Chelsea were declared champions of the Barclays Premier League 2014-15 season with three games to play. The Premier League trophy can be added to the Capital One Cup they won a few months ago, and, whilst their European performance was poor, this can certainly be considered a successful season for the Blues.
So many factors contributed to the London club’s success this campaign, but early summer business won Chelsea the league. Jose Mourinho came back to the club last season and made very few changes to his side, hoping to guide players like Fernando Torres to rediscover their form. It did not happen as he might have expected as his team finished the season without a trophy. The 2012 Champions League winners lacked a target man upfront who would get the goals and there was not enough creativity from the middle of the park.
Mourinho easily identified the problems and solved them in the summer with the signings of Diego Costa, Didier Drogba, Loic Remy, Filipe Luis and Csec Fabregas his main dealings. Chelsea started the league as a very settled team because almost all the signings were made early and they had trained with the team throughout pre-season. It is always important for a team to do its transfer deals early enough, as this gives the players the chance to settle into the team before the campaign kicks off. Clearly it took no time for the new arrivals to get going with Costa bagging nineteen goals for the champions. Fabregas, on the other hand, will finish the season with the most assists in the division.
For Chelsea, they offloaded all ‘unwanted’ players early in the summer and that was a good move as it gave the manager time to plan with the players available to him. Fernando Torres and Demba Ba were always going to leave the club, so the manager had no plans for them this season.
When a team has done its signings late in the summer, it becomes difficult for the player coming into the club to settle into the team. He will have to adapt to his new environment and for some it takes months to adjust their bodies to their new surroundings and some never settle in at all. Before the start of the season, Mourinho had already settled on what was to be his regular starting eleven for the campaign. He had played them together over pre-season and the team chemistry had been formed. Lots of teams in the Premier League failed to sign their summer targets early and that has been the difference between the other teams and the champions this season.
If Chelsea continue to diagnose their problems early and do their business as fast and swift as last summer they are always going to have a settled team and will be the team to beat for a long time. If the other top sides want to compete with the champions, they must learn from their summer dealings. It comes as no surprise to see Manchester United trying to secure the signatures of their targets as soon as possible. The 20-time league winners might have learnt their lessons from last summer’s late deals and are looking to do better this time round to be able to compete with Chelsea next season.
With Jose Mourinho at the helm of affairs for the Chelsea it can be said that they will always have a settled team that will play his way and be the team to beat in coming seasons.