I am so very sorry, my brothers and sisters of the high-flying, plastic and otherwise-materialed blue flag. I knew I should've gotten that annual flu shot! I passed on it, just like other years, naively believing that by building up my own immunities, I could somehow combat the fevers of transfer season. I thought I could be strong.
I was wrong.
Much like you, I've been struck down with a highly contagious, extremely virulent case of Matic-fever. There is no known cure; I just have to hope it passes. Signs of recovery include visions of large Serbian men, signatures on dotted lines, and improved midfield presence. I'm hopeful of making a full recovery, thanks for asking.
Meanwhile, the world outside our little pandemic bubble hasn't stopped turning. In fact, we've been missing a fantastic two-part interview with Jose Mourinho by Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard. The first part, which Graham tried to get you to pay attention to, told us all about how Mourinho's in it at Chelsea for the long haul. As if that weren't enough, we now get the second part, which turns attentions back to a certain 23-year-old Belgian superstar-in-the-making.
"Everyone knows he is a talented player, that he was that when he arrived here. But now he is trying to go to a different level, we are helping him and he is doing it step by step. Hopefully, the big talent can transform himself into the big player."
Just how big of a talent?
"Eden can become one of the best players in the world. Now he sees his football and profession with different eyes."
"He understood how there is a gap between the talent and the performance and a gap between the occasional performance and the permanent stability at a high level. He now understands how he can fill this gap."
"He trains much better, he concentrates much better. Tactically, he has had a big evolution. He understands how to put his qualities on the surface of the team. He understands the best way to hide his weaknesses."
One of the best in the world! As the man who groomed Cristiano Ronaldo into perhaps the most complete attacking player on the planet - one who has impressed even new coach Carlo Ancelotti with his work ethic - this certainly is high praise. Exciting times!