we have seen the likes of Zola, Maka, Lampard go and it’s been difficult to imagine the team going forward without them, but of course, in the main, it has.
But yesterday as we watched the team celebrate it really hit home that we will see two, three, possibly even four of the current squad leave us —two of whom can most certainly occupy legend status and others — perhaps not as prevalent in our thoughts, not far behind them. It could be a time of uncertainty, but with Mourinho at the helm, and Abramovich behind him, I can only see further success in the future.
We’ve come in for criticism this season as only we can — boring, effective, grinding out results is how we have most often been described —bet there are few of the alsorans who wished they could be described as such.
Most Chelsea fans you talk to will say the same thing, that the title was hard fought for and deservedly won.
The fact that we led almost the entire campaign prompted many to refer to the title race as a procession — it was anything but.
Looking ahead, the obvious issue we have is that Terry is already defying nature and he simply can’t carry on at this level for more than a year.
So I imagine a central defender and another striker are the priorities this summer. That said, Cech leaving is psychologically huge. We all know that Courtois is an enormous talent but it was reassuring to know we had a keeper that could walk into almost any team in the world as back-up.
My worry is that in a couple of years time, Courtois may want to join one of the Spanish giants. That said, if we’re successful why would he want to go anywhere else. For that reason alone we need to match the ambitions of our players. We know that Hazard came to Chelsea over a number of clubs as we won the Champions League. The top players are ridiculously competitive by their very nature — we remain one of Europe’s elite we will attract and retain the world’s elite players. Once you get into a spiral of failure, it’s very difficult to get out of it — ask Liverpool fans.
But enough of such musings for now. let me bask in the warmth of our success just for a bit. We’ve been the best team in England and I imagine that next year, Jose will be focussed on perhaps making us the best team in Europe. .
So it only remains to wish you all a good summer and thank all of you who have corresponded with me over the season. This is Chelsea, the champions of England, checking out until next season when hopefully, we’ll be even more boringly successful than this season.
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