Chelsea – Analyzed

(Getty)

With two premiership matches and one community shield match; fans all over the world are already analyzing the new look Chelsea side. Let us ignore the fact that there are easily more than 40 matches still left and that it takes time for new players and a system to gel and see what the experts have to say about the new Chelsea look.

Chelsea Emerge From Jose Mourinho’s Shadow At Last – The Jonathan Wilson Column

” The era of Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge is, at last, over. He spent a little over three years at Stamford Bridge, from the summer of 2004 to September 2007, but they are three years that have lasted almost eight. He took an ambitious thrusting side with money and made it one of the giants of European football. He formed the squad and defined a style and, in doing so, forged the soul of the modern club, casting a shadow from which every subsequent Chelsea manager has struggled to escape.

It takes seismic events for eras to come to an end. When the British historian Eric Hobsbawm defined Europe’s “long nineteenth century” he charted a period that ran from the French Revolution in 1789 to the beginning of the First World War in 1914. If Abramovich’s first decade at Chelsea – a “short decade” as it turned out – began from the moment he bought the club from Ken Bates in 2003, it ended in Munich in May with the penalty shoot-out victory over Bayern in the Champions League final. European success was what Abramovich had craved since first falling for football watching Manchester United beat Real Madrid 4-3 (losing 6-5 on aggregate) in the Champions League in 2003.

What he’d also craved, though, was football played with elan. Not for him tactical battles or defensive pragmatism! He wanted attacking and skill and flair. He wanted to be thrilled by the football the team he paid for played. In that regard, Mourinho was exactly the wrong coach to appoint. He brought success, and perhaps no other manager could have so quickly bonded a squad brought together at great expense from across the world; he made Chelsea a formidable team, setting Premier League points records. Their 4-3-3 was muscular, hard-working, dynamic. It was superstars playing functional football. When Abramovich bought Andriy Shevchenko to add attacking zest, Mourinho pretty much laughed at him.” 

Continue reading how Jonathan Wilson explains where Roberto di Matteo’s greatest challenge lies. 

Over at ESPN.

Chelsea remain a work in progress

It was a night when Roman Abramovich got a lot of what he has always wanted: a hugely entertaining game, brilliant attacking football and, most importantly, Chelsea back at the top of the league for the first time in nearly two years.

It wasn’t what Roberto Di Matteo will necessarily want. Despite the positives that can be taken from the attacking performance, the points and the position, there were still a few concerns for the Italian on a night of contrasts.

At the very least, the nature of the display against Reading raises questions over whether Chelsea can really be at top of the league come May. Indeed, the fact that it was as far back as November 2010 that the European champions were last so high in the table provides a neat enough bookend.

Because, on the one hand, this game was filled with elements from the Chelsea side that was so unreliable during the intervening period: a drilled Frank Lampard penalty to open the scoring, a Petr Cech error at one end and a Fernando Torres miss at the other.

To their credit, though, it was also a game that was saved by enough elements of the new Chelsea: Eden Hazard’s brilliance, dynamic passing interchanges and, at last, a genuine Torres winner in the league – even if it was offside.

Continue reading why Miguel Delaney still feels that Chelsea remain a work in progress.

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