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Not title contenders, really Jose?

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is claiming that the Blues' main objective this season is  top four

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is claiming that the Blues’ main objective this season is top four

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is claiming that the top four in the Premier League is his team’s main objective this season, despite the Blues going to the top of the Premier League table yesterday with a 3-0 victory over Newcastle at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Chelsea’s recent form and slip-ups from Manchester City and Arsenal have seen the Blues rise to the summit of the Premier League.

Top four

Chelsea’s mercurial boss is not known for humility and is more renowned for his confidence. However, the Portuguese boss has played down Chelsea’s chances of winning the Premier League title.

Mourinho recently talked about his side being ‘a little horse’ in the title race.

He has continued to write-off his team’s chances of winning claiming the title by telling Sky Sports: “I want to stop with that story of the horses, but I don’t change my idea,”

“Manchester City is a Jaguar. You cannot put an L-plate behind a Jaguar. We are what we are and we know where we want to go and this season, we have only one objective, which is to finish top four.

“I say as I feel it. I don’t feel the change. We are playing well and have been for a long time. People individually are in a good moment and we are getting results. We are top of the league and that’s something we can’t hide.”

Mind games

I suspect that Mr Mourinho is engaging in a few mind games. The Portuguese boss has been a master of mind games in the past and uses every advantage he can to get the upper-hand over his rivals.

He may well just be attempting to deflect the pressure off his players, thereby allowing them to play with relative freedom.

Equals

Mourinho has talked about Manchester City like they have far more quality and resources available to them. In terms of starting elevens the two teams are probably relatively equal in terms of quality. City may have better strikers, but Chelsea have a better defence.

However, all around there is not much between the teams at all. Both clubs have spent hundreds of millions in attempting to achieve their objectives and are now vying for the title. Chelsea are no Premier League title rookies, despite what Mourinho says.

Chelsea’s recent 1-0 win at Manchester City’s proved that Chelsea can equal the Citizens, if not better the blues of Manchester. Mourinho is not kidding anybody by playing down Chelsea’s title chances.

Star

Chelsea have one of the best attacking midfielders in the league, if not in Europe in Belgium international Eden Hazard. Hazard was the star of the show yesterday, as he scored a hat-trick and was instrumental in the win over Newcastle.

On-form the 23-year-old is simply unstoppable. He is a match-winner and the sort of special player that every top team needs to be successful. Hazard is regarded as the main man and he revels in that status.

At times last season he was in the shadow of Juan Mata, but with the Spaniard spending much of the season sidelined and moving to Manchester United, Hazard’s importance to the team has grown. Hazard has scored 12 Premier League goals this season and created a further eight for his teammates. He looks likely to surpass Mata’s statistics from last season.

Clean sheets

A key to Chelsea’s recent form has been their solid defensive performances. The Blues have kept five clean sheets in their last six Premier League games, with only reigning champions Manchester United breaching the Blues defence those six games.

Mourinho looks to have restored the defensive solidity that was present in the Portuguese’s first spell at the club. The Blues now have the best defensive record in the Premier League, with just 20 goals conceded in the top-flight this season.

Favourites

Chelsea started the season as favourites for the Premier League title, alongside Manchester City. The two blues have remained favourites for much of the campaign, despite Arsenal topping the table for a large chunk of the season.

Chelsea are now odds of 4/9 to win the Premier League title this season and it is hard to argue with the Blues as favourites to claim the title this season, despite Mourinho’s claims to the contrary.

Will Chelsea win the Premier League title this season?

Sun 9 February, 2014
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