Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez has insisted that the Blues are in a season of transition, with the West Londoners hierarchy on the same wavelength.
Rafa said: “The team is a good team, when you have a good squad, you can manage players and you can keep a good team on the pitch, as has been the case at Chelsea in the last few years. This year you can see is a year of transition, with some new players coming in, so it’s different. Before at Chelsea you had a lot of big names, then you could manage a lot of different players. Still, you can see that the team are very strong.”
When asked if the Blues hierarchy needed convincing of this transitional term, the Spaniard added: “I don’t need to convince. You have experience, you can analyse the squad and you can see that new players have come in, while some players are getting older, so it’s normal. We have enough intelligence to analyse this. It doesn’t matter in terms of what we think or what we don’t think – it’s what we have. We have a good team, with young players, and they need some experience in the Premier League. They are carrying on and doing well and the players with more experience have to help them.”
Chelsea’s loss at home to Queens Park Rangers last week has left them 14 points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester United, with just the one game in hand, leaving Chelsea with a very slim chance of winning the title. They are however on course for a cup treble, with the Europa League, FA Cup and Capitol One Cup all up for grabs.
Chelsea should be able to beat Swansea to qualify for the COC final, against either Aston Villa or Bradford, and should lift the trophy. We also have a great record in the FA Cup and will be expected to go far in that competition also.
I agree that we need a season of transition, but we are still in the hunt for trophies, and will have plenty to look forward to this year. With the majority of the team having gelled somewhat, I expect the team to go from strength to strength, and cut the lead at the top of the league down to under 5 points. Winning it is likely to be too large a task though…