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The Camden Cad
Aug 24, 2004
North London
It's time for the world to sit up and pay attention because not only are Chelsea are back, but they're better and more beautiful than I've ever seen them before. On the evidence of this overwhelmingly sexy opening day victory, it seems that The New Paper wasn't the only organisation to get a facelift this weekend.

I never thought I'd have the opportunity to type this phrase, but brace yourself, Chelsea were absolutely amazing. I'm going to have to buy a new dictionary this season because I won't be needing words like dour, efficient or subdued anymore. This was the Chelsea that we always knew was in there somewhere, hidden by the long-balls and the cynicism, masked by caution and held back by dark-hearted tactics. Luiz Felipe Scolari has flicked the safety valve and unleashed a blue monster.

Even at 4-0, the scoreline flattered Portsmouth. It could easily have been twice that. Scolari urged his fullbacks to push up as bonus wingers, allowing a midfield quartet of Deco, Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack and Joe Cole to ride roughshod over their opponents. With John Obi Mikel getting forward in support of attacks, that's a seven man midfield. But it wasn't numerical superiority that won the day, it was techincal brilliance. The Arsenal-style, one or two-touch passes were flicked about the pitch at a scorching tempo, making the game look, at times, like a training session.

Portsmouth simply had no answer. It wasn't even as if they played particularly badly, they were just taken apart by a much, much better side. Lassana Diarra tried desperately to battle his way into dangerous positions, but he and the rest of Harry Redknapp's team were unable to find a way to supply Peter Crouch and Jermaine Defoe.

Worryingly for everyone else in the Premier League, Scolari still didn't seem satisfied. He roared his displeasure at Nicolas Anelka for a couple of poor shots, and his head almost exploded when Mikel lashed a snapshot yards wide of the post. If Chelsea do have a weakness that could be exploited, it is that they push up so far that a more direct approach might be abe to catch them on the break, but after years of complaining about their lack of endeavour, I'm certainly not going to criticise them for that.

If they carry on playing like this, Chelsea are really going to take some beating and they're going to win a lot of friends along the way. Roman Abramovich wanted to create a global superpower that was the envy of the world and he might finally be on the way to achieving his dream. I, for one, cannot wait for my next trip to Stamford Bridge and, this season, I won't even have to bring my pillow.


Deco should have been sent off though! however other than that you're 100% right, it was a simply awesome display


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Mar 26, 2004

BPS has never had a problem entertaining and has certainly produced at least one performance that makes everyone purr and tip them for greatness. Whether he'll be able to rally his troops between January and March where you give yourself a chance of winning the title is going to be the real test and I think that Liverpool's win away at plucky Sunderland and Man Utd's lack of reserve in inventiveness are much more telling signs from the first weekend of who will be up in the mixer.

I'm very inclined for a punt on Liverpool to sneak second this year after the first set of results.