Pull on the replica blue jersey and pour the pints, after a summer deserted by football the Premier league is finally here. It has been a tumultuous summer with the departure of Carlo Ancelotti and an unassuming transfer window so far compared to January’s antics, yet the expectation remains high and with excitement ahead of the new season.
Andre Villas Boas’ competitive bow in the Premier League was rounded by a hard fought 0-0 draw at the Britannia stadium on Saturday against Stoke City, with the continuing admission the squads needs uplifting with a creative dynamic midfielder, the type that has alluded the bridge all summer.
Since the arrival of the former Porto coach, many drastic changes were apprehended after the lacklustre performances of last season and the threatening aging of key first team members. But whilst youth is high on the agenda for the long term prospect of the club the new manager has kept the squad intact with only three additions thus far.
The ongoing transfer rounds involving Tottenham’s Luka Modric may well be the link from midfield to attack in smooth transitions, but as it stands the width of the play and space between the opposition’s midfield and defence remains unconcerned with the small threat Chelsea pose.
The incomplete squad Chelsea has presented at the start of the whistle have left themselves joint second favourites, with Manchester City, to beat Champions Manchester United to the title. Many critics and experts have also predicted a third place finish for the Blues with United running away with it, but Chelsea have more than a strong chance with the current squad with improvements and tactful tweaks to embellish.
Expectation is the same as always, to win the league or at best a trophy with an assault of the evasive Champions League glory, but the season could prove to be another transitional period, blooding the promising youngsters, particularly Josh Mceachran, and moving the team forward for prolonged success in the long term.
The second half performance against Stoke City was promising although not proof to how the season will unfold. Torres looking sharp and Ramires energetic, with the returning Alex also comfortable in the heart of the defence. As highlighted last season, it is the width and the central midfield that lack cutting edge to create clinical chances.
Another signing, or two as Villas Boas told the press on Sunday, would be worldly beneficial to Chelsea fighting on all fronts, whether that be a dictator in the centre of the pitch or a speed demon, both would be welcome additions to the cause.
Fans will be supportive regardless of the finalised squad listings come what the end of August. There are still doubts lodged by the critics, encouraged by the untouched squad that resonates with last season’s failings, but one seasons’ failings is another seasons’ fortune, and the expectation of success for this season is great, lets just hope the fortune plays its part …