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 managers is and the fact that we are the best team in this league by a country mile (points between us and second in double figures currently).
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 – by the press, by the pundits – anything less would have been seen as a complete failure and you can bet questions would have been asked in terms of his job – not by those that matter – but by the world at large. Through this, Mourinho kept his head and did not compromise his tactics and ethos – even under extreme provocation.
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 astronomical this season – already honoured by his peers and I imagine the sports writers, and Chelsea fans will follow suit, but we cannot over-look the contribution of John Terry this season.
Benitez had him down as finished and as such benched him – that alone should sound some serious alarm bells for those Liverpool fans clamouring for his return to Anfield – ego doesn’t even begin to cover it there. He has played every minute of every league game this season – and not only has he played, but he has been exemplary. He has led by example and this is 10 years on from his first title win under Mourinho – amazing.
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 mid-fielders on the pitch. Jose tactics with bells on.
Mourinho has gone to war for this club – and in doing so has united all factions, creating 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 of course highlights between then and now, but they seemed a little like putting a sticking plaster on a gaping wound – only Munich made us forget for a little while.
But now he is back, and back to weaving his magic and we can only hope and pray that this is the beginning of a dynasty under his stewardship.
If you are in any doubt, let me make it clear for you. I’m not going to bore you with the stats, you can go and have a look at those for yourself – but be under no illusion, we have fought for this league tooth and nail – we deserve this league – no one has even come close in terms of desire and work-rate. And you know something else, 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 be saying that again.
Posted by Trizia
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