Boasting one of the best squads in the league, and perhaps on the wider contintent, Chelsea will be pleased that the core of the team that brought them double-winning success last year has remained mostly intact. The starting XI has been left undisturbed and it is only in the wings that Chelsea have changed, with the departure of club stalwart Petr Cech and the apparently imminent exit of Filipe Luis being the only ones of note so far. The likes of Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic, John Terry and Thibaut Courtois are all players at the very top of their discipline and alongside these players there are impressive youngsters making an impact on the first-team, such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kurt Zouma. Overall, Chelsea possess a balanced team that is more than capable of challenging across all four fronts this season.
What else can be said about Jose Mourinho? The charismatic ‘mind games master’ wins wherever he goes, and last season was no different. Chelsea stormed to the title in some style, moving ahead of the chasing pack early on in the season before ending up eight points clear of their only real competition, Manchester City. Chelsea’s title win last year was nine years on from when they had last won it under Mourinho, and proved to be the Portuguese manager’s eighth title in 12 years of managing in the top flights of Europe, an incredible feat. Chelsea always seemed to be Mourinho’s first love and with talks of a new multi-year contract on the horizon, as well as the man himself admitting that he wants to stay “for another decade”, it appears that success for both Mourinho and Chelsea shows no signs of stopping any time soon.
Chelsea will be a side hungry to retain what they have, as well as plunder riches they have yet to attain under the guidance of Mourinho. Every player in the first-team now knows what it takes to win domestic honours in England but, knowing the likes of Mourinho and the club captain John Terry, they will feel that they can do better. Despite losing only three times in the league last year, they will be keen to lose fewer. Chelsea had the best defensive record in the league last year yet they will be keen to concede less goals. Radamel Falcao, who was a shadow of his former self while at loan at Manchester United last season, will be eager to prove the nay-sayers wrong and recapture his best form at his new club. Many will agree that Chelsea did what was expected of them last year by winning the league, as well as the League Cup, but Mourinho will be eager to build further on this success and challenge elsewhere, including the title that has so far eluded him at Chelsea: the Champions League.
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