Another weekend of Premier League fixtures provided yet more drama. One match contained five goals, a red card and two missed penalties. Another had a team being agonisingly denied revenge for an FA Cup Final defeat and a selection of own goals ranging from the heart-breaking to the bizarre. Yet one team seems to be running away from the pack. With results going their way and a squad which seems unstoppable, can Chelsea really be stopped from clinching the title once again?
When Chelsea were regularly challenging for the league title under Jose Mourinho, they were doing so with players in their peak. Petr Cech was the steel between the sticks. Frank Lampard would always be in the right place for a goal and Didier Drogba picked up any scraps that were left over. On form they were decimating. Yet many, myself included, believed that this was a team that Mourinho had designed for short term success without much thought for the future. This is maybe why so many other managers, Scolari and Villas-Boas to name but two, struggled with an ageing squad.
Now in his second spell, Mourinho has evolved the Blues. The ageing stars have been replaced with a youthful and equally gifted outfit. Thibaut Courtois has made a remarkable transition from outcast to first choice custodian. Cesc Fabregas looks as blessed as ever and has practically changed Chelsea’s style of play singlehandedly. This style is now freer flowing and attack minded. Is this working? Well, taking 22 points from a possible 24 shows that the title may well be theirs for the taking.
The Costa Effect
Despite doubts over his overall fitness as reported in The Express, Diego Costa is more than justifying his £32 million price tag. Barely seven games into the season, Costa’s goal tally of nine has already surpassed the record for the most goals scored in his first four Premier League games. Yet it is more than his goal scoring ability. His work rate and overall technique have made him a delight to watch. Furthermore, his link up play with International teammate Fabregas which has been shown to devastating effect on so many occasions already is simply stunning. Heaven only knows how good this man will be when he overcomes his injury problems.
Is Abramovich Satisfied?
Following a somewhat mediocre campaign last season, surely any other manager would have fallen victim to Roman Abramovich’s hire and fire policy. Not Mourinho however. Does this mean that the Russian owner is finally satisfied with things at Stamford Bridge? Let’s not forget that this man ruthlessly removed Roberto Di Matteo, mere months after Champions League glory. Showing that little bit of extra patience has now led to everyone at Chelsea reaping rewards
Of course nothing is won in October. Yet Chelsea’s performances against all-comers would take brave opposition to resist them. It may be early, but Jose Mourinho and his starlets seem well on their way to being ‘Special’ once again.