Jose Mourinho walked down the Wembley tunnel, throwing his runners-up medal into the crowd, probably thinking of the next game against Arsenal on September 19 at Stamford Bridge.
The 1-0 loss to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal would have rankled a lot as it was the first time Wenger was getting one over him – their 14th meeting.
With the EPL to kick off next weekend, the friendly match afforded the supporters a glimpse into some facts concerning these London sides.
1. Cech has brought authority and presence to Arsenal
John Terry had pointed out that the acquisition of Petr Cech by Arsenal could amount to 15 points. On the evidence of what the 33-year old goalkeeper demonstrated on Sunday, it could be more. He was calm, knew what to do per time and executed with precision. We know that Mourinho did not want Arsenal to have him but Roman Abramovich decided otherwise. But that decision, made in good faith, could come back to bite the Blues in the butt.
2. Remy played like he wanted to be sold
In the 45 minutes that Loic Remy played, he was caught offside four times and he was in offside positions a dozen more times – breaking down the Chelsea attack. It was a listless performance and it would have left his manager worried going into the new season. Actually, he played like he didn’t care and wanted to be somewhere else.
3. The Walcott/Giroud dynamic will run all season
Arsene Wenger surely is in a quandary about which of Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud he should make his substantive No.9. He would have loved a clone of both players.
Because even though Walcott offers an outlet for quick counter attacking with his speed, when play becomes congested he failed to hold on to the ball – a strong virtue that Giroud possesses. But on the benefit of Sunday’s match, they will be rotated throughout the season.
4. Mourinho and Wenger will never be friends
Mourinho made sure to shake hands with all Arsenal players on Sunday after his Chelsea had been defeated 1-0 but ignored their manager, Arsene Wenger. Afterwards he said, “The best team lost and the most defensive team won”. And both his and Arsenal supporters would have been left confused by what he meant by that statement. But that is Mourinho – always throwing down something to deflect a particularly galling defeat like the one his team suffered on Sunday at Wembley.
5. Definitely, Chelsea need a left-footed defender
Cesar Azpilicueta was about the best defender in the Premiership last season – very strong and technically sound; but against Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain last Sunday, he had no answers. And with Chelsea having already sold Filipe Luis back to Atletico Madrid, Mourinho and his board must know with these showing that they need a left footed defender in that left back slot. Because he was caused all manner of concern, Eden Hazard found himself tracking back too many times for the Chelsea team to get any coherent forward thrust together.