Ignore the soulless whingers who bemoan the ever-contracting close season. For the true fan it’s the worst time of the year and opening day can never come soon enough.

Chelsea fans have come to expect tough, unpretty matches against West Ham in recent times. Despite the world class talent on view the first half was no exception.

Desailly left the Matthew Harding Stand gasping in horror with an early mistake. Ed de Goey came to his rescue with a fine save.

Hislop enjoyed mixed fortunes at the other end. He made a sharp save from Di Matteo early on but later brought down Hasselbaink in the area.

With Leboeuf dropped, Jimmy Floyd took the spot kick and put the Blues ahead.

The second half livened up no end and featured a flurry of goals. The pick of them was the volley from Stanic. More of the same please.