Andre Villas-Boas has had a tough ride in England since moving from Portugese side Porto. Billed as the next "special one" by parts of the media, you can certainly see some of Mourinho's influence in the way AVB handles himself with the press. Managing by far the best team in a rather average league and managing one of the top 4-5 clubs in a much more competetive league are worlds apart, as he has quickly found out.
One thing is for sure, the Chelsea side under AVB thus far certainly hasn't been as competitive as in previous seasons. The strength and organisation appears to have left with Carlo Ancelotti and that sees Chelsea currently sitting in 4th place in the league and already out of the Carling Cup.
Both Arsenal and Liverpool have been to Stamford Bridge so far this season, with Liverpool visiting in the league and Carling Cup. On all 3 occasions Chelsea have walked away as the losers, losing 3-5 to Arsenal, 1-2 and 0-2 to Liverpool. Manchester United have also played Chelsea (at Old Trafford) and beat them 3-1. So as you can see, their record against top teams this term is nothing short of abysmal.
They do still pose a threat though as Daniel Sturridge, a product of City's youth Academy, has scored 7 league goals so far this season and is beginning to look every bit the player we thought he would become at City. That is until his massive ego got in the way of things and wanted to move to a big club for the big money.
Patience, as they say, is a virtue and Daniel had none of it and has missed out on the blue revolution here at City. He's probably not bothered though. I suppose we'll have to make do with Dzeko, Balotelli and Aguero eh? :)
Didier Drogba is slowly getting back into form, and looked great against Valencia, but the player that may cause more trouble than any other though is new boy Juan Mata. Mata was one of the players I'd have loved to see City sign in the summer and he's been showing exactly why Chelsea spent £23.5m on the young Spaniard.
Of course, City have their own Spaniard in David Silva pulling the strings on the pitch. New ways of describing David's ability and influence have quickly dried up as they have already been used several times over. As it happens, Merlin or the magician are the two terms most often used now as some of the things he does on the pitch are simply magical.
City haven't shown any signs of slowing in the race for the title so far as they continue scoring almost at will, although a relative goal drought is almost bound to happen at some point. Hopefully it wont start against Chelsea.
AVB stated that if Chelsea lose this game then they are out of the title race. They are already 10 points adrift and face the possibility of being 13 points behind come the final whistle. He may or may not be right, but saying so in public puts pressure on City to perform and 'take out' one of their rivals, and it should also spur on the players at Chelsea to step up their game. I say 'should' as there is the possibility that some may find that added pressure to get a result a little too much. I suppose we'll find out on Monday night.
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