Last season: 6th
Premier League champions odds: 9-2
Chelsea starts the season as Champions of Europe. That’s a great feeling if you’re a Blues supporter, but how can they top that night in Munich? There is definitely a keen sense of anticipation as we approach the season, but a nagging doubt remains about reaching those heights again come May 2013.Chelsea have embarked on what seems like the most intelligent and well thought-through transfer buying spree we have seen for years. Gone are the days of buying established and experienced mega stars for big bucks. The close season has seen the club invest in young and exciting talent for the future. No doubt aided by our standing as European Champions, we have secured some of the most sought after young talent in the world game in Eden Hazard, Marko Marin and Oscar.
The three youngsters – 21, 23 and 21 years old respectively – are very skillful, creative attacking players. Does this represent an attempt to move away from the power tactics we have employed successfully throughout Drogba’s reign and a move towards the exciting, flair-driven attacking football craved by Roman? Hopefully!
With Juan Mata, David Luiz, Ramires, Ryan Bertrand and Daniel Sturridge emerging last season as Chelsea stars of the future, I believe there is a lot to be excited about for the coming season. Add to this Petr Cech looking back to his best, a maturing and improving Mikel, cult hero Brana Ivanovic, the world’s best left back in Ashley Cole, Captain – Leader – Legend John George Terry, his long term replacement Gary Cahill, and last, but by no means least, JT’s able Lieutenant pulling the strings from his new deep lying role, one Super Frank Lampard. Well, I’m excited!
Have I forgotten anyone? Ahh…yes…Fernando Torres. Surely after his huge effort and determination to rise above his lack of touch and confidence last season and with the Chelsea faithful showing incredible support to him last season, there is no reason why he cannot go forward this season and show us that he is one of the world’s best strikers. Twenty plus goals this season? Don’t rule it out.
It may well be that it takes time to gel the new squad and adapt to different styles of football. But I would say that right now it looks like we have a great squad with a mix of leadership, youth, experience, steel and creativity and possibly the missing link in the skill to unlock the meanest of defences. I hope that we can compete on all fronts again, and in doing so get royally entertained in the process.
Winning the title may be a big ask, but if the new look side gels, Torres gets his shooting boots on and we add a dimension to our football this season, then anything is possible. I certainly feel confident of a top four finish and with Robbie’s knack for cup football some silverware at the end of the season.
Right now anything is possible. Bring it on!
‘Stamford’ Chidge is a season ticket holder in Gate 17 in the Matthew Harding Upper, and presents The Chelsea Football FanCast, sponsored by Expose Designs Ltd. Check out www.chelseafancast.com and download it every week from iTunes, www.footballfancast.com or by clicking on the link on the CFCUK and CFCnet websites. Follow Stamford Chidge on twitter @DavidChidgey