Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has vowed to bring in ‘fresh blood’ and put pressure on a squad revelling in the Premier League title.
Oh yes! There was a match. And as it turned out, Blues came from behind to beat Sunderland 3-1 . But this was all about occasion.
Except in the Special One’s case it was also about an eye on next season with the departure of Didier Drogba and Petr Cech about to follow the veteran striker out of Stamford Bridge.
No one knows better than Mourinho how hard Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City intend to breathe down Blue necks come August, and no doubt owner Roman Abramovich’s seemingly bottomless pockets will fund the replacements, as the manager hinted.
“I know our rivals are not going to accept this title and are going to fight to get the title,” Mourinho added.
“It’s a special league and there are three, four or five opponents who are going to try and beat us.
“If you are not better than the previous season you are not doing your job. I have to be better, these players have to be better.
“I am not saying the team has to be better, but maybe some fresh blood to put them a little bit under pressure.”
Drogba was carried from the pitch by all his team-mates after a supporting role that lasted all of 28 minutes.
But the Blues boss knows the only grass he can allow to grow under his feet is the lush stuff on the Stamford Bridge pitch.
“It’s hard for me (to say goodbye) but I have to look forward and I am really happy to build this new team.
“I am thankful because Mr Abramovic brought me back to build a second winning team.”