Well, I can only apologise. If there are any readers out there who, starved of sensible, long-winded and tediously-wordy posts on Chelsea Football Club, have suffered withdrawal symptoms without a regular bridgeviews.co.uk fix, I would be surprised. But on the off chance that those people do exist, bridgeviews.co.uk will now (hopefully) spring back into life.
Much has happened since the last posts on this blog were possible – but it’s all been fairly predictable. England’s astonishing incompetence at the World Cup was perhaps the most predictable, along with the performance of referees. Tabloid Chelsea transfer gossip was obviously going to go into overdrive over the summer too too, but that unrealistic sensationalism was no more foreseeable than the quiet reality of the transfer window. Man City spending more than everyone else put together is now the equivalent of death and taxes.
Less predictable for me (being a habitual pessimist when it comes to Chelsea) was Ancelotti’s team hitting top gear immediately in the Premier League after a comparatively disastrous pre-season. After ten matches Chelsea are top of the table, jealously guarding a five point lead over our closest rivals and a truly frightening goal difference.
And that has been achieved with a squad that is surely – surely – weaker than last year. When the chips are down, Ancelotti can no longer call on the experienced hands of Ballack, Joe Cole, Beletti, Deco and Carvalho, five players who would all walk into the majority of teams in the Premier League. The exits of those players has probably saved the club in excess of £23m a year.
In their place, the club does appear ready to give younger talents their chance. Kakuta has started in both the Champions League and the Premier League (who would have predicted that two years ago?) and Josh McEachran has looked every bit the immaculate footballer every time he’s taken the pitch this season.
But it’s very early in the season, and there are probably still more questions than answers out there. How is the squad positioned to deal with injuries? Is Ramires up to the physical challenge of the Premier League? Are we witnessing the beginning of the end for Frank Lampard? How strong are Man City really? How weak are Man Utd really? Are we reaching a unique phase in Premier League history where the top six clubs more closely matched than ever before? There are more.
There has been so much to talk about over the last few months – and so much good news for Chelsea fans. It’s been a shame not to have been there writing about it. But hopefully I’ll be able to keep bridgeviews.co.uk going this time and, with any luck, continue to write my normal nonsense as Chelsea steamroller toward another trophy-laden season.
It’s good to be back.