Jose Mourinho constantly reminded us of his Chelsea’s “period of transition” and “lack of maturity” throughout the 2013/14 season as a reason to avoid expectations of silverware. His so called “little horse” did well enough with the underdog tag that Mourinho attached to them; Champions League semi-finalists, UEFA Super Cup runners-up (lost on penalties), Premier League contenders (finished four points from 1st), and reached the fifth round in both the FA Cup and League Cup.
“The Special One” was quick to say in the latter stages of the season that the Blues should expect trophies at Stamford Bridge next season but retracted afterwards claiming anything could happen with the installment of Louis van Gaal at Manchester United and expected large investments from fellow title challengers.
The question for Chelsea during the 2014/15 season will be, “have Mourinho and his men learned from their failure in the previous season and can they turn those lessons into success?”
I believe that Chelsea will certainly be a much stronger team now that Mourinho has singled out any surplus players; Kevin De Bruyne, Mata, and David Luiz have all left for approximately £100 million and several players are expected to follow. These funds have been spent on players who’ll greatly contribute to the Blues’ title quest, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa. While fairly young, 27 and 25 respectively, both Spaniards know what it takes to win silverware having a combined 15 medals.
They not only add a winning mentality, something pivotal for Mourinho’s schemes, they’ll add what Chelsea lacked; Costa will add firepower to a combined front line of three that scored 19 goals in the EPL while he alone scored 28 goals in La Liga, Fabregas will add a spark to the centre of Chelsea’s midfield, something Matic and Ramires do not provide and may overburden Oscar. Also arriving to stay, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is expected to challenge Petr Cech as the no.1; a tremendous talent. allowing 24 goals in 37 La Liga games with Atletico Madrid last season.
Mourinho has intelligently added to the already talented squad he has at his disposal, a squad that now knows how Mourinho operates and can no longer use transition as an excuse. Hazard will continue growing into a world class talent and Shurrle, Willian, and Salah will have adjusted to the Premier League. His team progressed into the latter stages of competitions and challenge for the league title right to the end so not only will they know what it takes to reach those stages but how to overcame that final hurdle.
Chelsea will surely continue to add to their team roster with defenders; which is their main priority to mount a challenge on all four competitions. Throughout the season there were performances that left them ruing their lack of precision or ability to see out a game but Mourinho will work tirelessly to avoid it again. A trophy-less season hurt his reputation and pride, he’ll want to fulfill his promise of bringing success to Chelsea. I expect Chelsea to finish the season with at least two trophies and fight it out to the end in every competition,