Two games into the season and what have Chelsea fans learnt so far? Quite a few things actually, most of them good. Granted, we haven’t been tested by a really solid team yet although both Reading and Wigan were no pushovers. Here’s what we’ve learnt:

  1. Hazard has the ball glued to his feet: the French player of the year, two years in succession, has already made more assists than a Savoy waiter and looks the finished article aged just 21. Strong-willed and powerful for such a small player, his jinky runs, smooth passing and clever positional play mark him out as an automatic first eleven choice. The player we’ve been missing? Quite probably – and what an engine.
  2. Di Matteo is under orders to change the team’s style: The first two games have showcased a new style – short passes, more intricate play and faster transitions. It’s still a work in progress and the team is yet to gel properly, but it’s a breath of fresh air after the slow build up play and long balls of the recent past.
  3. We’re going to concede more goals: our new style makes us more vulnerable to counter attacks and we’re going to concede more goals this season. The new style also makes JT appear a little slow and he’s going to need more solid support from his teammates.
  4. Frank needs to find his feet: Lamps is starting to look battle weary and his deeper position isn’t bringing out the best in him. He had a poor game against Reading and at Wigan he didn’t fare much better. Still, give him time as he’s a fit, strong and intelligent player who will adapt. This could be his final season though as Oscar looks to be eyeing his old role.
  5. Torres needs more support: Torres can’t run the line in the same way that Drogba could. Against Wigan and Reading he often disappeared or was surrounded by two centre halves who didn’t give him a touch. Unless he’s quickly supported by deeper players like Hazard and Mata, Torres looks lost. Solution? Quicker transitional play and speedier link up with Chelsea’s number nine.
  6. Cech looks rusty: Let’s put it down to summer rustiness but his performance against Reading wasn’t up to his usual standards to put it mildly. He almost won the Frank Sinclair ‘hooof’ award with his kicking straight into touch and his clanger against Guthrie could have cost us a few points. Needs to sharpen up.
  7. Oscar looks the business: like Hazard, Oscar is already the finished deal and although he looks like he’s just returned home from his paper round, our Brazilian playmaker appears assured, composed and sharp. Will need more time to adjust to the English game than Hazard but looks a superb buy.
  8. We need a winger: Whether Marko Marin is the player we need only time will tell. However, as talented as Mata, Hazard and Ramires are, they aren’t Usain Bolt. We need a speedy winger although Daniel Sturridge made a superb cameo as a wide player against Reading – if only he would pass the ball rather than sky it into the Matthew Harding Lower. Infuriating given his talent.
  9. We look a bit lightweight in the centre of the park: I’m not sure whether Mikel and Frank will work as the season progresses because the combination looks too static and lacks dynamism. An Essien style player (pre-injury) or a younger Frank would be better suited to our new style of play. Again, time will tell.
  10. The future looks bright: the shipping out of Drogba, Kalou and Bosingwa and the addition of Oscar and Hazard has freshened the team up – something we’ve needed for the last few years. The bench also looks strong with players willing to fight it out for a first team place (Essien, Meireles etc). If the team gels quickly and we find a rhythm we could be unstoppable.
  11. Our support needs to show more, err, support: The European Champions need less whingeing and more support. Some of the bickering in the Matthew Lower makes your ears bleed. Sing up or shut up and leave the whingeing to the pub. The team deserve nothing less.

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