Jose Singing The Blues? Chelsea Preview
2013/2104 was a strange old season for the Stamford Bridge club.
The return of Jose Mourinho was heralded as the prodigal son coming home and a Premier League title was supposed to follow. Despite going oh-so-close, it all didn’t go quite according to plan as Jose went a season trophy less for only the second time in his career.
Much is expected of ‘the Special One’ for 2014/2015, though.
If you thought the Blues’ squad couldn’t get any stronger, think again. Jose Mourinho, and his predecessors, have put together a fearsome group over the last few years and at 15/8 favourites, we’re also holding them in high regard.
At various points last season, Chelsea looked like they held an iron grip on the title only to let it slip at crucial moments: Sunderland at home, the straw that broke Jose’s back.
One of the main reasons for last season’s failure was the lack of a consistent goalscorer. Samuel Eto’o weighed in with a handful of goals throughout but to win a title, any side needs a 20-goal marksman in their side. Once bitten, twice shy; Jose Mourinho is no fool and looks to have already sorted out that particular problem.
There are very few weaknesses in Chelsea’s squad right now and Jose Mourinho will be more than happy to head into the new season with what he has got.
One of the big winners from this summer’s transfer window has got to be Chelsea. As mentioned above, the one thing they lacked last season was a consistent goal scorer.
The season was barely over when Atletico Madrid’s hit man, Diego Costa, was snatched up for a relatively reasonable £32 million.
Many will be sceptical of the Brazilian-born Spanish striker but Costa is the type of player that can fit seamlessly into any side due to his entrepreneurial-like style. A lot of his goals are fashioned from his own tireless work and his predatory finishing will complement the numerous chances Chelsea create every game.
Frank Lampard’s exit was the end of a fantastic era for Chelsea but as one star departs, another arrives. As midfield replacements go, they don’t get much better than Cesc Fabregas. A guaranteed source of goals – whether making them or scoring them – the Spaniard’s return from Barcelona is a major coup for Jose Mourinho.
Ashley Cole’s replacement in Felipe Luis is another canny move. The former Atleti left back is as consistent a defender as you can bring in. Whether it’s covering his centre halves or raiding up the left wing, the Brazilian is a formidable presence in that back-line.
Whether Mourinho chooses to add to his ranks between now and September 1st is anyone’s guess but if that is close of business, he can relax – his squad is nigh-on-complete.
Make no mistake about it, Chelsea will challenge right to the bitter end for this season’s Championship. Unlike last year, they do now have a consistent source of goals and that could see the title race tilt in their favour.
I find it hard to see Chelsea outside the top two spots so a top four spot is obviously guaranteed but at 15/8 favourites, I don’t see much value there in a highly competitive top seven.
Personally speaking, even with all the right tools now at his disposal, I think Jose Mourinho and Chelsea will just fall short again – mostly due to factors outside of their control. Second place beckons for the Blues.