Petr Cech has been assessing our impressive start to the new season and emphasised the importance of starting strongly.
Saturday’s victory over Newcastle United was our third straight win in less than a week, and with no league fixture now for three weeks due to our involvement in the UEFA Super Cup and an international break, the goalkeeper, who captained the side against Alan Pardew’s men, feels we are in an ideal position.
‘We’ve had the advantage of playing three games whereas most other teams have only played two,’ said Cech. ‘To be sitting on the top of the league with the Super Cup coming up, we can relax, and when we play next in the Premier League we will be in a good position. That was the target and we managed to fulfil it.
‘It’s always better if you have a base and build on it. If you make mistakes from the start, you have to keep chasing teams and then you’re dependant on other results. You are controlling your own destiny when you pick up three points every time.’
Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres, who both scored, were a constant threat throughout, and their link-up play, particularly given the fact they have only played together on a handful of occasions, was a joy to watch.
Nobody could have foreseen the magnitude of Hazard’s impact so early in the campaign, the young Belgian with one goal and five assists to his name already, and Cech has been as impressed as anybody.
‘The French league is a tough league, so it shows what a good player he is, and he’s still only 21-years-old,’ explained Cech.
‘It’s great to have players like him coming into the club. It’s tough to lose a player like Didier [Drogba], but Fernando is scoring goals again, and the likes of [Juan] Mata, Hazard and Lamps [Frank Lampard] when he’s been playing, have found a quick understanding in the midfield and it’s great to see.
‘He can make a difference on his own, and that’s what sometimes helps when you have a tight game. He takes people on and creates situations where other players can take advantage. It’s very helpful when you have tough games.’
Torres, meanwhile, appears revitalised after ending last season well and walking away with the Golden Boot at the European Championships.
His expertly-taken strike against Alan Pardew’s side was his third goal in four games – including the Community Shield against Manchester City – and with Drogba now departed, and the Spaniard first-choice striker at the club, Cech believes he is flourishing.
‘If you come to a team and not everything starts well, as it happened with him, then suddenly towards the end of the season you start playing well, scoring a few goals and win the Golden Boot with the national team at the Euros, obviously it’s a completely different story to the one when he first joined the club and you can notice the difference,’ he said.
‘He was always running and creating chances but at times he was unlucky not to score, now they are hitting the back of the net which is great.
‘You can see he’s enjoying the game, enjoying himself, he has the confidence, and if you have three goals in four games, as a striker, that’s what’s important.’
Such a solid start to the campaign, according to the Blues goalkeeper, is testament to the collective attitude and desire of the whole squad.
‘You can see we have the advantage of great defenders. You can see why Gary [Cahill] is such a good defender and why he plays for the national team, that’s why we bought him from Bolton,’ said Cech.
‘You can never play every game, but it’s great to see if JT [John Terry] is rested the other two guys can come in and do their job.
‘It comes down to the players we have, everything is gelling together, the new players are settling well with a good understanding. Ashley [Cole] and Ryan [Bertrand] on the left-hand side were brilliant on Saturday because they can swap places, so that’s a big help. We’ve been doing well with the run of results and we want to build on it.’