It has been revealed today that Wayne Bridge has a serious hip problem and could be out of action until at least Christmas.
With Ashley Cole on the mend after an operation on his ankle, yesterday's friendly against Club America was a good opportunity to blood two youngsters into the team - Sam Hutchinson and Jack Cork played forty-five minutes each and both produced solid impressive displays.
Chelsea went behind to an early goal from a shot that was wickedly deflected past the struggling diving Cech from the body of Captain JT. After that initial shock, Chelsea composed themselves and in a competitive and determined spirit fought their way back to win the game 2-1, with Captain Marvel John Terry scoring the winner four minutes from time with a diving header from Florent Malouda's perfectly flighted free-kick.
It was Malouda on his debut who had scored Chelsea's equaliser with a soft tap-in after the CA goalkeeper had fumbled and dropped a long ball cross from youngster Sam Hutchinson.
Although the result was secondary, the players equipped themselves well after a strenous week of training sessions and in fact Jose was able to field almost two teams.
Jose was pleased with the day and commended Club America for their positive attittude to the match.
He said "I am pleased globally. It was a very good training session. first of all I want to thank Club America because they gave us excatly what we needed - competition but competition with quality, competition with aggression but with fair play."
" We played a good game - good passing, good movement, not yet sharpness but you could see some movements we have worked on and some dynamic we need. If we play a pre-season firendly in the States and Club America is the opposition, I will be very happy with that."
"Malouda did well. In the last period of the game I played him in an inside position to play the kid Sinclair wide on the left and he also showed that he has understanding of that position."
"We played with four wingers, two in each half and we also played with Shaun Wright-Phillips inside. Every time he plays inside with us, he plays very, very well because he makes winger's runs but instead of in wide positions, in central positions. That gives us something else in the game."
" When a team has so many good wingers and they produce, and we don't have injuries, we have to play with them."
Speaking about Ben-Haim, Jose said, "We played him with caution but he did well, no mistakes and a good enough understanding with John. Jack Cork played left-back at the start because Bridge will be out for a long time and we are without Ashley Cole for a few more weeks. Ben-Haim is my first option for left-back and I want to give him some games there in the next few weeks. He is a player I can trust."
"We were able to play with two teams today and that was without Ballack, Bridge, Ashley Cole, Mikel, Ferreira and Pizarro. With all those players we will have a very strong squad."
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech, Johnson, Ben Haim, Terry, Cork, Makelele, Sidwell, Lampard, J Cole, Shevchenko, Robben
Second-half (4-3-3): Cudicini, Johnson (Sinclair 76), Carvalho, Terry, Hutchinson, Essien, Diarra, Wright-Phillips, Malouda, Drogba, Kalou.
Goals: Malouda 74, Terry 84
Club America (4-3-3): Navarrete, O Rojas, R Rojas, Davino, Rodriquez, Villa, Arguello, Mosqueda, Insua, Fernandez, Mendoza
Second-half (4-2-3-1) Navarrete, O Rojas (Tena 64), Cervantes, Inigo, Zavala, Sanchez, JC Mosqueda, Infante, JJ Mosqueda, Mendoza (Martinez 69), Marquez
Goal: JC Mosqueda 3
Booked: JC Mosqueda, JJ Mosqueda