Chelsea Mid-Season Review: The Story So Far

Chelsea Jose Mourinho

With 20 games in to the season, we’re at the half-way point in this absurdly unpredictable Premier League season. Granted, the odds on Leicester being top; Crystal Palace being in the top seven fighting for Europa position with Manchester United, West Ham and Liverpool; and Chelsea struggling to survive in the premier league with Mourinho being sacked in December; all probably were almost unthinkable, but it happened. As we enter the business end of the season, it’s worth reviewing the Blues to unearth what the second half of the season might hold.

The Story So Far:

It is fair to say the first half of the campaign has not panned out what Pensioners fans would have had been hoping.

After having won the Premier League title last year, the blues were marked favourites to win the Championship this year too. And with Mourinho at the helm and further reinforcements in both defensive and attacking positions to the already strong squad during the transfer window meant that they would be one of the top contenders to win Champions League along with other English domestic cups and become England’s first Treble winners.

The opening months saw results hard to come by with performances discouraging after losing two pre-season friendlies and drawing one, though they won against Barca in penalties 4-2 after drawing 2-2 at full time. Same result continued when they lost 0-1 to Arsenal at the FA Community Shield Match.

Eventually, the lack of wins became a concern though and it took until the 3rd week of the season for Chelsea to gain their first of the season, with a 3-2 trimuph over West Brom offering hope to Blues fans once more that now they are back in buisness. However, it proved to be a false dawn as the next month saw serious defeats against Crystal Palace (2-1), Everton (3-1), but won comprehensively in their League Cup tie against minnows Walsall (4-1) and against Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv (4-0) though again lost to Poro (2-1) in Champions League group stage match while also managing a win against Gunners in London derby (2-0) followed by salvaging a point against Newcastle (2-2).

This was followed by just two wins coming against Aston Villa (2-0) and Norwich City (1-0) and one draw against Tottenham (0-0) out of nine league fixtures with also their ousting from League Cup after a loss in penalties to Stoke City (1-1; 5-4p) in fourth round match though their performance in Champions League was not at all the same as theirs in domestic competitions as they managed to win three out of four group stage matches thus advancing to Knock-out phase of the tournament where they will lock horns with French Giants PSG.

On 17 December, after the loss against Leicester City and after losing nine out of sixteen league games, manager José Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea.

Former Netherlands boss Guus Hiddink was appointed interim Chelsea manager until the end of the season following the sacking of José Mourinho. The Dutchman was to be at Stamford Bridge for Sunderland’s match but Steve Holland took control of team matters for the game alongside Eddie Newton, who now took on the role of assistant first-team coach.

Chelsea began their second post-José Mourinho era by scoring three goals in the Premier League for the first time in nearly four months to beat Sunderland. Fabio Borini pulled one back for Sunderland when he bundled in from close range, but that was not enough to take it to a comeback. The day was marked by fan protests and shows of support for recently sacked manager José Mourinho who was fan’s favourite. Since Mourinho’s departure however, Chelsea are unbeaten, and have taken 5 points from their first 3 games under Hiddink, allowing a small injection of hope to creep into Chelsea’s season once again, with the blues currently sitting in 14th position with 23 points, six points clear of relegation.

Standout Player – Willian:

willian

Whenever Chelsea have won this season, it has generally been because of Willian who has played an integral role.

The 27-year old attacking midfielder/winger was signed in the 2013-14 season for £30 million from Anzhi.

The Brazilian is the Blues’ top scorer this campaign with eight goals, six of those coming in free-kicks making him Europe’s top free-kick scorer of the season. What is more impressive about Willian’s performances is that he has been playing in every attacking position for the team be it left wing, right wing or as an attacking midfielder throughout the match and has been doing exceptionally well from wherever he’s playing. His preferred position is in the wings however, the slump in form of Oscar and Hazard has made him play behind the striker as a creative attacking midfielder, a responsibility which he has successfully carried on.

So, as the second half of the season gets started, we hope Chelsea continue their recent revival and at least finish in the first half of the table if not top 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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