The blue contingent of London must be rubbing their hands with glee. The talk of the town is Arsenal's dramatic improvement, along with Manchester United's fall from grace. 8 games gone, Chelsea are nestled comfortably in second, two points behind an Arsenal team who've lost once in the league since March, and probably more importantly, a full 6 points ahead of David Moyes's Man United.
Chelsea look strong, composed, and put me in mind of Steve Ovett, or Seb Coe, two of Britain's finest middle distance runners from a not too distant past. They would sit, watch, wait, and bide their time. Remain within striking distance while attempting to seem innocuous. It's not by accident Jose Mourinho is generally the talking point when Chelsea do crop up in stories at the moment. He is a master of tactics, and psychology. While people pay attention to him, and his antics, Chelsea are quietly consolidating their set-up, going about their business, and actually looking rather effective when you get past the smokescreen and look at the performances.
11 goals in their past 3 games, a chance to go top of their European group tonight, and a fixture list for Arsenal that will have them seriously examined, Chelsea are in an ideal position on all fronts. Their opponents in Germany, FC Schalke 04, sit 5th in the Bundesliga, 9 points adrift of the leaders, but have won 2 from 2 in their Champions League exploits, so while Jose will expect a good result, he may have to fight for it.
This weekend coming, sees Manchester City heading across to Stamford Bridge, in what is likely seen by many as the clash of seeds 1 and 2 for the league title. After that, Chelsea have a run of games which they will view as certainly games not to lose, and probably should win, right up until Dec 23rd where they visit Arsenal at the Emirates.
Win that, and it would come as no surprise to me, to find Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premier League Christmas Tree.