Will the European champions be the champions of England?
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 22:10
Ever since the beginning of the Roman Abramovich era at Chelsea, expectations have always been sky high. Every manager that failed to win a trophy has been treated with the pink slip.
If this wasn’t enough, being the defending European Champions must also raise the bar. Even after attaining the trophy that has always evaded him, the Champions League, Abramovich is still hungry for more success. By retaining manager Roberto Di Matteo, Abramovich has shown great faith in him that he can replicate the success of last year.
Chelsea has started the season on a very bright note, topping the table after six games, four points ahead of their nearest rivals. But only time will tell if they can keep this up.
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The exit of striker Didier Drogba to a Chinese League will definitely leave a big question mark as to where the goals will come from. But Fernando Torres is a more than able replacement for Drogba and is showing signs of returning to his top form that made Abramovich buy him from Liverpool for 50 million pounds.
The addition of playmakers – Eden Hazard and Oscar, purchased at record prices from their clubs is a sign of intent that Chelsea not just want to win a trophy, but do it in some style. Also, the purchase of Marko Marin and Victor Moses, two wingers just goes to show the depth of attacking talent that Chelsea now possess. The latter duo can play on the wing and this offers a new dimension to the Chelsea attack.
Chelsea will definitely adopt a 4-2-3-1 formation. Fernando Torres is set to lead the attack with the trio of Juan Mata, Hazard and Oscar set to play behind the striker. John Obi Mikel and Ramires/Frank Lampard will play in the holding midfielders’ role.
If there is an Achilles heel for Chelsea, then it is the lack of a second striker. If Torres goes through a rough patch or gets injured, then only Daniel Sturridge is the available alternative.
The Chelsea defence also looks a bit untidy. David Luiz must learn to curb his attacking instincts and if he ventures too much forward, then the team can be caught on the counter attack. Also, Branislav Ivanovic is not the best right back for Chelsea with his preferred position being a Central defender. Cesar Azpilicueta is the only other alternative, but is really an unproven talent. One or two injuries to key people may cause some trouble for the Blues.
Chelsea definitely looks set to finish in the top-4 of the table. Watch out for the trinity of Mata, Hazard and Oscar. If they gel together, then the combination is sure to send some chills down every Premier League defence. We can definitely expect a lot of goals from Chelsea and some great passing football. The only worry is that if Roberto Di Matteo has the ability to make Chelsea go the distance. The blue side of London has never been brighter!!