Chelsea: Lampard Must Lead The List Of Those We Need To Sell
What’s going right?
Chelsea are building in the right direction. What was a very sloppy defence under the likes of Di Matteo and Andre Villas Boas has been remoulded into the sort of solid unit the club is known for. The problem areas have been diagnosed and a good crop of young players is starting to come through. The final results might look disappointing on paper, but Chelsea were there or thereabouts in most of the major competitions during Mourinho's first year back.
The defensive solidity and lack of a polished striker has led to a very negative playing style. That style has gained results, especially in big games, but it isn’t the way to take the club forward in the long-term once the squad is better balanced.
Got the right manager?
Eden Hazard - there have been some good players this season, the defensive unit as a whole, and particularly the emergence of Cesar Azpilicueta, but Hazard has been scintillating. His mid-season run of form was world class and he looked nigh on unstoppable. If he were to leave it would be devastating.
Who would you like to sell in the summer?
John Obi Mikel, Hilario, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard (*sob), Victor Moses, Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o
Who do you want to sign?
Bringing back loan players Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois are key. Elsewhere a left back and at least one top striker are needed, as well as a Lampard replacement if possible. Personal preference: Luke Shaw/Felipe Luis, Paulinho and Diego Costa. Vanity signing: Ross Barkley
Best chant so far?
"The shits from Spurs, they bought his flight, but Willian, he saw the light!"
"He got a call from Abramovich, and off he went to Stamford Bridge"
"He hates Tottenham! He hates Tottenham! He hates Tottenham! He hates Tottenham!"
Preferably sung in a slur while stomping down the King's Road.
Best opposition player/team you’ve seen?
Atletico were impressive at Stamford Bridge, not just in the way they got their goals but how they performed after they scored. The ball retention was Barcelona-esque and the work rate was relentless, a killer combination that Mourinho no doubt aims for in his side. The only downside was how poor Diego Costa looked over the two legs. Individual? Koke or Miranda: both incredibly solid footballers in their own rights. No one came to the Bridge and lit the place up though.
Biggest w***** of the season?
Diego Costa. He made Luis Suarez look like a well-rounded human being. Kicking John Terry's dodgy leg off the ball, goading the crowd by replacing the ball for his penalty 100 times, and then celebrating right in front of the Chelsea fans after all three goals, despite having little involvement. Went down with phantom injuries and limped off, even though he’s built like Didier Drogba. In fact, his performance was Drogba-esque in the way he wound up opposing fans. Roman, bring him in.
Funniest Moment of the season?
It's a close call between Stevie Gerrard's slip and The Ox's diving save. The first is pure Schadenfreude so I'm going to go with the genuine comedy value of seeing Chamberlain wrap up probably his worst 15 minutes of professional football with a blatant hand ball for a shot that looked like it was going wide anyway, opening the gates for an uncharacteristic Chelsea trouncing and Andre Marriner's moment of colour blindness. You couldn't write that.
Next season's prediction?
Premier League winners and Champions League semi-finalists. Yep, I have to say that but really Mourinho has made a rod for his own back by saying he will be judged on trophies and blaming his strikers. If he gets a new striker or two in the summer there will be few excuses if he doesn’t deliver silverware. The scary part? I believe in him.
Follow Scott on Twitter, @scarey102