Around this time last year, I wrote a semi-serious article about Chelsea's perfect league start. Reading that back now, I get a bit misty-eyed. So excited! So naive! No tears, Robbie D, no tears.
While it didn't help that all three opponents turned out to be quite crap, with two of them ending up in the relegation zone and Newcastle just a couple places above them, we threw away that fifth perfect start to an Abramovich Era campaign faster than you could say blueberry pie.
But all that's in the past now and the emotional scars are healing just fine thanks to some fine doctoring from Doctor Mourinho. So how about this year? Can we get some undue excitement up in here?
Well, one thing's for sure, the aggregate quality of the first three opponents has been much better. Hull City may end up endangered species by the end of the season, but Aston Villa look leaps and bounds more competent that last year, and Manchester United will comfortably finish top
three four five. Yeah, let's go with five. Or six? Ferguson was a tremendous loss.
On the other hand, Chelsea are no strangers to undefeated Premier League starts since 2003. In fact, only once in our history have we managed a defeat in the first three - the second match of the 2006/07 season - and it took a last minute winner from Middlesborough's Mark Viduka to do it. Chelsea lost just twice more that season but would end up missing out on a third consecutive title anyway, mostly thanks to winning only five points from the final five matches (five tragic draws).
So, another undefeated start, the tenth of Abramovich's eleven in charge. Incidentally, those ten now split evenly between perfect nine-point starts and almost perfect seven-point starts. I guess that will mean we'll finish at least third, just like in all but one season in the Roman Era. But the title's out, since no perfect start (yeah, science!).
So ... second it is. Mark it down.