The Special One specialized in perfect starts.
Sure, the Super Cup horror show may have left a sour taste in your mouth, but let's not forget the fact that Chelsea are perfect in the league - and after today's matches, the only team to have taken maximum points from their first three fixtures of the season.
Sure, you could be worried about depth/quality at center forward or depth/quality at central midfield - and you may be right* - but Chelsea are top of the league and if history is any indicator, you should be excited. Very excited.
Or at least a little more than a tiny bit excited.
* you're probably right
Regardless of any correlations that we may glean from the tea leaves of past glories, a perfect start is a rare occurrence in Chelsea history. Chelsea have been playing football since 1905 (contrary to popular belief and Liverpool fans) and this is only the 11th time that has happened. That's 99 competitive seasons and 11 perfect starts - not quite Haley's Comet rare, but on average twice as scarce as a World Cup.
Take away the four times the feat was accomplished in the second tier ('25, '27, '28, '62) and you're left with just the 7th perfect top division start for our boys in Blue:
- 1964-65 (3rd) - Wolverhampton (A) 3-0; Aston Villa (H) 2-1; Sunderland (H) 3-1
- 1994-95 (11th) - Norwich City (H) 2-0; Leeds United (A) 3-2; Manchester City (H) 3-0
- 2004-05 (1st) - Manchester United (H) 1-0; Birmingham City (A) 1-0; Crystal Palace (A) 2-0
- 2005-06 (1st) - Wigan Athletic (A) 1-0; Arsenal (H) 1-0; West Bromwich Albion (H) 4-0
- 2009-10 (1st) - Hull City (H) 2-1; Sunderland (A) 3-1; Fulham (A) 2-0
- 2010-11 (2nd) - West Bromwich Albion (H) 6-0; Wigan Athletic (A) 6-0; Stoke City (H) 2-0
- 2012-13 (??) - Wigan Athletic (A) 2-0; Reading (H) 4-2; Newcastle United (H) 2-0
Clearly, we've been spoiled as of late. The thing to note, and what should make you at least somewhat excited is that the every time Chelsea has won the title in the 'Roman Era', it started with perfection. Jose Mourinho ran the streak to four matches in 2004 and nine in 2005, while Carlo Ancelotti made it six matches before dropping points in 2009 (he had made it five in 2010 before the winter of discontent wiped it all out).
How did other Premier League winners fare, you may ask? My answer to that is two-fold:
- Stop bringing actual logic into this!
- Arsenal (03-04), United (06-07), and City (11-12) were all perfect through the first three.
That's six of the last nine Premier League champions if you're keeping track. And Manchester United's other titles don't count anyway, because Fergie has unearthly black magic at his disposal and that is just not fair (if you need an example, just see Sunday's comeback at Southampton or the fact that they only lost last year's title to a vastly superior Manchester City squad on goal differential).
The one thing we've seen consistently during Roberto Di Matteo's Chelsea reign is a motivated squad in matches and competitions that matter and a lackluster, flat performance in matches and competitions that may not. Combine that pattern with the perfect start and I think we have a reason to get excited...just a little bit. A little bit more than a tiny bit.