Chelsea’s preseason tour of Asia came to a conclusion today, after a loss to Inter Milan. It wasn’t the expected result, and it was Chelsea’s second (consecutive) loss of our preseason fixtures; the first, a 2-3 loss to German champions, Bayern Munich.
They’re disappointing outcomes and would make any true fan worried, especially seeing as the new season is just two weeks away. But if history is anything to go by, preseason fixtures have never quite dictated the eventual outcome of a team’s season performance. A good example is the 2014/15 season where we lost some preseason games, but as we both know, it is one of the best seasons we’ve had in English football. Not only did we run away with the league title, we did it while playing some sizzling football. It would be too forward to say the same would happen this coming season for sure, but I wouldn’t rule it out either. Pre-season fixtures are more or less friendlies, so teams shouldn’t be based on friendly games; we can all look back at Louis Van Gaal’s first pre-season with Manchester United where they played some good football and beat every team that came their way – we all know how that story ended.
All due respect to Inter, I don’t think they’d have it that easy if there was really something at stake.
It is also important to note that we have played mostly without some of our summer arrivals. Saturday’s game was Antonio Rudiger’s first. Tiemoue Bakayoko is yet to feature for us at all since he joined, Eden Hazard, on the other hand is still sidelined with injury. Of course, we wouldn’t be the same with their involvement. Hazard has always made a difference with his dazzling skills, and eyes for goal. Rudiger is one of the best centre backs in football, and Bakayoko won the French Ligue 1 with Monaco last season. The 3 of them added to our team would make us stronger, and it’s only a matter of time until they return. We also have a powerful attack in Morata and Bats.
I am not bothered by our pre-season form because I know that things will definitely take shape soon. On the 6th of August we’ll file out against Arsenal in the community shield. It’ll be the season’s curtain raiser, and our first competitive game in a while. In our usual fashion against the Gunners, I expect the lads to turn up, and get our season underway with a victory and trophy. Anything less would be disappointing really, but I still wouldn’t lose sleep over it.