Ladies, gentlemen. Our preseason hath ended - and what a spectacular one it was.
Support at the Bridge on Sunday. Get into it.
You would think the work done, the feats accomplished, over the past five matches was of little consequence, of no value. That is, you would if you paid attention to the circus that is the British media. Or to opposition supporters, of course.
Chelsea hasn't played anyone. No one. Those 21 goals? Irrelevant. One conceded? Bah. Hardly - no, never - are decisive wins over the likes of West Bromwich, Wigan and Blackpool, amongst others, proof of title-winning form. Perhaps. To discredit said wins, however? Along with the way in which said games were won? Blasphemy.
The famous CFC is good. Real damn good. Never has this club, in my time as a supporter, been so impressive. Fluid. Fervent. Ruthless. Galvanized. There are not enough complimentary adjectives to describe what we've seen thus far.
The first half against Blackpool? Indescribable in its brilliance. There was passages when I was genuinely taken aback. A thrilling feeling. More to the point, you know what's currently happening is historic when sets of supporters are unsatisfied with four goals. Just four? Astonishing.
Yet we've done nothing. At all. Well, for those of you who need further proof, it's coming - soon. Our next three league fixtures - away to Manchester City (25 Sept); home to Arsenal (3 Oct); away to Aston Villa (16 Oct) - will provide all of us with those must-have answers.
"Everyone talks about the City game because they do not give us credit for what we have done so far this season. Lots of people see these two games (City, Arsenal) as a test and we are ready. It could be an opportunity for us to prove we are the champions and that we are prepared for any kind of opposition. There'll be a lot of pressure, but we have to use our experience and stay calm. Our only objective is to get points." -Florent Malouda
Well said, Flo. The litmus test has arrived. Good luck to the opposition; you'll need it on our form.
Moving on. Chelsea 4-0 Blackpool.
What you need to know
• We won. Comfortably. Again.
• We could have scored 10. Seriously.
• We failed to get out of second, much less, third gear in the second half. Somewhat disappointing.
• Florent Malouda, with his two on Sunday, has now netted six times in league play already. That's joint-top with Count Berbatov.
• Ian Holloway is refreshing. So, too, is his Blackpool side. Kudos for having a style, and sticking with it regardless of the situation. Remaining in the top flight is probably past them, but I would love to be proved wrong.
First, for some accolades and statistical nuggets.
The chant: “You’re not as good as Arsenal.” Yes, the excellent Blackpool traveling support made it a priority to let us know we had only scored four. That stung, a little. Well done.
The stat: The current Actim Index lists five Chelsea players amongst it top 11. The Mighty One sits atop the heap, at 158, 44 points ahead of teammate Nicolas Anelka. Dominance.
More coming Tuesday. I need sleep.
Super Frank, donning a sweater forged in the darkest depths of Mordor.
Bystander for the first half - sans a massive stop on a rasping drive from Baptiste. Integral during the second, when the foot completely came off the pedal. Some real outstanding work, both in saves and in terms of commanding his area. 8
Continues to impress. Hardly under threat, but that's hardly his fault. Showed much endeavor. 7
This is what we've come to expect. Just rock solid. Excellent flick-on that lead to the opening goal. Also cleared from his line. 7.5
Proper defending from the Brazilian. No frills. 7
It's been said and said on this blog. Yet I say it again: The finest in the world. 8.5 (CO MOTM)
John Obi Mikel
More of the same - and, yes, I'll keep saying it until Mikel gives me reason to think otherwise. It's so simple for the Nigerian. My God, he's still only 23.7.5
Roared. He may be quicker now than before the knee injury. Just amazing. 8.5
Enjoyed what I saw from the Brazilian. Reserved, cool on the ball, despite playing much deeper than he probably would've liked. Just has the look of an excellent player.7
A supreme first half from the enigma. Opened the scoring, helped set up the second and assisted on the third. An air shot, and ludicrously bad touch when 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper highlighted his second half. Yeah, that's Salomon Kalou. 8
On a tear. He really should have recorded a hat trick - at the very least. 8.5 (Readers' MOTM)
The best player in the world on form? Perhaps. A performance of this caliber against the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal in the coming weeks would most certainly put him in the conversation. Audacity mixed with brutality coupled with efficiency. The man's game is evolving - at 32. 8.5
Replaced Alex, and was tested somewhat. Did generally well. 6.5
Offered perhaps a bit more than in midweek playing on the left of midfield. Not much more, however. 6.5
Thought he would get the start ahead of Ramires based on his excellent performance midweek. Wrong. Not much to offer in the few minutes he saw here. N/A