Super Chelsea

A Chelsea Blog For All Chels

Super Chelsea - A Chelsea Blog For All Chels

Europa League Final: Could Rafa Benitez lead Chelsea to glory?

When the season started, we hoped that we would be able to defend our hard-won Champions League crown. We had spent heavily in the summer on the likes of Eden Hazard, freshened up an ageing squad to some degree and looked forward to having a better chance of winning the Premier League. Sadly, the best we can hope for is the Europa League title as we’ve failed on all other fronts.

Europa League Trophy

Our rainbow after a stormy season?

Our surprising decision to sack Roberto di Matteo despite lying in second place in the league meant that we brought in Rafael Benitez as an interim replacement. After a very shaky start under the Spaniard, we have managed to stabilise and could yet end the season with a major trophy, even if it’s one none of us thought we would be challenging for.


A final salute

Before Benitez leaves, he knows that he’s steered us to guaranteed Champions League qualification with a game to go; but to try and make us feel a little bit better about his time at Stamford Bridge, he has to lead us to victory against Benfica. It won’t be easy, as the Portuguese giants have some class players in their squad, yet Chelsea are Europa League Betting Favourites at 7/5.

In the Europa League we’ve excelled, albeit against weak opposition. Having failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, we’ve taken apart the likes of FC Basel, Steaua Bucharest and Sparta Prague without playing at our best. However, we’re likely to be without two key men in the form of John Terry and Eden Hazard.


Belief in Jesus?

Under manager Jorge Jesus, Benfica have managed to do the same as Chelsea – keep going in the Europa League after dropping out of the Champions League group stages. A talented squad containing possible future transfer targets like Argentina winger Nicolas Gaitan, Paraguay forward Oscar Cardozo and solid former Real Madrid defender Ezequiel Garay is one not to be taken lightly.

Coming into the final, Benfica could still be left reeling by a dramatic title decider in the league. Up until injury time, they were level at 1-1 against big rivals FC Porto, but a last-gasp winner by opposition striker Kelvin could have cost them the league, having led the table for so long. Picking themselves up for the Europa League final will be tough.

For Chelsea to win, we either have to pray that Fernando Torres does what he’s seldom managed to do since he’s been at the club and find that scoring touch or, more realistically, hope that Juan Mata et al can conjure up some more magic. Mata, along with Oscar and the evergreen Frank Lampard are the most likely scorers.

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A Week to Remember

What an exciting week it has been. If you had told me last week that Chelsea would sign Torres and Luiz, I would have advised you stay off Football Manager.It was therefore a pleasant shock when we signed Torres and Luiz despite recent negative talk of the club’s finances.

The Luiz deal was a surprise for two reasons. One, Benfica announced earlier that week that the deal was off. Two, when the deal was back on, it was rumored that he was stopped from boarding his flight to London because the club wanted examine the “devils” in the contract. In all honesty, I gave up on the Luiz deal at that moment in total frustration. I cursed Benfica for taking my club for a ride and hoped that in future, we wouldn’t even consider doing business with them. Given the fact I gave up on the Luiz to focus my attention on Torres, it came as a pleasant surprise that we were still able to sign him.

The Torres deal was an absolute shocker. I knew Torres had placed in a transfer request but I had my doubts that Liverpool would accept it. Danglish had voiced his desire to play with two strikers and given that they had only signed Suarez, I didn’t see him letting Torres go. However interesting developments occurred on the last day of window, news arrived that Liverpool was bidding for Andy Carrol and that Chelsea was sending Danny on loan. Danny on loan could only mean one thing; we were making space for the possible arrival of Torres. The only “significant” obstacle left was a bloke called Mike Ashley. Lucky for us, Liverpool gave him a ridiculous offer he couldn’t refuse. The result Torres is now a happy Blue.

Torres with his Chelsea kit.

Torres has been a player that I have secretly yearned to see in our royal blue. Sometimes I wonder if  Torres shared a similar yearning to wear our colors even before Liverpool’s decline presented him that opportunity. If he did, I wouldn’t blame him. Think about it, how long can you walk away from such a beautiful Blue family? :D

We Are Family

I look forward to the magic of Torres beginning this weekend. I believe if he remains fit and works well with Ancelotti, we might land our maiden champions league trophy soon.