After what seems like an age away, Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Mikel John Obi finally return to our shores, no doubt delighted at the prospect of again experiencing the wonderful English weather, after their African sojourn finally came to an end.
We were told we would sorely miss Drogba’s goals, that we couldn’t do without the mid-field drive of Essien, the glorious unpredictability of Kalou, and also Obi’s red cards. Of course, I’m joking about the cards, but considering the doom and gloom that was predicted by many in the lead up to the African Cup of Nations, we’ve not done badly at all, winning every single game played in January – a notoriously tricky month at the best of times.
Credit must go to Avram Grant and his backroom team, as well as the players who’ve stepped up in the absence of the big hitters for holding it all together where many expected disarray. With Michael Ballack now finally fit and starting to show us what he is capable of, Lampard back in the action for the first time this year and Terry returning to full training, the worst injury crisis I can remember at the Bridge finally appears to be coming to an end.
Salomon Kalou was certainly full of praise for those left to hold the fort in SW6, and was keeping an eye on developments over here whilst away with the Ivory Coast. He said; “Every time Chelsea had a game we asked for the score, and we saw the game when we could. I saw a couple while I was there, against Tottenham and Wigan. The team did well, kept winning games, and now we’re back, I hope the team is stronger and wins again.”
Timing they say, is key, and the return of the lads couldn’t have come at a better time for Chelsea as our last two results have finally seen us stutter in the league. Regardless of what has been said, or has been reported as said by any of these players regarding their futures, now they’re back and I’m sure they’ll be professional enough to play their part, and that they’ll also be licking their lips at the prospect of a challenge that still exists on all four fronts.
Michael Essien believes the quad is still on, and that this team is able to go the distance. When asked about the challenge he replied; “We’ve got the character to win the quadruple and this could still be a really big season for us. We’re still in all four competitions and we will do everything to win as many of them as we can. Winning all four trophies is a possibility.”
There are still an awful lot of games left in the season to be played, and hopefully won. Now that we’ve got the majority of the squad at our disposal again, our chances of doing just that have taken a massive, and timely boost.