Every true Chelsea fan will always have confidence in the team's ability to conquer the Premier League each time a new season draws nearer.
This season is no different.
Who can blame them? Frank Lampard has been signed to a contract extension, Rafa Benitez is well and truly 'out' and Jose Mourinho is back. With the way things are, the sky is all blue once again.
Given the unsettlement among the top six clubs, including Chelsea, the club still looks most balanced and settled in terms of squad familiarity and understanding.
In Mourinho they have a manager who is used to life at the top in the EPL and is used to winning, unlike certain managers in Manchester and north London.
Anyway, as a Chelsea fan I have high hopes for the upcoming season.
I have made Mourinho's work easier by outlining a few steps (from my own perspective) to guide him and my beloved Chelsea to the Premier League summit again.
Strengthen further. Chelsea have already made two forays into the market, bringing in Andre Schurrle and Marco van Ginkel to add to the likes of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Frank Lampard, Ramires, Fernando Torres and Kevin De Bruyne.
Add Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, Mikel et al and you have a squad that, on paper, is burgeoning with talent and will give even the most astute manager a selection headache. But that is not enough.
There is the need for another central defender to relieve the burden on David Luiz (whom I forgot to mention up there) and add quality competition to both Cahill and Terry (who by the way has lost top form and is winding down on a glorious career).
That leaves Ivanovic to compete with Azpilicueta for right-back (Wallace will most likely go on loan), while being available to play in central defence as he has done on numerous occasions in recent times.
At left-back, Ashley Cole is still more than capable while Ryan Bertrand will benefit from Cole's extra year at the Bridge, with Mourinho trying to bring the best out of both mentor and understudy. Chelsea's interest in Eliam Mangala is seemingly dead but Mourinho may not have to look far to get the centre back solution. Nathan Ake is waiting to take his chance in the first team.
Midfield is a little over crowed at the moment, both centrally and in more advanced areas, so no addition may be required - good old Lamps alongside Mikel, Ramires, van Ginkel, the returning Essien and even Oscar provide lots of option.
So then, to the strikers.
Do Chelsea need another striker or not? I say they do. But only after Demba Ba has been offloaded. Ba is a good striker who will make any team better, but with him alongside Fernando Torres and the explosive Lukaku the strike force does not really look intimidating.
I'm backing Torres to find better form in the new season under Mourinho. As for Lukaku, what can I say? 17 league goals in 33 games, not yet 21, I'd say put him up there! But then, Chelsea really does need a top class striker who can instil fear in both opposition and his competing teammates. These types of striker are rare and not readily available, but Chelsea needs one so I say: find him!
And by top class striker I wasn't referring to Benteke.
Use Mata as playmaker. There is a reason Juan Mata was undroppable last season and the season before. It was that reason that led him to become the club's Player of the Year twice in a row.
Since arriving in England, Mata has quickly cemented his place as the cog that sets Chelsea's wheels in motion. He is the midfield general, chief goal creator, team inspiration and on either foot, Mata is a clinical finisher.
In the matches he didn't play or started from the bench, Chelsea visibly struggled. Across a huge fixture pile up in 2012/13, Mata didn't start seven games between Roberto Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez, and in those matches Chelsea managed only five goals and picked up a miserable four points. Mata's ability to dictate play keeps Chelsea ticking, his passing is beautiful to watch and his 20 goals and countless assists last term proves he is 'the man'.
Mourinho, as astute as he is, will be wise to keep Mata where he is - in the middle of park as playmaker-in-chief. This gives him room to release Hazard, Oscar or Schurrle - whoever gets to play - for those dribbling runs and incisive assists. Reports of an exit are baseless as far as this writer is concerned; my concern is where he will play in Mourinho's new look Blues. And I have just said where.
So, there it is. What Jose 'The Special One' Mourinho should do, or at least consider doing, if the Premier League trophy must return to Stamford Bridge. What do you think?
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