Hearing Jose Mourinho declare that the best team lost after defeat to Arsenal in the Community Shield was scant comfort to Blues fans who have become blase about beating the Gunners.

Chelsea’s problem this season was obvious from the moment the teamsheets were distributed at Wembley.

Diego Costa’s hamstring issue disrupted, rather than derailed, last year’s title tilt, with the Blues becoming champions despite a flurry of chopping and changing up front.

With Costa’s forced absence from the squad at Wembley, Loic Remy began last weekend’s match… and failed to make much impact.

Things looked more lively in the second half, with Radamel Falcao on as the front man, but chances went begging and Arsenal held on for a significant psychological victory, with Petr Cech adding stability and confidence to their back line.

If Jose is unable to field a settled attacking force against Swansea, Manchester City, West Brom and Palace in the Blues’ opening fixtures, it is unlikely the Blues can start this campaign at the gallop they began the last.

The manager looked relaxed at Wembley, opting for tracksuit trousers as opposed to Arsene Wenger’s formal suit and tie, but his frustration grew as the game progressed, and the visit of the Swans to the Bridge for the first match at the weekend no longer looks like a formality.

Jose’s tactic is to allow the title-winning team of last season to push on to a new level, building on their togetherness and success without disrupting things by adding needless newcomers.

But if Costa’s fitness becomes an issue, and if Falcao (whose signing remains a bit of a gamble after last season’s loan disappointment at Old Trafford) fails to shine, a rethink may be needed.

Waiting in the wings is Dom Solanke, but as he is still 17 it would be a major leap of faith.

As usual, there is no shortage of drama and intrigue in SW6.