The most over-hyped game of the season so far, Chelsea vs Manchester United. After beating the rent boys to the league title and European Cup last season, it would be normal to expect that Chelsea are going to be rather worked up for tomorrow’s game.
Of course, any game, particularly on home turf, against your biggest title rivals, is going to be a game you look forward to. But it stands to reason that Chelsea want to win this for more than just the three points and the chance to strengthen their position in the table. They want to get one over on us.
No doubt the Chelsea players and fans have received several digs about United in the four months since the final, John Terry probably receiving more than most.
However, their new manager, who wasn’t at the club at the end of last season, claims tomorrow’s match is nothing more than three points. His players can’t help but disagree with him though.
“I don’t say anything about this, about revenge this week. We need to win to get three points. That is all,” Scolari said. “When I came to England it was to win the Premier League, not just the games against Manchester United. The challenge for Chelsea is to win all the competitions. This is one more game. Nothing different. For my players, it’s one more game. Three points against United are the same three points as against Stoke City, Wigan or Portsmouth.”
I’m not entirely sure what Scolari is trying to do here. He either genuinely believes this or he’s saying it for the benefit of the media. Maybe he’s having a go at the old mind games, but essentially, whether he means what he says or not, he looks stupid for claiming three points from United is the same as three points against Stoke City.
So that leaves the other option, he honestly thinks tomorrow’s game is nothing more than an opportunity to win three points. This would highlight how out of touch he is with his team.
On the same day, new boy Deco, contradicted his manager.
“This is more than three points,” he said. “Victory on Sunday will have double value. I am only too aware of the defeat in Moscow and what it meant to my team-mates. I have been waiting for this game since I arrived at Chelsea and against United it will be a test of strength.”
Today, another new signing, Jose Bosingwa, has disagreed with what Scolari has to say.
“Chelsea were hurt by the defeat in the Champions League and of course the players would like a little sporting revenge,” said the full back. “If you look at the performances so far this season then Chelsea are favourites for the match and we are at home where we have been very strong.”
So how is it that these two new signings can read the situation in the dressing room, Chelsea’s massive desire to try and seek revenge, whilst Scolari seems totally out of the loop?
Essentially though, whoever wins tomorrow, no revenge will be earned. Them picking up three points at home against us doesn’t even touch on us beating them in the European Cup final. There’s an aura of desperation about their situation, wanting to prove a point against us, as if it actually means anything.
Chelsea will be in a great position if they win tomorrow, but then, we are only five games in. Once we play our game in hand, the points difference would be shortened to six points. This time last season, we were five points behind. Didn’t stop us finishing strongly. Let’s see where Chelsea are once they’ve played United and Liverpool away.
When Hull City are in the top five, you know it’s too early to start worrying about where you are in the table!