Time will tell whether Diego Costa will be able to play tomorrow, but either way Jose Mourinho is happy with the other two strikers he has at his disposal.
The manager, speaking at his first Premier League pre-match press conference of the season, was asked about Diego Costa’s availability for our match with Swansea, among other topics including our search for a left-back.
As Mourinho was answering questions before the day’s training session began, he could not confirm whether our topscorer last term would be taking part.
‘I don’t know if Diego will train,’ said Mourinho.
The manager was then queried about whether Diego Costa's potential absence was a problem: ‘I have Loic Remy and Falcao and I will go with them like I have done in other matches; and like I did last season many times with Remy and [Didier] Drogba. Three is the perfect number, and we have three.
‘Obviously Diego’s a top striker and everybody wants top strikers. He’s such an important player for us not just for the goals he scores but also for the football he produces and the mentality he helps create in the team.
‘I think he is going to train with the team [today]. His reaction after that and his decision to be confident to play is another story.
‘There is nobody to blame. I can’t blame the player because he works hard. I completely trust the medical department. I am calm, positive, and I believe he will be with us for many matches.
‘I prefer a top player like him who makes a real difference when he is ready than to have a player who is always available who is just a bit better than myself.’
Eleven weeks after our brilliant 2014/15 campaign ended it all gets underway again tomorrow. Mourinho was asked about the timing of the new season.
‘It could start a week later, especially because the first four fixtures are one per week,’ he responded.
‘During the season we have to play three times a week almost every week, so I don’t think it would be a problem to start one week later and then one of these weeks have two fixtures.
‘It would be better for everybody to have a proper holiday and a proper pre-season. Some did, some didn’t. It’s a choice you have to make but the ideal thing for the players, who have to play so many matches during the season, is to have proper holidays and a proper pre-season.’
During the conference, Mourinho was also asked if the club were any closer to signing a left-back. It is a position he and the board know needs strengthening, he said, and work is continuing in that direction.
Regarding Swansea City, the maiden visitors to SW6 this season, Mourinho doesn’t think our 5-0 win in South Wales back in January will have any bearing on tomorrow’s game, explaining it is the sort of result and performance that only occurs once or twice a year.
Looking at his team’s prospects in the longer term, Mourinho explained why he was reticent to decide now what would be a successful season for Chelsea.
‘You can have a good season and somebody is better than you,’ he pointed out. ‘I don’t consider that a failure. A bad season is if you don’t perform, if you are so bad that in October you are 15 points behind the leaders and you arrive in March with no chance of winning anything.
‘Another thing is to progress in the cups, to compete at the highest level in the championship, and then if somebody is a little bit better - a couple of points or one goal in a knockout game - then I don’t think it’s a failure, but credit to the others.
‘Let’s try to be a good team, and let’s try to be here in March and April speaking to you about the possibility of winning something.’