Nine matchdays have come and gone in the League this season, and for now, it appears there’s just one team in the race for the trophy come May. With 23 points from a possible 27, Chelsea have been quite unstoppable since August. Reverse to that Monday night when they were a goal down at the Turf Moor, most persons would not have actually predicted their current ‘invincible’ status, as it is now been touted.
Shrewd summer additions of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa have made a whole lot of difference this season, and coupled with the already existing talents in the persons of Eden Hazard, Cesar Azpilicueta and Oscar, it’s really hard to bet against Mourinho taking up a new title to himself at the end of the season. Manchester City, Arsenal and United appear to be the Blues’ main rivals to the title to this season, but with neither been as convincing as Jose’s lot, they may be fighting merely as also rans.
Further arguments in Chelsea’s favour is that they’ve faced four of the supposed ‘Big Seven’, coming off unscathed. Everton were thrashed, Arsenal beaten, and leads relinquished twice at the opposite blocks in Manchester. They’ve also faced the small clubs who were their undoing last season, especially Crystal Palace and Aston Villa, and have collected all available loot.
Can we still say, in reality, that they would not go the whole season unbeaten?
Chelsea’s last defeat in the past 17 league games came at Selhurst Park, but does that make them champions already by October?
Mourinho’s squad today, incomparison with Wenger’s Invincibles 11 years ago shows some similarities in the type of players in each position. It is easy to recognize the impact a player like Hazard has, with his eely feet, and you want to compare it with that of Denis Bergkamp. Matic’s performance against United would have reminded Gooners of what they enjoyed with Patrick Viera while Costa’s goals bear some semblance to the va va voom recurring lightening. Yet, there is still so much more to set both apart.
Arsenal’s approach to games at the time was obviously much more positive in those days than Mourinho’s counter attacking football of today, where he plays like Stoke for 80 minutes and hopes to bang on the break.
There is also the feeling at present that the Chelsea attack is heavily reliant on Diego Costa, with no real replacement for him, Loic Remy being as good as you could get with Demba Ba or 67-year old, Samuel Eto’o.
It is a fact that no one player can always stay fit all season long. Times of drought will come when it will be uneasy for them to turn on the styles as they’ve so far done well this season. Like City in 2012, teams will begin to find Mourinho out in his tactics and give him a test of his own medicine. It may not be the top teams who do it, but the likes of Southampton and Stoke have a certain specialty in stuffing and snuffing opponents.
Chelsea have shown their vulnerability in front of goal ample times this season, failing to kill it off and keep it tight against City and United, while conceding too much at Goodison. Brendan Rodgers learnt that goals aren’t enough to win you the League; that could be Mourinho’s lesson this season.
Like James Nicholas remarked, Arsenal vs Chelsea could become our cup final game of the League, where we have to defend our honour as the sole ‘Invincibles’ of the modern era. We cannot predict what form we would be in within that period but Wenger must know that he won’t have a greater chance to put the Mou nemesis to bed once and for all.
Besides that, there are still 6 games against Liverpool, United, City, Tottenham are still to come for Chelsea to lose. May be the sight of Mourinho may be enough to awake the Mario in Balotelli.
Whoever and however its done. One thing’s for sure. Mou’s Chelsea ending the season unbeaten is still far from being a reality with the League season not even close to its climax.
The ridiculous media hype surrounding it already may well lead them to an early disappointment.
Follow oohtobeagooner on Facebook
for more latest Arsenal transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours.