Was our trip to Japan a blessing in disguise?
As we all know, our trip to the Club World Cup in Japan turned out to be a nightmare after being ...
As we all know, our trip to the Club World Cup in Japan turned out to be a nightmare after being beaten in the final. A 12,000 mile round trip that could have taken it's toll on our players and all for nothing so it seemed.
However, there has been one major positive about the trip for Rafa Benitez and that has been time to work with the players and three wins in three, seven out of eight in all competitions has sparked a revival at Chelsea and has put us right back in the hunt for trophies this season.
The Community Shield, The Super Cup, The Champions League and the Club World Cup have all come and gone this season but with the League Cup Semi Final ahead of us, the Europa League, FA Cup and Premier League all to fight for, we head into the new year with a sense of optimism.
So what of the trip to Japan? Just how important has it turned out to be in our season?
Think about it, when Rafa took over, he had a game to prepare for every three days. This meant a day to recover after a game, then just one session or maybe two to prepare for the next game and it wasn't ideal.
In Japan, the whole squad (apart from JT and Oriol Romeu who missed out with injuries) travelled and spent almost a week together. Besides the two games, Rafa was able to conduct three or four training sessions to finally implement his ideas to the players and for them as a collective to work together.
Despite our feelings towards Benitez, you cannot deny his strength as a manager to analyse the opposition, find their weakness and exploit it through instructions to his players and at the moment, it seems to be working.
Rafa and the players just need to continue what they have started here and focus on one game at a time starting with QPR at home tomorrow. Forget talk of the title and let's just keep this run going and see where it takes us at the end of March, beginning of April and then we can see if we are genuine contenders after all.
Although it's been easy to focus on the negative about Japan, I have a feeling that it could have been a blessing in disguise for our football club and a pivotal point in our season that will hopefully lead to success.
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Carefree & KTBFFH!