What are your expectations for this season?
TCB: I expect we won’t leave Champions League qualification quite as much to chance as we have the past couple of seasons. Qualifying for Europe had been a given for us for a decade and the thought of coming close to not doing so shouldn’t be a consideration for us now.
CD: Chelsea have underperformed for two seasons in the Premier League and have been way off the pace. With the squad we have, we should be at least challenging for the title.
Are you happy with the manager?
TCB: I was one of the few who didn’t pine after Jose when he left but so far, I’m one of his biggest supporters now he’s back. He still has some of the old familiar traits but with a slightly more grown-up edge. I think he’s doing a great job.
CD: Jose Mourinho is back home and I could not be happier. Proven track record, proven ability and the fact he says that this is where he belongs means everything. Should never have left the club in the first place but now he has a chance to build over a sustained period of time.
Who are your key players?
TCB: Mata, Hazard, Oscar without a doubt – they make us tick and for all the focus on Mata and Oscar, I’m still not sure anyone really pays enough attention to just how important Hazard is in that trio. Maybe a less popular choice (and one not everyone would agree with) is JT. I know he isn’t the same player he was last time Jose was boss but it’s noticeable for me after he played a less significant role last season, his presence brings much more unity to the side again.
CD: Chelsea have a number of key players because of the quality we have in the squad. John Terry is still key at the back as there is no one better who reads the game from that position like he does. Ramires is outstanding and has become a vital part of Chelsea’s makeup as a team. Eden Hazard is different class and has fantastic ability and Juan Mata who despite his issues so far this season, given time will prove to Jose Mourinho why he has been our player of the year for the last two seasons. As for Fernando Torres? Watch him fly under Mourinho!
Were you happy with the business conducted during the transfer window?
TCB: No, I wanted Messi. Seriously, I’d have been happier if we’d managed to get Rooney but you can’t always have everything you want.
CD: I was happy with our business. Willian signing at the death was a surprise but with Moses going out on loan, is a natural replacement. The only disappointment was that we didn’t get Wayne Rooney. I see Rooney as Jose’s Eidur Gudjohnsen the first time he was here. The only player we lack is a link man as Eidur was and you could see why Mourinho wanted him.
Are there any rising stars in the squad that we might not have heard of?
TCB: I’d say Todd Kane, great little right-back (on loan at Blackburn) but then I’m biased. Proper Chelsea lad, great work ethic, total commitment to the game and just loves to play. What more could a Chelsea supporter ask for?
CD: You would have all heard of Nathianel Chalobah after his exploits at Watford last season but although not yet in the first team squad, I would keep an eye out for Patrick Bamford who is doing fantastic at the MK dons once again. He’s one for the future for sure.
Your Achilles heel?
TCB: Spurs supporters – I just can’t get on with them 🙂
CD: At the moment I would say our left back position ahead of this weekend. If Cole is out then it’s a slight concern.
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