Monday, May 29, 2017

Chelsea showing the hallmark of champions

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 19 Apr 2015

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Eden Hazard was again the star of the show as Chelsea defeated Manchester United 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday

Eden Hazard was again the star of the show as Chelsea defeated Manchester United 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday

Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat of Manchester United on Saturday took the Blues ten points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

The victory was achieved despite Manchester United dominating possession and the Blues have been criticised for their defensive set-up.

Winning

The possession statistics do not mean anything at the end of the game. The only thing that matters is whether a team wins or loses.

Chelsea are top of the Premier League table and win games it is that simple.

The Blues are no fancy-dans. They can win games when they play defensively or even poorly because the team is well organised and drilled by boss Jose Mourinho. In fact there are very few teams that are more organised than the Blues in European football.

Boss

For all the controversy and press bites that Jose Mourinho seems to bring he is a manager who wins silverware. Love him or loathe him employing the Portuguese is almost a guarantee of winning trophies.

He does come across as arrogant and an egotist at times, but he can back up the talk with his team’s performances on the pitch. He speaks the truth a lot of the time and sometimes people do not appreciate it.

Mourinho seems to get the better of most in the opposition dugout when it comes to tactics and setting-up his team. He knows when he can send his team out to play and when his team need to dig in.

Mourinho once again got the better of a highly-regarded boss on Saturday, as he out-thought veteran Dutch boss Louis van Gaal.

The Blues boss produced a surprise selection for the game by selecting French centre-back Kurt Zouma alongside Nemanja Matic in central midfield. The selection paid-off, as Zouma was one of the Blues best performers.

The bus that Chelsea are often accused of parking will likely be the one that will be used at the end of the season for the open top bus parade with the Premier League trophy.

Clinical

Chelsea have developed a clinical edge that all the top teams seem to have. There were very few opportunities for the Blues against United, but when Eden Hazard was given one he scored and came close to adding another with an effort that hit the woodwork.

As the saying goes you only need one effort on goal to score and Chelsea seem to eke out those chances, just like they did in last weekend’s 1-0 victory at QPR.

Balance

The key to Chelsea becoming champions this season is that they have a very balanced team. They have the attacking talents of Hazard, Oscar and Diego Costa, when fit, but also have players willing to do the dirty work.

Those players are nearly as important as the ones who score the goals. One of those players is defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic.

The Serbian offers the Blues defence that extra protection needed to be successful. He breaks up the opposition attacking play and has good distribution skills. Matic presence is midfield is vital in games like yesterdays.

Quality

In terms of star quality Eden Hazard has every attribute to shine bright on the big stage. Hazard was again the difference between the Blues winning and drawing, like so many times this season.

The Belgium international has now scored 13 Premier League goals this season and also has nine assists for the campaign. He is one of the favourites to win Player of the Year and is fast developing into a truly top-class performer.

The 24-year-old was arguably man of the match against Chelsea and has so often been the match winner for the Blues this season.

Champions

With such few games remaining this season, Chelsea now look certainties for the title and are odds of 1/80 to claim the title at the end of the campaign.

Mourinho has been criticised for his sometimes defensive tactics, but he and Chelsea fans will not care a jot when their team lift the Premier League trophy in May.

Should Chelsea be criticised for so called ‘boring football’?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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