THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM
It’s all gone quiet…. Listen, look around and you too may notice an unusual calm about the place.
With less than 24 hours to go until the ‘best league in the world’ kicks off, it all seems a bit tame, just too peaceful.
Read the sports pages or trawl through NewsNow, and aside from the annual chest beating bravado emanating from Scouseland that; ‘of course we can win the Premiership this season’ – you’ll notice that not a lot is being said, and not much is being written. The pre-season verbal jousting is unusually sterile.
Sir Rednose recently dipped his toe into the water with a sly jibe in Big Phil’s direction which earned a belated response from JT recently, but apart from that and the initial flirt via the red-tops, there’s hardly a word, or misquote, in anger amongst those destined to slug it out for the league this season. And Liverpool, of course.
It’s an even stranger state of affairs when the most vocal manager in the UK media isn’t even managing a club here any longer. Yes, the ‘Special One’ has certainly re-found his voice and recently has aimed shots across the bow of each of the top four managers in turn, lamenting their chances, decrying their achievements in comparison to his own.
His focus will shift to matters Italian soon enough, or at least until European battles commence, and a sure fire Inter vs. Chelsea tie is drawn by UEFA in the latest in a long line of coincidental hurdles, of familiar branding, trying to trip us up.
None of this however, has rattled new regime at Chelsea one iota. They are quietly getting on with their jobs, building the belief that they are going to win and win big this season, working on the tactics and formations to achieve those aims, no fanfare, no bravado, no games.
Things have changed, and Chelsea has gotten serious. Despite what anyone says, this is a strong unit that has more in it than we’ve seen previously. We went so far last season, another 10%, not an impossible improvement under a manager such as Scolari, could feasibly see two or three trophies won. But now in a media friendly, entertaining way.
The great teams generally let their football do their talking, apart from Liverpool, and this seems to be the number one mantra in effect within the corridors of power at Chelsea. For too long now we’ve been talked about for reasons other than what happens on the pitch, and had what was happening the pitch derided.
Roman Abramovich is reported to want this to change, and when you’ve got over ten billion quid, you are used to getting what you want. What Roman apparently wants is Chelsea to be the best, most entertaining team around, and when you truly are the best, you don’t need to shout about it.
This is the new Chelsea, there is a steely resolve and a quiet confidence emanating from Stamford Bridge. There will be no more shouting from the rooftops, from now on, we’ll let our football do the talking.