The doom and gloom merchants were out in full flow after Chelsea’s opening weekend home loss to Burnley, it may have seemed a little premature after just one fixture; but parallels were already been drawn to THE Mourinho season of 2015-2016 before the season opener.
Chelsea’s lack of transfer activity in terms of increasing squad depth, the behind the scenes rumours of player divide with respect to the Diego Costa saga, a late and short pre-season, the community shield loss to Arsenal and the flash sale and loaning out of young talents all raised a feeling of not-so-pleasant déjà vu with Chelsea fans.
But are those doubts genuine?
In Antonio Conte, Chelsea have a manager that has won four titles in league football in his last four years as a league manager.
The big summer signing of Alvaro Morata is technically capable of filling the big boots of Costa. He may not have the experience or the Premier League know-how of Costa, but his goals to minute ratio last year was even better than that of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Bakayoko is young, strong, technically sound with a good passing range and should be able to form a deadly partnership with Kante.
Antonio Rudiger and the returning Christensen should provide good depth and flexibility to the defence whilst Caballero is more than a decent back up goalkeeping option to Thibaut Courtois.
The team more than showed the grit, hunger, passion and togetherness of last year against Spurs, squashing the player divide rumours. In-fact, the Chelsea board’s support of Conte’s decision about Diego Costa is setting an example against player power: the plague that brought about Mourinho’ s downfall.
So, there is nothing to hold Chelsea back and discount them from being right in the mix, or even going on to defend their title. Yes; with the UCL, they will need to add to the squad depth, but write them off at your own peril. Let’s not forget, nobody had given them a chance at the beginning of last season and they went on to win the league with a record number of wins.
Written by Ankur Sapra.