Mourinho insisted that Chelsea were the least favoured of the three clubs vying for the championship. “Two horses and a little horse. A little horse who needs milk and to learn how to jump,” he said.
He sure was right! I guess that’s why they call him The Special One.
Team Profile: It’s year two under Jose Mourinho. That usually doesn’t bode well for the rest of the Premier League. Jose Mourinho revamped his Chelsea squad during the summer by bringing in a handful of excellent signings and ditching the old guard around Stamford Bridge. Long-time starters Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole have new addresses and goalkeeper Petr Cech may soon have one himself.
Thibaut Courtois and his nine-foot frame have been recalled from loan from Atletico Madrid and he is likely to become the Blues new #1 keeper. Courtois is arguably the best keeper in the world without the last name Neuer so the transition from Cech should be smooth.
The lone Englishmen left in the squad are the tandem of John Terry and Gary Cahill at the center of defense. Those two have formed such a strong partnership over the years that David Luiz became expendable and was sold for an astronomical amount to PSG. Seriously, David Luiz cost £50 million. Picture that when you watch the highlights from the World Cup semifinal.
Chelsea went out and bought Felipe Luis from Atletico Madrid as a replacement at left back for Ashley Cole. Luis should see some time as a starter with Cesar Azpilicueta slotting in at right back. Don’t forget about mouth-breathing heaten Branislav Ivanovic either. He is too talented to sit on the bench so Luis or Azpilicueta might not be a regular.
Now to the midfield. Geez is this midfield loaded. Cesc Fabregas comes over from Barcelona after being deemed surplus by both them and Arsenal. Fabregas may sit in a deeper role with all of the forward options available but he will no doubt be a focal point of the attack and rack up the assists. Eden Hazard’s game was taken to another level last year as he bagged 14 goals and 7 assists on his way to winning PFA Young Player of the Year. It’s easy to forget that Hazard is still only 23 years of age, but he belongs in the category of world class with Messi, Ronaldo and others. Mourinho can also play Oscar, André Schürrle, Willian and Mohamed Salah in attack with Nemanja Matic, Ramires, Marco Van Ginkel and Jon Obi Mikel as holding options. It’s really getting annoying complimenting Chelsea.
Striker Diego Costa arrives as another signing from Atletico Madrid to lead a line that was meager at best last season. Costa was third in La Liga last season with 27 goals trailing only Messi and CR. Fernando Torres is still a Chelsea player to the joy of Chelsea haters while Didier Drogba has made an emotional return to the club to score approximately seven goals against Arsenal.
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1):
Underrated Player: Matic came as a bit of a shock transfer in January as Chelsea paid £21 million to bring him back from Benfica. He immediately became a boss in the midfield winning Man of the Match in his return debut against Manchester City. With many top sides lacking a spine in the center of the park, Matic is a luxury unlike most in the Premier League.
Overrated Player: What positive things can we say about Ramires? Looking for help. Ramires is made from two parts yellow card, one part rash challenge, and one part diving.
Best Hair: Look at the full head of hair on Thibaut Courtois. He needs to take over for Joe Hart in the Head & Shoulders commercials.
Worst Hair: Let it be known that Cannons and Cockerels takes no enjoyment at the fact that Cesc Fabregas has gone from this up top (left), to this up top (right). Well, not a lot of enjoyment.
Watchability Rating: This all depends on who Chelsea is playing. Against a weaker side, they are an 8/10 with all of their attacking talent. Against a top side when Mourinho is playing for a draw, Chelsea can be a 2/10.
Kit Rating: 7/10. Adidas strikes again. Chelsea’s home is their standard blue kit with the addition of some subtle horizontal stripes. The yellow away kit is literally Arsenal’s from last season. The third jersey kind of looks like an upside-down, blue version of the opening credits of The Matrix.
Season Outlook: All the pieces are here. Chelsea have a devastating midfield, a stalwart defense and a brand new striker capable of 25 goals. Mourinho said all of last season that this was the year they would challenge seriously for the Premier League title. All signs are pointing to The Special One being right.