It’s not yet been two weeks since Andre Villas-Boas was sent packing by Roman Abramovich, but the mood at Stamford Bridge has already improved a great deal. Since John Terry Roberto Di Matteo took charge at Chelsea, the Blues have reached the quarter finals of the FA Cup and the Champions League, while Didier Drogba’s strike against Stoke at the weekend means that Tottenham will not just be looking over their shoulder at Arsenal in the Premier League. And if RDM can take some points away from Manchester City and Spurs this month, Chelsea will be supremely confident of salvaging what has so far been a disappointing season.
After succeeding AVB, Di Matteo has enjoyed three wins on the bounce and could go on lead his side to the FA Cup semi final on Sunday. All that stands in Chelsea’s way is the last remaining Football League side in the competition, Leicester City. And thanks to tonight’s impressive 4-1 victory over Napoli, JT and co. can look forward to Friday’s draw for the Champions League quarter and semi finals. A pairing with Marseille, Benfica or Apoel Nicosia in the last eight could even allow the Blues to sneak through to the Champions League semi finals. Even the most optimistic of Chelsea fans can’t have been anticipating that after Ezequiel Lavezzi fired the Partenopei into a 3-1 lead in Naples back in February. Branislav Ivanovic has done Fernando Torres a huge favour by taking any decision over penalties well and truly out of his hands with a fine strike 15 minutes from time!
It’s difficult to define what would be a successful season for Chelsea, particularly when you consider that for Roman Abramovich, Carlo Ancelotti’s league and cup double was not good enough for two seasons’ work while José Mourinho’s six trophies in three years at the Bridge was also a sackable offence. But considering what’s transpired at the Circus Chelsea so far, two Cup quarter finals (or even semi finals) is hardly the end of the world. Perhaps recent results will serve as a reminder that we do in fact still play an entire season in this country. One week it’s all doom and gloom, the next you’re in a European quarter final and breathing down Tottenham’s neck in the league. We’ve seen recently how quickly things can change. Manchester City were nailed on for the league until they lost at Swansea, Arsenal had about as much chance of finishing in the top four as Nottingham Forest and Tottenham Hotspur were the new Barcelona.
Football can be very strange. Next thing you know Fernando Torres will find the back of the net.