Mid September 2010, Chelsea had just recorded a 4-1 victory over Champions League minnows MSK Zilina. Presumably carried away with excitement following his side’s routine win, Florent Malouda began to daydream that his side were destined to claim the much eluded, and coveted, Champions League trophy, based purely on the location of the final:
“It is a sign for us the Champions League final is being played at Wembley. We have won a lot in recent years and it’s a big objective for the club. Our aim is to be there again in May and to win.”
“We love playing there as we have shown by winning three FA Cups in the last four years. We’ve a good feeling every time we go there and maybe it is our destiny to be there in May. That’s what I wish and every player in the squad is thinking about that.”
A sign? destiny? In reality Chelsea were once again knocked out by their Champions League nemesis Manchester United in the Quarter Finals, leaving poor Florent searching for his Tarot Cards receipt.
A good record at Wembley is one thing, actually getting as far as the final is another. A win in the first group game does not, and never will, grant a bye to the final, regardless of whether it’s at your side’s favoured ground, destiny, signs and so on…
Maybe next time Malouda would do better to adopt the ‘well.. there’s a long way to go and we will just be taking one game at a time‘ approach that Sir Alex Ferguson has perfected over the years, to avoid the proverbial egg on face.
Although, as we have seen earlier in the season, the media training at Chelsea clearly doesn’t cover ‘playing down your team’s chances’ as Didier Drogba demonstrated when talking about his side’s potential to win all four competitions this season.
Stamford Bridge – the home of humility and modesty.