Huddersfield Town’s scouts, enjoying a sunny day out at Wembley, purred with delight during the Community Shield and now relish the prospect of Chelsea’s visit this weekend.
The Blues, playing four at the back, were outplayed by reigning champions Manchester City. The 2-0 scoreline could have hit 5-0 had shots into the side netting been better directed.
Yet new gaffer Morrie Sarri approaches the away game at the John Smith stadium believing there is hope, within the squad, that an as yet undiscovered combination of talents may still emerge.
“I haven’t seen six of my players,” he said after Sunday’s defeat. “So it’s very difficult.”
Everyone is now back from the beach, but all is not sweetness and light at Stamford Bridge, where the task of shuffling a mixed pack of eager youngsters and established stars is going to truly test a man entitled to a free bus pass in five months.
Winning fans will tell you a Community Shield victory promises great things, while losing fans will call it a meaningless bit of frippery that counts for nothing.
Chelsea supporters, who bought the lion’s share of the 72,724 tickets sold, now want proof that a four-defender system will work.
Central pairing David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger were made to look silly as Sergio Aguero opened City’s scoring, and Sarri has to find a way of preventing a repeat of that against Huddersfield.