EPL Preview: New-look Chelsea
EPL Preview: New-look Chelsea
If you thought winning the Champions League was enough for Roman Abramovich, then you have no idea what kind of appetite the Russian oligarch has. He wants to win trophies by playing a beautiful game, call it sexy football. Yes, it was a defensive nous that propelled Chelsea to the apex of European supremacy last season, but the Blues finished sixth on the premiership grid, a jolt that led to the signing of Brazilian wonder kid, Oscar, playmaker Eden Hazard and winger Marko Marin.
The Pensioners usurped Man City in the English money spinning league with over £64million spent on the trio. And the oil magnate is not yet done. He wants more, with the likes of Hulk and Edinson Cavani rumored to be high on the purchase list.
Even with former-player-turned-coach Roberto Di Matteo having won a cup double last season, with the FA Cup in the trophy cabinet as well, it’s an open secret that the purchases being made, the transformation being done from a defensive-minded side to an attacking one, are presents to woo Josep Guardiola i Sala from his self imposed hiatus. It may sound unfair to the Italian Di Matteo, but surely, even he knows he’s just warming up for the next ‘Special One’.
With focus being on bringing in attacking players, the goals’ column must be what needs to be resolved, more so with the departure of club hero Didier Drogba. Last season, the Pensioners scored 65 goals in the league, a far cry from the 93 and 89 goals plundered by the Manchester powerhouses of City and United, respectively. And if the Stamford Bridge outfit has to reclaim the premiership title it last won in 2009/2010, finishing must be of utmost priority.
Whatever formation is played, all eyes will be on Fernando Torres, as his hefty price tag of £50million gives him undue pressure to perform. El Nino has got truckloads of talent, and he’ll be expecting the new look attacking lineup to supply him with the required dosage. It’s not difficult to see how that works out, with the likes of Oscar, Hazard, Juan Mata, Frank Lampard, Ramires, Daniel Sturridge or Marin, amongst others, laying the groundwork.
Defensive-wise, Petr Cech still stands tall. John Terry has been cleared off his racism charges, whereas David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanovic will be ready to clear any danger incoming. There’s excitement passing through all corners of many Chelsea fans, what with a new project, akin to Jose Mourinho’s in yesteryears. But it may be too soon for the new boys to acclimatize to the rigors of the premiership and to lead the team to their fourth premiership title.
Definitely Chelsea will serve up much more than the North London duo, but to expect the Pensioners to displace the Twin Towers of Manchester from the apex is just blind faith. Nevertheless, there should be more cup honors from the Blues.
Prediction: Position 3