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Premier League Season Preview: Chelsea

09 July 2014, 07:58

Jose Mourinho’s return to Chelsea at the beginning of last season was something of a ‘second coming’ for the Chelsea faithful (so to speak), and as a result they spent much of the season as favourites to lift the league title once more.

Where, for a time at least, Rafael Benitez was able to extract a lot more from Fernando Torres than most of his predecessors, Benitez was inevitably replaced by The Special One. As hopes were harbored of Mourinho accomplishing the same, if not more with Torres, Chelsea’s front man failed dismally to replicate his best form, last seen in a Liverpool shirt.

Andre Schurrle, sharing striking duties with Torres, was hardly an improvement, but the goals came and results still went the way of The Blues thanks to an impressive midfield offensive. Eden Hazard finished the season as Chelsea’s top goal scorer with 14 goals, and in fact 42 goals were created and scored between the midfield and defense, while only 27 goals were scored by The Blue’s four front men.

The addition of a seasoned Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba made little improvement to Chelsea’s strike force, but it mattered little as The Blues still managed to finish the Premier League season in third.

Third place for most teams would have been a notable achievement, but I suspect that in the collective mind of Chelsea football club and their supporters, third place perhaps left a rather bitter aftertaste, especially when they had come so close to claiming second spot and spent a number of weeks at the league’s summit. However, to achieve what they did without the services of a twenty-goal-a-season striker speaks volumes of Mourinho’s prowess as a manager.

In the bigger games last season, Chelsea relied heavily on their defense and counter-attacking ability to get desired results – most notably against Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United. This coming season though, things are expected to change.

So far in this transfer window, Chelsea have already brought in Spanish duo Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas  for a combined figure in excess of £60million, with more possibly on the way in the form of French star Paul Pogba and Bayern Munich’s highly rated midfielder Toni Kroos – though rumour has it, Kroos would prefer a move to Real Madrid.

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