Ahead of Monday night's game at The Hawthorns, we caught up once more with Chelsea fan Martin from
The Chelsea Chronicle.
He gives his views on the Blues' season, their Champions
League failings, former Albion starlet
and more. You can follow the
'Chronicle' on Twitter @CFCChronicle
or Martin himself @MartinLi24.
It's been a
fantastic season for the Blues, culminating of course with clinching the Premier
League title. How does 2014/15 compare to your other recent title triumphs?
As title triumphs go, this can
surely be one of the more satisfying. To have it wrapped up with a good number
of games to spare, and then see us given a Guard of Honour by our nemesis
Liverpool, it capped off a fantastic season in which we were brutally efficient.
It feels a long time ago when we last won in 2010 and even though we secured it
with a 8-0 thrashing of Wigan, it was done on the last matchday, so this one is
sweet. It also rewards the hard work of the players and manager so we can be
equally proud of this one as Mourinho’s first in his return. After no silverware
last season, we can confirm he is still special: the knack of being unbeatable
at home, never losing the six-pointer games against your main title rivals,
getting the job done with the 1-0s or 2-1s… Jose knows best.
Chelsea's dominance of the Premier League, you failed to progress past the last
16 of the Champions League. What do the club need to do to improve on that next
Mourinho blamed his side’s
“mental toughness” when PSG eliminated us, which was a most peculiar excuse, for
his sides tend to exert the most mental toughness! Mourinho teams always tend to
have a psychological edge but it was strange to see us not defend better some
sloppy goals. It did help our march for the Premier League crown, granted, but
the Champions League is now a bigger motivation for next season now there is
less pressure of Premier League again. The quality is certainly there and maybe
the players, a la Courtois and Hazard, need to really understand what the big
Champions League games are like. Other than that, improvements could be made in
Mourinho’s strategy. It is not safe anymore going back to a home second-leg with
a goal-less score-line in the away first-leg. You need that away goal yourself.
It appears that former Albion
academy star Izzy Brown will be making his
Chelsea first team debut at The Hawthorns on Monday evening. Does he
stand a genuine chance of becoming a regular for the Blues long-term?
In the foreseeable future: no.
Mourinho has publicly said he wants to place more emphasis on young Chelsea
stars but it is hard to see this as anything but good rhetoric. A rough patch
next half-way through next season and we’ll be back to the siege mentality
approach of parking the bus! Brown, and the other
Chelsea prodigies in Baker/Bamford/Loftus-Cheek etc, may get the odd
minutes of the odd game, but I cannot see
Chelsea as a club to progress
youth. There is too much pressure and too much competition to afford game-time
to blood youngsters anymore.
of the season?
It’s difficult to pick one main
one out! The League Cup final win against Tottenham stands out, of course,
because we attained silverware at the end of it. The title triumph is equally
satisfying, but this was a culmination of months of hard work, so there is no
main highlight to pin-point it on. The fact that we have been top of the league
after every single match-day is a staggering feat that even I forgot going week
by week but hard work pays off and the highlights will no doubt occur in a
couple of weeks’ time when we pick up the Premier League trophy and look back on
a very successful season.
would rather forget?
PSG was our worst game of the
season. The strategy was all wrong and you somehow never sat comfortably.
Ibrahimovic’s sending off didn’t appease any nerves and you just had that
feeling an away goal (or two) would do it.
Other than that, Lampard’s
equaliser for Manchester City
to deny his true side all three points will long haunt the memory. Whilst
rendering irrelevant all-told, it was a dark moment for
fans. All can be forgiven now.
John Terry and Eden Hazard, I
cannot pick one, because both do opposite jobs and both were so vital for the
club. Terry is Mourinho personified, the leader on the pitch and no doubt the
first name on the team-sheet. It helps he lives and breathes Chelsea Football
Club and this passion exudes in his play and his team-mates’ play. And then we
have Eden Hazard, who has come to life this season. £32 million was an absolute
steal and he looks a genuine gem of a boy, no ego, married with kids, and he dug
his side out a lot with his goals, assists, and all-round creativity. Both
cannot go unnoticed, so the fight for Chelsea Player of the Year will be
Not sure anyone really put a
foot wrong consistently over the season, or has caused anyone troubles. I always
feel players should fight for their position and not chicken out and leave and
Andre Schurrle opted to take this easy route back home, but he was a very
worthwhile player in the first half of our season.
What team and tactics are we
likely to see from Chelsea
With nothing to lose or gain for
both sides, I expect a very different, inexperienced Chelsea side. I imagine
Cech and Terry at the back will steal mean it is a very disciplined performance,
and perhaps we will see some (youthful) naivety with the likes of
Loftus-Cheek/Brown who should get some game-time. I can’t imagine a thrilling
game; it is probably just going to turn out to be a professional training
for and thoughts on the game?
1-1. Can’t imagine Chelsea
really going for it, and cannot imagine a clean sheet as we are really for the
taking here, if Mourinho does put as much youth out as possible. But we have
earned that right to.