Chelsea have put their early-season “crisis” behind them and gone on a six-game winning streak. The Blues are unbeaten in their last nine matches in all competitions and Samuel Eto’o believes that they can continue this run to win all four trophies available to them (h/t The Mirror).
We've got a good team and will not sacrifice our chances of winning one competition in preference for another. We're trying to win every competition, and we will get there. We have as much chance as any rival.
Achieving this ambition would see this Chelsea side surpass Manchester United’s treble-winning squad of 1999 by becoming the first team to win the FA Cup, Premier League, Capital One Cup and Champions League in the same season.
The quadruple may seem like an impossible dream, but there are good reasons why Eto’o believes it is attainable.
Roman Abramovich might not have gone on an enormous summer spending spree, but the strength in depth of the Chelsea squad this season is exceptionally high. Juan Mata’s relegation to the bench has been a particular talking point, but his omission is certainly not an attack on his ability.
Mata started 55 games for Chelsea last year and came off the bench to feature in a further 12. Professional athlete or not, 67 games a season is bound to take its toll on you, and it served to highlight how heavily the team relied upon him. Jose Mourinho is working to ensure that the burden of being a match-winner does not fall on one player and that nobody is burnt out by May.
Every member of the first-team squad has featured in at least one game this season, and it is clear how hard they are all working to prove themselves to the manager (per chelseafc.com):
It is a bad feeling because it is not easy for me to leave some players at home, and it is not easy for me to leave some players on the bench, because everybody deserves to play. To have all the choices is a good problem, and to have all the players playing well and very much committed and with the group is fantastic, but to be the man responsible for saying you don't play, or you are on the bench, is at this moment very hard because I feel I am unfair to all of the ones I am not selecting.
The ability to rotate the starting XI without jeopardising the quality of the team is a huge bonus to Chelsea. Competing on all four fronts is certainly a mammoth task, especially as the fixtures begin to pile up with two or three games every week. However, when your second-choice side is able to get a comfortable 2-0 win in the Capital One Cup at the home of the Premier League leaders, it is difficult not to get carried away.
Chelsea are through to the quarter-finals of the League Cup and are top of their group in the Champions League. They are yet to play in the FA Cup, which is still in the first round (Premier League sides enter in the third round).
Prioritising competitions can pay off, as it did for the Blues in the 2012 Champions League, but it can also leave you in a precarious situation. Chelsea have won two European trophies in the past two years and, despite Mourinho’s pleas for patience, it would be almost unthinkable for them to end this season completely empty-handed.
The Special One’s tactical know-how and man-management skills have already produced results that would have been beyond most supporters’ wildest dreams last season. Unless fate intervenes to bestow injuries upon half the squad, there is no reason to doubt Eto’o’s belief that Chelsea can complete the quadruple this season.