Chelsea Season Review : A season dipped in blue!

Published 05/27/2015, 3:15 AM EDT


“I want to start the next pre-season and say this season we are going to win the league. this season, I can’t. We are a team in evolution but this is the kind of performance that helps a team grow up a little tactically and mentally. It was fantastic. The title race is between two horses and a little horse that needs milk and needs to learn how to jump. Maybe next season we can race.”

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These were the words of Jose Mourinho in February 2014 after Chelsea beat Manchester City 0-1 to make a major breakthrough in the title race that season. And indeed the Portuguese manger’s words turned out to be right as they ended up being third that season and later came as a healthy “horse” this season to win the title comfortably.

The Abramovich era turned out to be a trophy laden era for Chelsea with the team even going on to win the Champions League in 2012. But since the 2009-10 season, even after a series of good managers and high profile players, the team was not able to win a Premier League title and had some bad runs especially in 2012 ironically, when they were down to sixth. Hence the win this season must be sweeter for the fans, management and the players alike.

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Pre-season

Chelsea’s summer transfer window this season turned out to be great for them as the team was able to sell a few of their irregular starters especially Romelu Lukaku and David Luiz for big sums with the latter being brought by PSG for a whopping 50 million pounds. Due to a deficiency of strikers last season , Jose Mourinho was successful in bringing Diego Costa, Didier Drogba and Loïc Rémy to the club. Cesc Fàbregas was also brought to make the midfield more powerful and the purchase of Filipe Luís, Kurt Zouma along with the return of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was expected to make the defense rock solid.

The pre-season tour was almost perfect for Chelsea as they lost just 2 of the 10 matches during which most of the young players like  Izzy Brown, Jeremy Boga and Dominic Solanke were given first team chances.

The new signings

2014-15 Season

The spectacular transfer signings did not disappoint Jose Mourinho as the club had a super start to the Premier League season. The new signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas started delivering their goals and assists respectively from the team’s first game at Turf Moor against Burnley. The team looked really dangerous in attack especially during the 9 goal thriller at Goodison Park in which they beat the Toffees by a 3-6 margin.  Though the defense was a bit vulnerable at the start of the season, it later on turned out to be one of the crucial aspects in ensuring the title win.

The biggest heartbreak for the fans occurred during September when club legend Frank Lampard scored the equaliser at Stamford Bridge as they drew with Manchester City 1-1. The equaliser, however didn’t stop the fans from giving a spectacular reception for him. Chelsea’s first derby match against Arsenal also turned out to be a exciting clash especially after the push that Arsène Wenger inflicted on Mourinho. But the Chelsea juggernaut kept rolling on, courtesy of a brilliant scoring streak from Diego Costa.

Even though he scored the equaliser, a good reception was given to Frank Lampard

The team which looked unstoppable was given a major blow at St. James Park after Alan Pardew’s Newcastle triumphed 2-1. The defeat also allowed Manchester City to close down Chelsea’s gap at the top to three points. Another major blow struck the team on New Year’s Day when their rivals Tottenham Hotspur thrashed them with a 5-3 win. The match saw Chelsea’s inability to handle the Premier League’s new sensation, Harry Kane and Nacer Chadli’s pace and turned out to be completely outplayed by them.

Since the defeat, Mourinho seemed to become a bit more cautious in his approach in the second half of the season and ensured that they didn’t slip up in the title race. They were able to take a revenge on Tottenham Hotspur later in March when they defeated them 2-0 at Wembley in the Capital One Cup Final, making it the first silverware that the club got since Mourinho’s return. But that was followed by a bad performance against a 10 men PSG which knocked them out of the Champions League. Their exit from FA Cup also came as a surprise as they lost against Bradford City at home making it the only defeat Chelsea had at home this season.

Heartbreak at the Bridge as PSG knocks out Chelsea from UCL.

The winter transfer window saw some key signings as well as loans in which the transfer of André Schürrle to Wolsfburg, the purchase of Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina and the loan of Mohamed Salah to Fiorentina turned out to be some key highlights. Cuadrado hasn’t been given too many chances to impress since his arrival to the club and the Colombian hasn’t managed to put up a good performance yet.

The closing stages of league were approached in a defensive mindset by Mourinho making sure that they don’t slip up in the title race. Injuries and suspensions to Diego Costa affected his goal scoring record in the later half of the season and Cesc Fabregas’s assists also started declining. Nemanja Matić turned out to be the backbone of the team due to his dominating presence in midfield. Eden Hazard turned out to be brilliant for Chelsea this season with 14 goals and his brilliant performances, earning him the PFA Player of the Year. The season also saw Willian rising to some good form, his goals and assists turning out to be crucial during the second half of the season.

The defense which was called “parking bus” by some actually turned into a “firing tank” with Chelsea defenders scoring 20 goals in all competitions. John Terry who scored 5 goals in the Premier League this season also became the highest scoring defender in the Premier League history. Their new goal keeper Thibaut Courtois also made some spectacular saves throughout the season ensuring his first choice status ahead of Petr Čech who played very few matches this season and is likely to move to a new club in the summer.

If attack was the main highlight of Chelsea during the first half of the season, it was defense which turned out to be the talking point in the later stages of the season. Whenever the ball comes to their half, Chelsea players ensured that they get their bodies in front so that there wouldn’t be a gap left for the opponent player to capitalize on any goal scoring chance. Gary Cahill was out of form for some part of the season, but his substitute Kurt Zouma turned out to be a perfect replacement with some perfect tackles and with a dominating presence in the defense. His good performance earned him the club’s Young Player of the Year award. Branislav Ivanović had yet another perfect season with 6 goals in all competitions and some of those being crucial ones for the team.

Eden Hazard with the PFA player of the year award

As Chelsea secured the title with three games to spare it could be inferred that the Blues had a perfect season in the Premier League with Mourinho getting his desired “evolution” in the squad when compared to last season. The Premier league win also earned Mourinho the Manager of the season award even without winning any Manager of the month awards. Champions League will still be a cause of concern for the club along with all other English clubs and Jose Mourinho will be looking forward to preparing his team for a much better performance in the tournament next season.

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Best goal of the season

Chelsea has scored more than 100 goals this season with some turning out to be brilliant ones. But Oscar’s stunning strike against QPR at Stamford Bridge stands apart from the rest and this goal was voted as the Goal of the Season for Chelsea. Watch the goal below-

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBRtu3wYeIU

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Dhruv George

11755 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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