The pre-season went exactly as planned, goals galore, clean sheets and everybody on the squad got a chance to show me why they derserved a place in the starting eleven.It's time for squad registration and by regulations each squad is required to have 8 home grown players.While submitting the squad I was pleased to realise I have 10.Slotting right into spaces left by the players I let out as freebies in the transfer window.Lukaku is still under 21 and is not included in the squad as U-21 players need not be registered.After deciding on the squad, I placed the non regulars in reserve and the potential hot prospects on loan.I also have my chief scout providing reports on all my players on loan after every match.
The start of the Premier League is marked on the calendars of football fans all across the globe.Here's how the first two months went.
Note : If you don't wanna read the entire thing, the goal scorers are in bold.
16th August 2014
Chelsea vs. Wigan Athletic
It's the start of the new season and Chelsea are defending champions, and as usual, expectations are high from the Stamford Bridge faithful.Facing minnows Wigan, I name my strongest possible team, to get our season to a flying start.Gary Cahill and David Luiz play in front of Petr Cech, Ryan Bertrand on the left and Branislav Ivanovic on the right,De Jong as Anchor man.New star signing, 30 million Axel Witsel, slots directly into the midfield alongside Blues legend Frank Lampard. Torres starts upfront, with Lavezzi and Mata on the right and left respectively.It would take less than 5 minutes for the Belgian international to find the back of the net, volleying a Juan Mata cross past the goalkeeper.Nothing is more pleasing than a new signing scoring on debut.Wigan would score at the half hour mark from a corner.Ryan Bertrand, who is marking the far post,moves off his line to head the incoming cross and misses.The ball lands in the path of Jordon Mutch who smashes it in and it's level at half time.A calm halftime pep talk informing my team to keep at it and the goal would come.Nigel De Jong scored before the hour mark through a stunning volley reminiscent of a Raul Meireles? volley for Liverpool.A trademark triple substitution after 60mins, injected fresh legs into the team.Cavani, Josh and Sime Vrsaljko in for Lavezzi, Lampard and Ivanovic.Juan Mata's fine game continued as his throughball,released Torres who slots it in.Game,Set and Match !
Final Score : Chelsea 3 : 1 Wigan Athletic
24th August 2014
Tottenham Hotspurs vs. Chelsea FC
The first away game of the season is at White Hart Lane.A London derby further spiced up by the fact that the spurs are now managed by ex-Chelsea manager, Andre Villas Boas.At the pre match press conference AvB says he doesn't have time for the likes of me.Ouch! I chose not to retaliate.I can't stress enough to my team that's important to keep focus and not get distracted and our best chance of winning is with eleven players on the pitch.Clean sheets are of paramount importance to me this season so I replace Cech with Courtois on goal and Terry is in for Luiz.Douglas Costa replaces Mata on the left and Emre Can is preferred over Lampard.Chelsea have good possession trying to break down the spurs defence.The home team are happy to defend and catch Chelsea on the counter and I'm starting to rue my decision of starting with Terry.Torres scores a brace before the break which makes my halftime team talk much easier.
Final Score : Tottenham Hotspurs 1 : 3 Chelsea FC
30th August 2014
Chelsea FC vs. Blackburn Rovers
Axel Witsel has made it a habit of scoring in the first 5 minutes, smashing one in from long range.John Terrywould head in a David Luiz long throw to double the lead. Ruud Van Nistelrooy led Blackburn would reduce the deficit just before the break via a Mohammed Adbellaoue goal.Cavani would score after coming off the bench for Lavezzi.A foul in the box would lead to a Frank Lampard penalty to give Chelsea a 4-1 win.
Final Score : Chelsea FC 4 : 1 Blackburn Rovers
International Break :
Two weeks off and the players that remain are put through high intensity training.After being sacked by Manchester City, Mancini has taken over the England national team.Last season's top scorer in the PL, Sturridge, fails to make it into the England squad.Meanwhile Mata, Lukaku , Terry and Axel Witsel score for their respective countries.The big blow is that Torres has injured himself on Spain duty and will miss the next 2-3 months!
