Cech: No need for change
Petr Cech insists Chelsea should not abandon the tactics that have brought them so much success just because Didier Drogba has left for China.
- Related Content
The Blues lost on Sunday in their first showpiece occasion since the man who did more than anyone to win that coveted Champions League trophy opted for a lucrative finale to his career in the Far East.
Yet, until Branislav Ivanovic collected the red card he has now discovered will not lead to him missing Chelsea's opening three games feared, there were plenty of reasons for optimism in the 3-2 defeat to Manchester City.
Not least of these was the goalscoring contribution of Fernando Torres.
The Spain star appeared to be a player revived, producing a display as convincing as any since his eye-watering £50million switch from Liverpool in 2010.
With Eden Hazard settling into life at Stamford Bridge, one rather ludicrous attempted back-heel excepted, and Brazilian Olympic star Oscar soon to make his mark, it does appear an era of change is beginning.
Cech does not feel that is entirely the case.
And the Czech Republic star is adamant the approach that has served Chelsea so well should not be dismissed without a thought.
"We will play a slightly different way but we still want to keep our way of playing which has been very successful over the last eight years," he said.
"You know you have to change players because they are ageing and it is sad to see players leave the club, especially someone like Didier who was a legend here.
"But that's the way it is.
"We have one or two new players with a lot of hunger and they are about to show they want to win things with us as well."
Chelsea have been installed as third favourites for this season's Premier League and most likely to break the Manchester duopoly.
This tends to ignore form that was patchy at best and abysmal at times last season as Andre Villa Boas attempted to impose new ideas before Roberto di Matteo settled a badly listing ship.
Even then the Blues only finished sixth. It took that staggering Champions League triumph to get them into this season's competition.
For most sides, challenging for a title from that position would be impossible.
Since Roman Abramovich began his revolution, normal is not a word associated with Chelsea.
"We are a changing team but still the targets are the same - we want to win as many trophies as possible," said Cech. If you don't win you have to be competitive.
"We want to win the Premier League for sure.
"This (top four) is the aim at the start. But we are ready for the challenge and it's only up to us how we are going to cope with it."
Amongst the spin-offs that come from that Champions League triumph is a tilt at becoming the first team to retain it.
"Every champion had the same target but nobody has ever defended the Champions League," said Cech.
"It is an exciting challenge, having been such a fantastic way to finish last season.
"The most important thing is it gave us the stature to be in it again.
"You can't imagine a club the size of Chelsea not being involved in the Champions League."
Chelsea's European exploits may end up being the only place skipper John Terry gets any respite from the away-day boo boys.
Terry was jeered by Manchester City's fans at Villa Park as a legacy of his recent court case, and it is easy to imagine the reception being much worse at Old Trafford and Loftus Road.
Not that Cech believes it will have any effect on his long-time team-mate.
"He is a strong player," said Cech. "He knows that this will go on every time he plays away from home.
"It won't affect him. All I need is for to be JT and to play well.
"If he does that everybody will be happy."