What a victory last night!
I am sure every Chelsea fan would have slept thinking that it could have so easily been a 4-0 or 5-0 - that we could have announced to the rest of the league, heck even Europe, that they have missed the renaissance (or as Mourinho would call it "evolution") at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea, and not City, are the team to beat. But somehow I think that Mourinho will be happy that it was a 1-0. The play, that was so often menacing, would have left him happy and he would be silently confident that he will be able to use this victory as a springboard for the rest of the season. The kind of momentum we will carry into the rest of the season based on this victory will be immense.
That being said, such victories quite often entice us to also think about what could have been - What if we had won at Goodison Park or at White Hart Lane? How terrifying we would have been only if the Rooney transfer had gone through? And of course, looking at the League table, it is hard not to wish for one of the 39 chances in the last game to have gone in. While not considering too many things at a time, I would submit that had we gotten one over Sam Allardyce's men, Mourinho would have approached last night's game very differently. And as is often the case with us fans, wherein we just want to see Chelsea sitting top of the league all the time, I do think that despite the victory over West Ham we would still be at the same points total as now.
For that is where the genius of Mourinho lies. He plays the table. One of the first things he said about Chelsea's title challenge is that they will be there competing. When a lot of us could only think of the Arsenal game in terms of win or loss and what it could mean for the hectic New Year's schedule, Mourinho came back with a draw. We were there. Just there. Never too far behind. Just as we are now. And it is because of this playing the table mindset of Mourinho combined with the fixture lists of City, Arsenal and Chelsea that I think the final push for the title will start from mid March or April.
For now, it will be the silent, understated run just to keep up. To be in the conversation. It has been some time since I had this feeling. Last time it was under Ancelloti when we traveled to Old Trafford. I, for one, can't keep my mind on the immediate challenge. But I know Mourinho would only be looking at the next game. City away in the FA cup with Everton, Newcastle and Tottenham at home in the league and not to forget King Drogba's homecoming, there is so much to look forward to in the next month or so.
Title challenge? Bring it on!