13th September 2014
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Chelsea FC
Torres is out injured so Cavani and Lavezzi start beside either other reminiscent of their time in Napoli.I've been alternating between Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois until i get a clean sheet.I usually play with one goalkeeper until he concedes and then switch him in the next match with the other.So Courtois starts today.Lavezzi would set upCavani for the first.Terry would score of a Ryan Bertrand corner, and Emre Can would convert a long ranger to make it 3-0 to the away side.In the 2013 January transfer window,Shane Long's 4m move to Chelsea fell through because he failed a medical.That would spur him on to run around Courtois to peg one back for the hosts.Terry would again score off a corner, this time by Douglas Costa, who would find the head of Luiz 10 minutes later for Chelsea's fifth.
Final Score : Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 : 5 Chelsea FC
Champions League Draw
This is how my group looks
Chelsea FC ( England )
FC Twente ( Holland )
Olympique Lyonnais ( France )
FC Kobenhavn (Denmark)
17th September 2014
Chelsea FC vs. FC Twente
My first Champions League match of the season.As always, the CL is top priority.This is the only Cup that has eluded me over the past three seasons.Last season's topscorer, Sturridge starts upfront with Cavani on the right.Douglas Costa has been phenomenal on the left and retains his place in the starting eleven.Rotation of goalkeepers continues and Petr Cech starts this game.Douglas Costa, Sturridge and substitute Lukaku all score in a routine game for Chelsea.The most significant aspect being I finally got the first clean sheet of the season,the main reason why I changed our entire tactic! Petr Cech has therefore earned a spot in our next game.
Final Score : Chelsea FC 3 : 0 FC Twente
Carling Cup 3rd round
Chelsea FC have been drawn against Leeds.Recently relegated from the Premier League, Leeds were looking for a upset.The Carling Cup has never been on Chelsea's priority list, so I'm gonna give my non regulars a chance to impress. The 4-1-2-3 tactic retained. Petr Cech is wearing the captains armband.16 year old Ricardo Chiarini is at right back, French starlet Wilfried Melko partners Nathaniel Chalobah in defence and Jan Hasek at left back.Robbie Cotton starts as Anchor Man.The forgotten Michael Essien and Josh make up the midfield.Exciting winger Jordan Graham, Hallam Hope and Gael Kakuta make up the attacking trio.This team would take time to blend and it would end zero all at the break.It's still zero all at the 60 minute mark when I make a triple substitution of Lukaku, Emre Can and Branislav Ivanovic.After 75mins and no signs of a goal, I'd change the tactics to overload, packing the oppositions box.The continued pressure would lead to an Phil Bardsley own goal.Romelu Lukaku would put the game out of reach with a goal in the 89th minute.Another clean sheet!
Final Score : Leeds 0 : 2 Chelsea FC
27th September 2014
Chelsea FC vs. Birmingham City
Ten changes.Petr Cech retains his place.Boring nil all draw.First dropped points of the campaign as Liverpool overtake Chelsea to first place.
Final score : Chelsea FC 0 : 0 Birmingham City
30th September 2014
Olympique Lyonnais vs. Chelsea FC
First away game of the Champions League.A trip to France.A opposition report done by my scout reveals that Lyon's star player is Dimitri Berbatov.After I LOL, I prepare a tactic suited to dominate possession. I've named a strong team but it was Lyon who would score on the counter to take the lead, and again, and again and again.Lenny Nangis, Jimmy Briand, Lenny Nangis and Lisandro Lopez.Reality check! An embarrassing result and I let Di Matteo take the post match press conference.
Final Score : Olympique Lyonnais 4 : 0 Chelsea FC
The embarrassing 4-0 loss to Lyon happened just before the monthly Board confidence review.The Board informs me that my job as of now is secure but the 4 nil loss to Lyon is unacceptable and the fans have raised concern.They are pleased with my tight control of the wages even though we made a loss of 9m last month.I end September 2 points behind first place Liverpool, 3rd in Group E of the Champions League and through to the 4th round of the Carling Cup where I have been drawn away to Burnley.
Rest of the season summary in my next article.