Monday, October 22, 2012

The Class of Chelsea

Ball Harambee by Bagga Wilson

Both Tottenham and Chelsea made big moves to improve their squad for the current season. Tottenham fired Harry Redknapp, acquired Adebayor for good, and enticed Dembele and Dempsey to seek their fortunes at Tottenham. They resuscitated Andres Villas-Boas who had failed miserably at Chelsea as the coach.

Tottenham is armed with the lightning bolt speed of Bale and Lennon. Dembele has taken the place of Modric, Tottenham’s departed playmaker. Unfortunately Tottenham had to face Chelsea without Scott Parker, their mid-field general and without Dembele, their new playmaker. The big question for Tottenham, as was the case last year, is the reliability of their defensive four.

Di Mateo waited in the wings patiently and is now not only the boss at Chelsea but who must be given credit for having put together an aggregation of potentially a great team. Cech is still an outstanding goalkeeper and the central defenders, Luiz, Cahill and Terry whichever two starts, constitute a formidable pair. Cole is still an outstanding left back and Ivanovic is more comfortable at right back than at playing the role of central defender.

The new Chelsea is vibrant in the mid-field and up front. Mikel is maturing as a defensive mid-fielder and along with Ramires, who runs until the cows come home, they constitute a defensive shield for the back four.

Di Mateo’s front four, Torres, Hazard, Mata and Oscar are as creative as any attacking force at club level in the game. The Tottenham defense simply could not cope when Chelsea turned it on. The running off the ball, the pass into spaces was just too much for the aging Gallas and company.

Chelsea has not lost for the season. They will get better as the season progresses. One cannot dismiss Manchester United or Manchester City’s chances to win the EPL but there is no question that Di Mateo’s Chelsea has to be seen as the favourite to win the EPL title. We shall know more when Chelsea clashes with Manchester United this weekend.

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