Are Chelsea Even Contenders Anymore?

Seven games played, eleven points earned. Five points off top place with a game more played; a new manager with little coaching experience and a spate of injuries, many have hinted that it may be time to rule Chelsea out of the title race completely. While Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool fans will definitely be happy at all the bad things happening (Schadenfreude is a wonderful thing), only a fool would completely write Chelsea off at this moment in time.

To describe recent events at Chelsea as turmoil would be a bit of an understatement. Before their thrashing of Hull in the Carling Cup, Chelsea had gone winless in four games- losing to Aston Villa and Manchester United away from home as well as drawing with Blackburn and Rosenborg (in the Champions League). Coupled with the departure of outspoken manager Jose Mourinho, it is no surprise that Chelsea’s quest for the title is being discredited in some quarters. The club has also had star players Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard hit by niggling injuries, and thus have suffered in attack- only scoring one goal in those four games.

While I do agree that Chelsea’s chances for the title have been severely dented- teams do not just pick themselves off easily after losing a manager in Mourinho’s class- it is unlikely that they will not be in with a shot come the end of the season. The squad just has too much quality- you’ve got Petr Cech in goal, Terry and Carvalho in defense, Lampard and Essien in midfield and Drogba and Shevchenko up front. All of these players could be called world class/potential world class players, and I haven’t even included the likes of Claude Makalele and Michael Ballack yet.

Avram Grant has not done well as a manager yet in a major league; he has however managed Maccaibi Haifa (Israel club team) and the Israel national side, two difficult teams to manage in their own right. Grant had been with Chelsea since July and as he is backed up with Mourinho’s assistant manager Steve Clarke (who has been with the club since 2004), there is enough know-how to ensure things do not go horribly wrong. The recent 4-0 win over Hull in the Carling Cup will have helped the team- although Hull are a far inferior side, everyone loves scoring goals and this should give the team new confidence for their vital game against Fulham tomorrow.

To sum it all up, this article basically states that Chelsea will be in contention for the title (if you didn’t know that already ;)). I will say this however- Chelsea will not win the league this year. While anything is possible -we all saw Manchester United surprise many to win it last year- I cannot see Chelsea with Abramovich’s recent meddling finishing higher than third.

So, am I talking bollocks and are Chelsea going to win it? Use the comments bar below and let me know 😉

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