Its only a few weeks into the 2015/16 Premier League season but many pundits are already saying that Chelsea will not be able to retain the title. People should not be so quick to make such bold judgements. It hasn’t been the best of starts for the reigning champions but Chelsea fans know that their manager and team have what it takes to bounce back from this slow start and prove the doubters wrong. Here is a look at why Chelsea will win the Premier League again this season.
The Special One
Chelsea have one of the best managers of all time at the helm. Some statistics surrounding Jose Mourinho will come as great comfort to the fans. Over his managerial career he now averages a trophy every 34 matches. When Mourinho has won the league with a team, he usually retains the title the following year. The only time this hasn’t happened was with Real Madrid in 2012/13 when they finished second. The teams he successfully won back-to-back league titles with were Porto (2002/03 & 2003/04), Chelsea (2004/05 & 2005/6), and Inter Milan (2008/09 & 2009/10). At the time of writing, 32red are giving odds of 7/2 on Mourinho producing this again. When The Special One finds the winning formula within a team, it is very hard to knock that team of its perch.
When Mourinho made his return to Chelsea in 2013, many thought that he would instantly take the Premier League by storm again, but even he admitted that he needed some time to build his team. They finished third that season, and in the following transfer window the manager addressed the key areas in which the team were weak. The two main signings were Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, who instantly made up where the team were lacking and were pivotal in the race for the title. After winning the league so emphatically, it didn’t seem like the team really needed any big name reinforcements. However, after the poor start to the new campaign, it quickly became apparent that some signings would have to be made.
With concern over the fitness of Oscar, and with Costas hamstring issues, Chelsea needed back up in their attack. The acquisition of Pedro (see below) looks to be a very shrewd move indeed, as he made his transition to the Premier League seamlessly. In the win against West Bromwich Albion, Pedro provided extra pace to the attack, and chipped in with a goal and an assist as well. The former Barcelona talisman can play in any of the attacking midfield positions and will be very useful indeed.
Chelsea havent been so solid defensively so far this season, and this is an area that needs refreshing. The transfer saga of Everton centre-back John Stones dragged on and the likes of 10bet at one stage had him at 1/11 to join Chelsea before the window closed. However, Everton held firm. Chelsea instead turned their attention to bringing in Michael Hector from Reading and Papy Djilobodji from Nantes. These arrivals and the signing of left-back Abdul Rahman Baba will help freshen up a back line that remained very much unchanged throughout last season. It could do the current defenders some good to have some competition for places. As it stands, nobody is a definite starter in the back four.
Up to the end of December, Chelsea have a very favourable run of fixtures. They only meet one of last seasons top four teams (Arsenal) until they play Manchester United on 28th December. This is the perfect opportunity to put the shaky start behind them and gain some serious momentum. If they were to put together an unbeaten run until Christmas, things could look a lot differently indeed. 32red and others have Manchester City as Chelseas biggest rivals for the title, and they have a slightly tougher run of games up to the New Year. This should allow the reigning champions to gain up some lost ground on them.
Without any real competition, last season was just too easy for Chelsea, and this had allowed them to relax. It is fair to say that this campaign wont be so much of a walk in the Park for Mourinho’s men, but there is no reason that they cant turn things around and retain the title. They are perfectly capable of doing it.