Whilst many can’t see Chelsea progressing to the Champions League final on Tuesday night – the general opinion that this is the worst team the Blues have had for the past five or six years is simply incorrect.
Of course it may not be as strong as José Mourinho’s Chelsea side which had Arjen Robben adding speed and skill which the club have not replaced, Claude Makélélé proving time and time again he was the best defensive screen going, and Ricardo Carvalho adding some pace to a now slow defence.
But that was the very best Chelsea had, the Double-winning team under Carlo Ancelotti was distinctly average – it was the man-management of the Italian which led to success.
Ancelotti could not call on the flair of Juan Mata or the improved defensive options which now include Gary Cahill, while he didn’t get the chance to see Daniel Sturridge or Ramires develop in to the players they are now.
In short, Chelsea’s season could still go one of two ways but the bottom line is the Blues should comfortably be third if not challenging for the title.
The squad is stronger than it has been in the past two seasons and had André Villas-Boas not tried to make sweeping changes too fast, he would still be in a job and Chelsea would not be sweating on coming fourth.
Didier Drogba is fit for the second leg of Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final at Camp Nou – and the Ivory Coast international’s availability will see the Blues’ chances of beating Barcelona increase dramatically.
The Chelsea striker’s theatrics were difficult to watch last week, he was a real handful at Stamford Bridge as the impossible became possible for Roberto Di Matteo’s side.
If it was hard in west London, the Chelsea squad are preparing themselves for a mountain, at least, to climb at Camp Nou. Pivotal to their chances has to be bagging another unlikely goal.
Barcelona will be expected to score, but with the Drogba back, the visitors might just nick one vital away goal.
That would be enough to send them through to the final in Munich and see the diving Drogba write himself even further into Chelsea folklore.
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