CHELSEA ARE TITLE FAVOURITES - HERE'S THE REASONS WHY!
Much was made of Jose Mourinho's comments that Chelsea were a "little horse" last season and that this coming season we WOU...
Much was made of Jose Mourinho's comments that Chelsea were a "little horse" last season and that this coming season we WOULD be stronger, title challengers. You only have to look at Chelsea now to see he was 100% right. Chelsea in my opinion, are worthy title favourites for the coming season!
Last seasons issues.
If you think back to last season and the games where Chelsea threw a title challenge away and you think back to what we were lacking last season.
We needed a striker up front who could put the ball in the back of the net, someone different to the options we had at the time as we could all see they were struggling for one reason or another. Whether that was due to a lack of confidence, a lack of service of because of our playing style has been debated in pubs and on websites such as these ever since.
After the sale of Juan Mata, many Chelsea fans complained that we lacked someone to open the door, someone to create something from nothing with that killer pass or final ball to unlock a defence. We needed someone in the heart of our midfield that could pop passes about the pitch and open up possession to make the pitch wider. In those tight games it's important that you do that to try and find space in between the lines.
Most importantly of all in my book, Chelsea lacked an alternative option to change the focus of possession and our style of play. How many times did we sit and watch sides come up against us, park the bus with everyone behind the ball and make life difficult? In doing that, how many times we struggle?
Chelsea needed someone to come on and become the focal point up front, someone to either hold the ball up and bring others into play from deep, someone to be a physical presence and dominate defenders. We simply never had that.
A time for change.
Jose Mourinho obviously saw these areas and identified what he wanted and who he felt he could sacrifice from that playing squad. We have seen who has left the club since that decision was made and most importantly of all, who has come into the club and as I stated yesterday, Chelsea transfer business in the year 2014 has been superb!
Diego Costa has come in up front to bolster our attacking options. His movement is good, he is a presence up front, he can put the ball in the back of the net and in addition, he isn't scared of going up against defenders in a battle!
In midfield Cesc Fabregas has come in and has given us the missing link we have needed since the departure of Juan Mata. In his first appearance in a Chelsea shirt he demonstrated a range of passing that is something we have been crying out for. His understanding at this early stage with Diego Costa is already something that excites me for the season ahead!
Finally, Didier Drogba has made an emotional return to Stamford Bridge for the coming season and has given us that alternative option up front that we have missed ever since he left the club two seasons ago.
Some people will question his signing and will wonder if he can still prove to be valuable to Mourinho in the Premier League. I personally believe he still can produce performances that we need at critical times to change games for us. It's great to see him back!
Strength in depth.
These three players in addition to Kurt Zouma, Filipe Luis and Thibaut Courtois, have filled the gaps that had been there for all to see week in, week out at Chelsea.
You add those six to the playing squad that remains at the club and we can only be full of confidence for the season ahead with the likes of Lukaku, Hazard, Oscar, Ramires, Willian, Schurrle, Moses and Mikel all due to link up with the squad for pre season and we just look so, so strong.
Thibaut Courtois provides Petr Cech with real competition for his place in the side for the first time in years and it can only be a positive for our football club. Both should hopefully push each other to perform at their very best with Mark Schwarzer once again providing cover if needed.
John Terry and Gary Cahill will again form the bedrock of our defence with Zouma and Ivanovic as options in that position. Cesar Azpilicueta will battle with Ivanovic for the regular start down the right hand side, with the Spaniard again providing Jose with an option at left back up against new signing Filipe Luis.
Marco Van Ginkel has returned to action from the injury that kept him out for the most part of last season and he looks hungry. Giving Jose the option to play deep or pushing forward, MVG could play a big part this term.
Oriol Romeu, fresh from signing a new contract will feature this season and provides another option in the deeper holding role next to Nemanja Matic in those important big games.
Oscar and Ramires provide Jose with two options to play alongside Cesc Fabregas if we decide to adopt a 4-3-3 and both also give Mourinho an option out wide.
Once again, the future of Mikel at Chelsea is being discussed with reports that Chelsea are willing to sell. With Romeu's new deal, you would have to imagine it looks like his time at the club is almost over.
Eden Hazard, Willian, Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah provide natural width to the options Mourinho has, whether once again that is in the advanced 4-2-3-1 formation or 4-3-3.
Marko Marin and Victor Moses have returned to the club but both look like leaving the club as quickly as possible on loan deals or permanent moves.
Fernando Torres and Romelu Lukaku both remain at the club but both have question marks over their future before the window closes next month. The arrivals of Didier Drogba and Diego Costa has given us a better balance up front compared to last season.
Could we see Torres leave and return to Spain meaning that Lukaku will get a chance here? Or could we see Lukaku leave the club on a permanent deal and Fernando Torres given a chance once again?
Jose Mourinho spoke a couple of days ago and said:
‘From my perspective as Chelsea manager, I say “we want to be champions, we’re ready to be champions, and we’re not looking at other teams”. I have the squad I want and the right profile of squad to attack the title. The situation is dangerous for everybody. But I start the season saying we want to be champions.’
Jose in my view, has every reason to be confident ahead of the new season. You look through our squad in every single position, with the cover we have compared to options our rivals have at the moment, and have to believe we are stronger than anyone else.
You look at the Chelsea squad now and have to think that we are favourites and it's down to the players to deliver the Premier League title this season.
Can they do it? I hope so!
What do you think? Are we right to feel that we are title favourites?