Before the season started I predicted that Chelsea would win the Premier League title. I should make it clear that I am writing this article prior to this weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s games and I may look a bit silly if Chelsea have lost 5-0 to new title contenders Manchester City.
There are several reasons why I think Chelsea will win the league and although I am going to explain them here, please donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think for a second that I am a Chelsea fan. That couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be further from the truth. I am just giving an objective opinion.
Petr Cech is still probably the best keeper in the world. He didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a great season last year following his horrific head injury and a further nasty injury to his mouth seemed to set him back even further. A decidedly dodgy Euro 2008 saw him make a horrendous mistake that led to the Czech Republic being eliminated.
Despite all of that there are signs that he might be getting back to his best which is very, very good indeed. (If he made another horrendous mistake on Saturday I will accept all of the ridicule!)
Bosingwa seems to have settled in quickly and immediately solved one of the few problem areas that the side had last season. He looks to be a high quality player who can defend and get forward to get effect.
John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho are certainly a pairing that would challenge Ferdinand and Vidic as being the best central defensive partnership in the Premier League. They can both play a bit and they can both be no-nonsense defenders when the need arises.
Ashley Cole is a player who it is hard to like. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve read his autobiography and believe me, that doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help! Having said that, he has the ability to be one of the best in the world in his position and if he can fully recapture his form he will complete a formidable looking back five.
Deco has settled in really well to life in the Premier League and goals in his first two matches were confirmation of that fact. I was one of the people who said that he might struggle to come to terms with the pace of the game in England. I am almost prepared to say that I was wrong. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll need to see a few more games yet but the signs are that he is going to be a superstar in the Premiership.
Frank Lampard is a man who has suffered more than his fair share of abuse over the years. Hated by the West Ham fans for, well I’m not sure really and hated by the England fans because, well I don’t know that either. Averaging over ten league goals a season from midfield for the last seven seasons. Sixty four international caps and fourteen international goals. Described by Jose Mourinho as follows; “Lamps is Lamps. When he plays well he is best in the game, when he plays bad, he is the second or the third best.” He’ll do for me.
Michael Ballack is still one of the worlds finest midfield men. He has dragged an average Germany team to the latter stages of the last couple of tournaments almost single handedly. Towards the end of last season he was starting to show that sort of inspirational form to the Chelsea followers.
Joe Cole is a bit of an enigma. He has an abundance of talent and skill but has failed to establish himself as an automatic starter under several managers. His time has finally come now and I expect him to be one of the stars of the season.
Didier Drogba is probably the forward that Premier League defenders would vote as the man they least like having to mark. He has strength, pace, skill, movement, ability in the air, he can shoot, dribble, pass and finish. Not a bad player really. Obviously I wish he wouldn’t fall over so much and cry quite so often during games but none the less, he is one of the best.
Nicolas Anelka is the exception to the rule. He is ChelseaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s version of Manchester UnitedÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Darren Fletcher, LiverpoolÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Dirk Kuyt and ArsenalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Emmanuel Eboue. You just wonder how they get a place in such a great team.
Add to them the injured Michael Essien, undoubtedly one of the best players of his type in the world, young Scott Sinclair, maybe an even brighter prospect than Theo Walcott, Wayne Bridge, the second best English left back in the country, Carlo Cudicini, some would say the second best keeper in the country, Obi Mikel, Salomon Kalou, Paulo Ferreira, Alex, Belletti and Malouda, (ok, maybe not Malouda) and you have a pretty formidable squad.
Oh yes, there’s one person I forgot to mention. Luis Felipe Scolari. It’s early days, but he doesn’t seem to have done too much wrong yet does he?
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