As the week passes the middle and we edge closer to game day it looks like there will be a new addition amongst the ranks at Stamford Bridge. Well a new addition but not a new face. Nearly three years after moving to Benfica as part of the deal that brought David Luiz to London Nemanja Matic is returing to Stamford Bridge.
The tall Serbian’s development since he left London has led many to criticise Chelsea for not having faith in their youth or having poor judgement. It is worth pointing out at this stage that Chelsea would not be the only ones to be surprised by Matic’s progression. As is so often the way nowadays a third party owner owned 25% of the player. That stake would now be worth around €7 million but he sold it for just €500,000. A hat-tip to the excellent Jake Cohen for his work on this.
Regardless of what people may think of the way Chelsea have handled this matter the fact remains that the club are getting a great player. He was arguably the best player in the Portuguese league last season and he will bring some much needed stability in the centre of midfield. Frank Lampard is getting on whilst Ramires’ energy means he needs to play with a player who is happy to sit. Matic can offer the perfect foil to the Brazilian and he offers a genuine goal threat.
Jose Mourinho gave a two part interview with the Evening Standard this week in which he was adamant that he is here to stay for good. Everyone knows that Mourinho has never stayed at a club for longer than three years but since he has been back at Chelsea what he has been saying is encouraging. In his first press conference in the summer he spoke of being “the happy one” and wanting to stay beyond his three year deal.
In this interview the boss has been saying that he is keen to create a legacy at the club and for Chelsea fans this is excellent news. Since Mourinho’s departure we have become regularly ridiculed for the way in which we change manager and no-one can deny that the club is crying out for stability.
Perhaps Jose is looking to emulate Sir Alex Ferguson in creating a dynasty at a club. Obviously Sir Alex is no longer in charge and on Sunday we meet Manchester United post-Fergie for the second time this season. In August we played out a fairly dour 0-0 draw at Old Trafford and given how some results have gone since then it seems like a fairly poor result.
Nevertheless Mourinho’s policy away from home has been avoid defeat and then consider victory. We saw that at Arsenal recently whereas at home to Liverpool we went all out for the win, especially after they scored first. This is a vital game for two reasons. Firstly it will heap further pressure on David Moyes and push Manchester United further away from the Champions League places. Secondly it will keep the pressure on Manchester City and Arsenal. Given that both are playing relegation candidates at home we can probably assume they will take three points so we need to do likewise.