What It Takes To Become Champions
In the first part of this article, we analyzed how the Blues have evolved as a team, their impeccable defensive structure that has been impenetrable throughout this season and how well the Chelsea squad is balanced.
They have shown the urge to win every game with each and every individual player knowing his duty on the football field. Continuing from where we left off, we turn our attention towards our creative players and new signings.
There is no shortage of creativity in the current Chelsea side. It isn’t the offensive physicality but the creativity that has played an important part in this season’s Premier League triumph. There are two players in particular who have marshaled Chelsea’s creative side throughout this season.
The Spaniard had some big shoes to fill when Chelsea parted ways with one of their greatest players, Frank Lampard. Fabregas and Lampard are two completely different type of players. The Spaniard might lack in goals, but certainly makes it up in assists. Fabregas loves to don the number 10 role but manages to bring finesse to the squad even playing in midfield alongside Nemanja Matic. With an assist tally of 18, Cesc Fabregas is on the verge of breaking Thierry Henry’s 12-year old assist record. From his classy assist for Schurrle to the chemistry he has shared with Diego Costa all season long, Fabregas has brought in much-needed qualities in the midfield area that the Blues lacked last season.
This season’s PFA Player of the year, Football Writers’ Player of the year and last season’s PFA young player of the year, Eden Hazard has been the tormentor-in-chief for Jose Mourinho. Strong, skillful and quick are just a few words that could be used to describe the little maestro. With 14 goals and 8 assists in the Premier League, Eden Hazard has certainly been Chelsea’s best player this season. As far as the statistics go for the Belgian international, he has created 88 chances, completed 153 out of 247 dribbles attempted, won 287 duels and won 96 fouls, all more than any other player in the league. It’s not just the offensive side of Hazard that is impressive; but also his defensive side that amazes everyone. A winger who’s ready to backtrack and chase the opponent right-back up and down the flank throughout the 90 minutes and still possesses such outstanding stats is what makes the little Belgian a class above the rest.
It was the lack of quality strikers that was the biggest issue in the squad last season. All of last season’s strikers were shipped out by Mourinho, and a new breed of strikers were flown in at the beginning of this season. Mourinho’s signings were right on the money yet again and were instrumental in our successful league campaign.
Not long ago, most Blues fans and football pundits were baffled when Mourinho opted to sell Romelu Lukaku to Everton and bring in Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid. It took Costa four Premier League games to prove all of them wrong. The Spain international became the first player in Premier League history to score 7 goals in his first four starts, leaving Aguero (6) and Micky Quinn (6) behind. With 19 goals in 23 Premier League appearances, Diego Costa started the season with the same mentality he finished La Liga the previous season. He is a sheer out-and-out striker and is known to work hard for his team irrespective of the scoreline. It’s not every day that you see a striker bullying defenders throughout the game. It was unfortunate for him to get enrolled into controversial suspensions and hamstring injuries, being sidelined for most of the games played in 2015. Things are ought to change next season when a fit Diego Costa will step onto the pitch and do what he does best.
The France international has been a surprise package for the Blues this season. Purchased for a mere €12million from Queens Park Rangers at the end of August. The former Newcastle man was brought in as a replacement for the then loaned out Fernando Torres and as an understudy to Diego Costa. The Frenchman has one of the best strike rates in the League with an impressive five finishes from 569 minutes on the pitch, only marginally behind Diego Costa. The 28-year-old striker has showcased what he is capable of doing when given the chance, making him a perfect backup for Costa.
Drogba’s last kick of the ball in 2012 for Chelsea won them the Champions League, two years apart and the Ivorian striker returned to where he belonged. At the ripe old age of 37, Drogba is not the same player he was 10 years ago. He has been brought in for a completely different role to play; it’s his wealth of experience and influence in the dressing room that this young squad needed. The Chelsea Legend has started 7 games and has come on as a substitute 20 times this season. He has been used as the man to guide the team to the finish line in the final stages of most matches. Drogba may or may not have his contract extended, but it would not be surprising if he finds a seat next to the manager next season.
With the return of Jose Mourinho, it may be the beginning of a new era at Chelsea Football Club. This season’s triumph is the eighth top-flight league title the Portuguese tactician has won across four different countries. He is called the Special One for a reason. He is simply a winner, wherever he may be. He promised last season that Chelsea would be strong contenders for the league title this season. After winning against Man City at the Etihad last season, he said:
“We are a little horse who will be ready to race next season.”
And guess what, he once again led the Blues to become Champions of England!!
(Stats Source: whoscored)
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Edited By: Vikram Vadiganeni
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