Lost a bit in the fire and brimstone of Wednesday was Chelsea's friendly against Vitesse, which saw the Blues record a fairly comfortable 3-1 victory. One man on whom it was definitely not lost however is Jose Mourinho.
The Chelsea boss spoke highly of several individual performances (especially in the first half), but what stood out most to me was the bit about the high press and the low block.
"The physical [aspect] was difficult for us, because we want to do what we trained and we trained to high press this kind of team that builds from the back. But with big distances between their defenders, it's difficult. It needs a lot of running and effort [...] it was hard to cover these distances but we did very well in the first half..."
"In the second half, I knew that the quality of our game would go down because of the physical condition. But we managed to defend in a compact way and to do something that last season was difficult for us to do. When we were not having the ball and playing in a low block, it was difficult for us to create. Today, in our worst moment in the second half, Diego makes the movement, he makes an easy goal ... and this is something that we need in our team."
These comments dovetail nicely with the ones about Fàbregas's envisioned role and, unsurprisingly, reveal a plan to fix one of the major weaknesses in the team last season. While there may not be a foolproof solution for the other major weakness, finishing (see the synergy in Costa and Torres missing the same easy chance within seconds of each other), it looks like we have a definite plan for solving the sometimes incredibly frustrating lack of creativity despite the big name, high priced, usually highly creative players in the squad. And one of the key pieces of that plan is Diego Costa's capacity to basically make something happen a la Didier Drogba in his prime.
That may sound fairly obvious, but we haven't had a proper striker who could do that on a consistent basis for several years now, so stating the obvious is more than appropriate in this case (especially on the day that we sell the player who was once our long-term solution to this conundrum).
The full post-match reaction video is below.