With the theoretical Mayan doomsday approaching and 2012 fizzing out for Chelsea fans I thought it best to look at what we have to look forward to next year. 2012 will be forever remembered as one of the most special years in Chelsea’s history as we won the Champions League for the first time but after a disappointing start to the season and exit in the aforementioned trophy at the group stage the year has ended on a somewhat sour note. This does not mean that Blues fans should fear the future or welcome an apocalypse, no, far from it in fact as I believe there are a number of causes for celebration in 2013.
- Whether it happens in January or happens in summer it is looking increasingly certain that Falcao will sign for us in 2013. The Colombian forward has repeatedly expressed his desire to play in either Madrid or London and the gentlemen’s agreement that exists between Real and Atletico means it is unlikely he will move to Real, placing us in pole position. It is rumoured that Roman Abramovich has given the all clear to give Falcao a tour of London and whilst his loyalty to Atletico may delay the move until summer it looks very likely to happen.
- Our victory on Wednesday over the old enemy at Elland Road means that we are well placed for victory in the Capital One Cup. A semi-final against Swansea followed by a potential final against Villa or Bradford would suggest we are clear favourites for the trophy despite the Welsh side’s impressive form and Bradford’s magical performances in the cup. This may not be the most prestigious cup in England but it is still silverware and I’m sure any Chelsea fan will relish a trip to Wembley.
- Our exit from the Champions League was far from ideal but it does at least present the opportunity for triumph in the Europa League (something Manchester City do not have). Juggling four competitions is difficult to say the least but our squad is one of the most well placed to so in the entire league. English teams have for too long overlooked the Europa League and it is time for us to show the same desire in this competition that Atletico and Bilbao showed last year. We are good enough to beat anyone in this competition and we should welcome the chance of successive European finals.
- In addition to these two cups we are also going to begin the defence of perhaps our favourite trophy, the FA Cup. We have won four out of the last six trophies and since the turn of the century no one has won it more often. Our affinity with this trophy should not be overlooked and the defence of it should be undertaken in the most professional manner. In Ashley Cole we have the most successful player in FA Cup history and there is no reason we cannot win it again.
- We are in possession of perhaps our most exciting crop of youngsters for a good few years now and we should welcome them breaking into the first team. Chalobah, McEachran, De Bruyne and Lukaku are excelling on loan whilst Oscar and Azpilicueta have already established themselves as first team players. We also have a number of talented players playing in our U21 and academy squads and there is great hope for the future development of Chelsea’s home grown players.