Chelsea Focus - Premier League pretenders or genuine title contenders?
After the summer clear out at Stamford Bridge Chelsea spent a large amount of money on a new-look squad to challenge on all fronts again. The talisman for the best part of a decade, Didier Drogba, has moved on, along with half a dozen others and Roberto Di Matteo was given what seemed to be a blank cheque to bring some of the world’s best to West London for a much-needed revamp.
Names a plenty were mentioned throughout the transfer window but it was the Belgian international Eden Hazard who turned out to be the biggest coup. He, along with Oscar, another young superstar from Brazil, and Juan Mata, will be sure to strike fear into any defence in the world. Fernando Torres should not be short of service this year and all those components together will make Chelsea a top side, if not this season then in the near future.
The two superpowers from Manchester are the favourites to lift the title come May, though Chelsea have showed in recent weeks just why it is far too early to make assumptions. The Blues have enjoyed on paper an easier start to the season than others so it was interesting to see how they would fair in the bigger games. Chelsea answered all questions with very definitive answers, first going to the Emirates Stadium and outplaying Arsenal for large portions of the game.
Then another trip to North London on Saturday saw a confident display of attacking flair and control, beating Tottenham Hotspur without John Terry to bring an end to a couple weeks of unrest at the club.
Comparisons to Barcelona have been made recently due to the weapons at Di Matteo’s disposal and the style in which they have adopted both on and off the ball. We have yet to see, however, how Chelsea will react to defeat, while the prospect of difficult away fixtures over the winter months will be another test of Chelsea’s mettle.
Arsenal have arguably played the Premier League’s best football for a decade but have very little to show in recent times in the way of silverware. Consistency is the key to winning a title, along with picking up points when they are not deserved and having a group of tactically-flexible players open to new ideas.
These crucial little moments of the season will be answered in time, and as the season unfolds it will be clear whether Chelsea are simply playing above themselves at present or if these wins are early signs of a major force for years to come emerging.
Either is a possibility but being four points clear at the summit as we near the winter months will give supporters reason to be cheerful, and the longer their team stays there the feeling that the Premier League trophy is making its way back to Stamford Bridge will become stronger and stronger. The way Chelsea are playing at the moment, who could blame them?
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