Nailing colours to the mast


Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

The Blues may have lost last weekend’s Community Shield against Arsenal on penalties, but they’re a nailed-on, sure-fire, 100 per cent certainty to lift the Premier League title.

Why? It’s all about colour. When Chelsea won the league in 1955, after half a century of trying, the first home match of the season was Burnley at home.

When they won the Premier League in the 2014/15 season, the first game was away to Burnley.

Last season, Chelsea won the title again… once more starting out with a home win against a team in claret and blue; West Ham.

So it stands to reason that 2017/18, which begins with the visit of Burnley to the Bridge at the weekend, will result in another title.

Not that you’d be feeling so bullish after the fiasco at Wembley, which showed how big a task faces Tony Conte. It’s proving a miserable trophy for Chelsea, who have lost the last four Community Shields.

The Gunners comfortably won the penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw which saw brief, and not wholly dazzling, appearances from new boys Alvaro Morata (who missed his penalty) and Antonio Rudiger.

Thibaut Courtois took one of Chelsea’s penalties, and sent the ball into row Z. Now, the Blues keeper may be a wizard at pens on the training ground, but he’s meant to focus on shot-stopping in a shoot-out.

Victor Moses did well to take the lead, but the Gooners equalised after Pedro’s deserved sending off for an ugly flying stab into the back of Elneny’s ankle.

Michy Batshuayi, playing up front, looked all at sea, and has still not convinced Conte that he has a future in SW6. Willian showed glimmers of his old form, but everyone looks cobwebby.

With John Terry, Nemanja Matic, Kurt Zouma and Nathan Ake gone, Eden Hazard crocked for a month, and Diego Costa about to depart, options are currently limited.

Time for a claret-and-blue boost.

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