This week’s topic of conversation is the underlying reasons to why Chelsea have been so successful this season. Here are my (@FPLAvids) views on their recent success:
1. Summer Window Dealings:
For me, Chelsea operated in the perfect way. Anybody who was deemed surplus to requirements was quickly moved on. This included all 4 ‘big’ strikers contracted in the previous season. Torres went to Milan, Ba to Beskitas while Romelu Lukaku & Eto’o moved to Everton. They also upgraded in this area snapping up Diego Costa, Loic Remy & Drogba. The latter was deemed to be a sentimental signing but at the time it would never have been thinkable that he would play such an important role towards the end of the season when Chelsea were troubled with injuries in that area on the field. Fabregas was also a clever buy, storming out of the blocks looking like he’d never been away from the Premier League, he proved a vital part in Chelsea’s sensational 14 game unbeaten run in the PL at the beginning of the season. It wasn’t just the signings that played an important part in the window. Those returning from loan; Courtois and Kurt Zouma proved to be crucial. Thibaut earned the ‘Number 1’ goalkeeper role despite Cech being ever-present for a decade. Zouma on the other hand provided depth in the squad and pushed Gary Cahill for a starting position when his form dipped.
2. Games against rivals:
During games against the top teams Mourinho’s tactics are somewhat unorthodox. Personally, I like to call it effective. Since his return to England, Mourinho is unbeaten against the top 5 in the country. Stats don’t lie.
3. Consistency & Ability to Adapt.
Chelsea have only lost 3 games in all competitions. Newcastle, Tottenham & Bradford. The lowest in Europe’s top five leagues. Since the latest league defeat to Spurs on NYD, Chelsea have changed their style on play.
In the first half of the season Chelsea played with flair averaging around 3 goals a game. However, as a subsequent consequence the clean sheets weren’t as dominant as the previous season. With this blistering pace Chelsea came out of the blocks with they stormed into a 5 point lead over title rivals City. After around 15 games, clubs started to realise how to frustrate Chelsea. Title hopes over? As if. This only spurred the Blues on. They realised a more workman-like performance and outlook was needed.
This style has recently come under some media attention. Upon studying this, it’s clear to see rivals call it boring but like it or hate it, it wins titles.
A Chelsea fan or not you have to admire José Mourinho. He’s a tactical mastermind. Unlike his ‘boring’ style of playing his charisma draws everybody in and fills the room with fear of his team’s ability.
So, enough from me, what do other fantasy football twitter handles think?
Mr FPL Fly – @FPL_Fly
Chelsea won the title after a 0-0 draw against Norwich on 4 May 2014. Yeah, you heard me right. That was the final home game of last season. Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry saluted the crowd figuring they would all be moving on.
Mourinho saw to it that Terry would be given a new deal, and with it he assured the Premier League trophy would return to Stamford Bridge. Some will hail the signings of 19 goal Costa and the staggering 18 assists from Fàbregas. Others will wax lyrical about the consistency of Hazard.
But for me, it is the example set by the focal point, John Terry. An ever present, his leadership is omnipresent. You might not like him, you might despise him for mistakes he has made in his past, but you can’t imagine Chelsea would be Champions without him.
FantasyFootyEagles – @FantasyEagles
Matty Kaye – @EmKWhy
Summarising Chelsea’s title in 100 words is enormously generous as only two are needed, ‘Jose’ and ‘Terry’. The management of this team has been tactically perfect this year, being expressive and explosive in the first half, then dominant yet destroying in the second. Some used words such as ‘Boring’ and ‘Monotonous’ yet conversely Chelsea got the job done without leaving 3rd gear! Secondly, Terry aged 34, has started every game having never being subbed. How he escaped the Player of the Year is beyond madness! A rock in their guard and easily this year’s best centre back. My only criticism is in their Champions League failures, something Jose and Terry know too well, and will no doubt be eager to remediate next year.
FF247 – @FantasyFooty247
We feel that there are a number of factors that contributed to Chelsea winning the league this season –
They would have won it last season only for the lack of a top striker. They rectified this glaring error and went out and bought one of the best in the business in Diego Costa and he hit the ground running. He’s been absent through various injury and disciplinary issues for parts of the campaign but did enough when he was available to fill this missing link from last season and grab 19 valuable goals for the cause. He’d be approaching 30 by now if he’d played all the games.
Just to be sure Costa wouldn’t be lacking in chances they also went and bought an assist machine! Adding Cesc Fabregas to any team in the country would only make them stronger and his experience, calmness and class has shone through. His 18 assists have helped too!
Their defence has been immaculate conceding just 27 goals all season – the best in the league. Jose has built their rock around John Terry once more and their captain has arguably been as valuable to them as the player of the season Eden Hazard.
All of the above elements combined to ensure that whoever finished above Chelsea this season would be champions but in truth nobody else really looked like having either the fight or the ability to do so.
The final piece was of course Jose himself. He wins. He always wins and sometimes he doesn’t care how, as has been evidenced in the last few weeks, but it’s that ruthless streak that sets him and now Chelsea apart.
BonusFPL – @BonusFPL
Well what can you say? A shining light in a below standard season or a brilliant team masterminded by a genius of a manager? Whatever you think of their style Chelsea have been a cut above the rest this year and are deserved champions. I’ve seen 2 sides to them this year, one of them during a 6-3 win at Everton when it looked like their mentality was ‘ you can score but we’ll score more’. This has been shown a few times and they’ve been great to watch but on the other hand they’ve been disciplined and tough to beat, which was most clear at the Emirates when Chelsea put on a defensive master class to earn a valuable point. To sum it up it has been the tactical versatility of Mourinho to mix style and substance together so well, but most importantly it’s the way the hugely talented squad have performed all season, meaning they should take most of the credit for this success.
FPL Updates – @FPLUpdates
The guys have summed it up here pretty nicely but we see 4 main components that spelt success for Chelsea this season, with 3 games to go. Firstly, the amount of players used all season to date is 22, meaning a solid spine for the team. The starting XI wrote itself most weeks and with the lowest amount of players selected out of all the teams in the league, you can understand why. The second point to mention here is that 15 games ago, Chelsea and City were level on points. In those 15 games, City have lost to Palace, United, Burnley, Liverpool and Arsenal, but have also drawn with Hull, Chelsea and Everton. This means that City have picked up maximum points in less than half of their last 15 fixtures which has proved crucial. The third thing to mention is the players, but more specifically Terry and Hazard. Terry has been the rock at the back, playing every minute of every game – which is 3150 minutes to be precise. Although Chelsea have had a lot of big performers this season, Hazard has come out on top, his most impressive stat being that he is the most fouled player in the league, drawing in 105 fouls. The man just doesn’t lose the ball and earns his team free-kicks at vital points, something that may go unnoticed to most. Finally, Mourinho. You’d hate to be against him but love him if you’re with him. He’s a serial winner and knows how to do it at key times and in big games.