Chelsea F.C. Are Still The Team To Beat

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Updated: August 7, 2015
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Finally, it’s here, ladies and gentlemen. The English Premier League is back! And with it comes all the joy, the headaches and the heartaches we’ve grown accustomed to from years of being football fans. Every new season brings hope and expectations, some realistic, others not so much.

In England, there are a number of clubs looking to vie for this season’s EPL crown. But for me, every team in England is playing catch up to Chelsea F.C., and Jose Mourinho’s men are the benchmark for this campaign.

Act Like You’ve Been Here Before…

Jose Mourinho has been part of two different reigns as Chelsea manager, and after winning the league title last year, his second reign is already becoming a success a lot like his first go around. Mourinho is a champion, and all he knows is how to win titles wherever he goes.

He has the blueprint to success and he beats that winning mentality into his charges from day one when he takes over any club. Last season, Mourinho’s men ran away with the league in unflattering fashion to the rest of the EPL.

Chelsea made all other challengers seem like an afterthought by December, and that was no coincidence. After finishing his first season back in England in 3rd place, Mourinho went into the 2014 summer transfer market and sorted out his midfield with Cesc Fabregas and then sured up Chelsea’s attack by dumping Fernando Torres while adding Frenchman Loic Remy and Spanish International Diego Costa.

Combined with an already talented squad that had the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian, Oscar and Thibaut Courtois, they ran through most of the season unbothered. Having John Terry being at his commanding best all season long also helped.

It also didn’t hurt having a top 5 goal keeper like Petr Cech as a backup just incase something went wrong with the young stud Courtois. But just like everywhere he’s gone, year two of Mourinho’s reign always bears the fruits of his managerial genius.

Chelsea won the league by 8 points, and the job was done. This is what Mou does best, builds his sort of team and wins titles. It’s no fluke, and his CV speaks for itself. Now this team is one team older, Mou has shown them what it feels like to conquer their domestic league, and Chelsea will know what it takes to win it all.

This is the main reason why Chelsea should be considered clear favorites going into the new EPL season. But Mou’s brilliance isn’t the only reason why they should be favorited.

If Not Chelsea, Than Who?

Realistically, the other teams in the EPL can’t possibly do any worse than they did last season in trying to keep up with Chelsea (I hope). So with that being said, I believe Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United are capable of winning the title, or at least capable of making Chelsea sweat a little. 

For Arsenal, their legendary manager Arsene Wenger has won EPL titles before, but it’s been a long time since he’s pulled off that feat. Couple in that Mourinho has been a nightmare for Wenger since Mou’s arrival in the EPL, and you can see my trepidations on vaulting Arsenal over Chelsea.

Arsenal have a very good squad, they added a Chelsea legend in Cech who has loads of experience, and the Gunners have finally started adding trophies to the Emirates trophy case. But Arsenal may be one great player away from overtaking the EPL champs. And unless they can add that player, and stay healthy for an entire campaign, Arsenal are still behind Chelsea in the pecking order. 

Manchester City have won an EPL title under manager Manuel Pellegrini, they have added this summer with Raheem Sterling, and may be adding even more with Kevin De Bruyne. And their business may not be finished even after that. They still have stars like Kun Aguero, YaYa Toure and David Silva, and play some impressive football.

But Pellegrini is neglecting his defense in the transfer market and that may prove to be the Sky Blue’s Achilles Heel this season. Vincent Kompany looked a shell of himself for most of last season, Eliaquim Mangala has some shocking moments in the back, Bacary Sagna is far past his prime, and Martin Demichelis instills more fear than hope when he’s on the pitch.

Unless Man City sure-up their defense, I think it’ll be another season of them falling short of the EPL title.

Manchester United are an interesting team. They’ve been quite busy in the transfer window, in good and bad ways. United have brought in a very good defensive midfielder in Morgan Schneiderlin, they’ve added even more steel with German legend Basten Schweinsteiger, added a right back with Matteo Darmian, and may add Pedro from Barca before its all said and done.

Not to mention their early bit of business with Dutch International Memphis Depay. All very good business from the Kings of the Red Keep in Manchester. But they’ve also lost Robin Van Persie, Radamel Falcao, and Angel DiMaria, which may leaves them short of creativity and scoring.

With Wayne Rooney as the only real registered striker (Marouane Fellaini can also moonlight as a forward if needed) it looks like United are missing depth in a key position to help them bang in the goals.

And I’m not too sure how confident Louis Van Gaal is in his defenders, which makes the constant links to Sergio Ramos so telling. None of United’s defenders will strike fear into opposing forwards. Then there’s the entire David DeGea saga.

If United lose DeGea, who was their best player on the season last term, then unless they can pull another goalie of his caliber out of a hat, Man U have added good pieces but also lost some very good ones as well. And I don’t think it’ll be enough for them to take the title from Chelsea without a season of playing together to build a cohesive unit. These things take time.

There is still plenty of time left in the transfer window for teams to add to their current squads, including holders Chelsea. But as things presently stand, Chelsea are still on top of the EPL mountain and everyone else is looking up.

And don’t worry Liverpool and Tottenham fans, I didn’t forget about you. I still think your teams are a season or two away from really doing something special needed to fight for the title. I see both teams right outside the top 4.

The new season is finally here, and may the best team win. Good Luck, England. The world will be watching.

Follow @LSN_Frantz on Twitter


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