Watch out Manchester City - Chelsea are after your title!

Having watched what has happened over the last couple of years at Manchester City, for all of us Chelsea fans it takes us back to 2003/2004...

Having watched what has happened over the last couple of years at Manchester City, for all of us Chelsea fans it takes us back to 2003/2004 when Roman Abramovich first took over. As we all know, Roman's revolution has seen Chelsea win everything there is domestically and now at last the Champions League.

As for City, their story has been almost identical to this point. Splashing huge amounts of money initially to build the foundations of their squad, the process has slowed down of late but with still one or two marquee signings. It's very much like Chelsea.

With winning the FA Cup the season before last and now finally the Premier League, City will be looking to maintain their grip on the League and take big strides in the Champions League. With Roberto Mancini being rewarded with a new long term contract and deservedly so in my opinion, there will now be a pressure to reach the latter stages in Europe as well as maintain their "level" domestically and this will be interesting to see.

Whether or not Mancini and his players can now live additional pressure of Europe is another thing just like Chelsea have had to over the past 6 or 7 seasons. What if City fail again in Europe? Will the owners be happy with that? What if they don't win the Premier League? Again, is this something that the owners are now willing to accept after how far they have come in recent seasons? Only now City fans will realise what Chelsea have had to deal with when it comes to expectation.

You know, people have criticised Chelsea for hiring and firing managers in Roman's reign but maybe if the same thing happens to Mancini at some stage, more people will understand just how much our football has changed and has now become purely a results business.

People have criticised Chelsea for the way we had to adapt our way of playing to beat Barcelona and Bayern Munich but answer me this, if City, United or Arsenal were faced with a similar task this season, would you complain if you managed to get the result you were looking for? Like I said, it's all part and parcel of the game and the pressure of results.

So what of Roberto Di Matteo and HIS new Chelsea side and how will he deal with the pressure of the expectation this season?. Well it's good to hear that he isn't willing to sit back and savour the praise for winning a prestigious double last season.

We have made some impressive signings as we look to change our style away from what we have been used to. Di Matteo has been prominent in the signings of Hazard and Marin in particular which is a major move forward for him as manager and for Abramovich. We all heard that previous managers where told to get on with the players Roman signs for them to work with, whether or not that is true is another thing but now with RDM having an actual involvement in the transfer negotiations, it can only be a big step forward.

When asked about his goals for the season, RDM was keen to reaffirm a desire to close the gap on City and said:
"Manchester City have raised the bar. That is our challenge, to make up the 25-point gap in the league.

They are doing what Chelsea did in 2004, in terms of how they have come on to the scene, signed a lot of players and tried to build a foundation. That's the challenge."

Chelsea fans will be pleased to hear it. Like I have said previously about "expectations" maybe people will realise why we had to change the manager when we did. Without question, if you asked Chelsea fans with a sense of realism, while still basking in the fact that we are now European Champions, "What did you make of the league last season?" they will tell you it was a disaster!.

All of us are hoping that we get back on track in the Premier League and challenge for the title once again. This season isn't about closing the gap, it's about getting back ahead of City to where we have been in recent seasons and it isn't going to be easy.

Chelsea have made huge investments already and are rumoured to be making one or two more to form our "Super Six" and to put together a serious title challenge in addition to becoming the first side ever to retain the Champions League.

One thing is for sure, Chelsea have been there and done it and City still have alot to learn coping with the burden of both domestic and European expectations. It will be interesting to see just how City cope because it will be hard for them. Chelsea right now are in better shape purely because of the one thing that money can't buy and that's experience.

So with all that in mind the message from Chelsea this season is loud and clear:

Watch out City, Chelsea are after your title!


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