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Chelsea: Deserved Champions

This Sunday gone, Chelsea clinched the Premiership title at Stamford Bridge with an emphatic 8-0 victory over Roberto Martinez’s Wigan Athletic and I have to say, deservedly so.

It has been a strange season in the Premiership with all of the so-called big four slightly under-par, but all in all, Chelsea has been the best team. They have scored 103 goals in the league, a record, and taken 18 of a possible 18 points against the so-called big four. That is the form of champions. Manchester United had, by its own high standards, a disappointing season. Sure, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men only finished one point behind the eventual champions, but the truth is they simply were not good enough.

Seven defeats are too many and the Scot will know that as he starts to mastermind next season’s assault on the trophy he sees as his. People have spoken at length about the significance of United’s defeat to Chelsea at Old Trafford last month, but if one looks back at the season, United lost the title by dropping points against the lesser teams. Pundits and fans alike have claimed that they have not missed Cristiano Ronaldo as the form of Wayne Rooney has mitigated his absence. I disagree. In the three seasons that United won the title with the Portuguese, their record against the so-called big four was patchy at best, a bit like this season (nine points from eighteen). However, their form against the rest of the Premiership was superb and Ronaldo was the main reason, not the only reason but the main one, for this. Lesser defenders simply could not handle him and he cut them to ribbons, scoring freely or laying on goals for teammates like Rooney. If you do not believe me, ask Bolton, ask Newcastle.

Cristiano Ronaldo - missed in Manchester

United will look back on the following results as the ones that cost them the title: 1-0 defeat away to Burnley, 2-2 draw at home to Sunderland, 1-0 home defeat to Aston Villa and 0-0 draw away to Blackburn. I cannot say they would not have had these results with Ronaldo because the fact is, there is no way of knowing, but United miss him. That said, the spine of a good team is still in place and with a shrewd acquisition or two over the summer, they will be right back in contention again next year.

 Chelsea only lost one game fewer than United, but one somehow had the impression all season that they looked like the strongest team. John Terry had a poor season and injury robbed them of their best midfielder in Michael Essien. The likes of Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard had to be at the top of their game, and they did not let their club down. Florent Malouda was the success story of the season, finally looking like the player they bought from Lyon, scoring goals and setting up many more. It was far from a perfect season, let’s not forget that they only won by one point when Manchester United had a disappointing season, but Carlo Ancelotti has done the first part of his job, regained the Premiership title. He will know however, that some remedial work needs to undertaken in the summer.

 He has also pleased Roman Abramovich by introducing a free-flowing style of play that has brought a century of league goals, much to the dismay of Wigan, Sunderland and Aston Villa. As a point of comparison, Jose Mourinho’s last season at Chelsea brought 64 goals. His job will now be to bring the Champions League to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea - worthy champions (This image is the property of Getty Images)

Chelsea’s ability to beat the sides around them in the table has ultimately proved the difference and although there has been luck along the way (Didier Drogba’s offside goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford), you cannot be lucky for thirty eight games. The best team wins the league, so to Chelsea I say, Congratulations.

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Categories: Football
  1. Superiorraw
    May 13, 2010 at 8:20 am

    If you look back on the Results of Chelsea regarding their high scoring performances and their formation. You can see two of those results are freak-ish at best. Stoke, who dont tend to get mullered got hit for 7, and Aston Villa well., they are one of the better sides in the Premier League now, so a capitulation for both those sides saw them get hit heavy, Wigan (I cant defend, i’ve spoken at length about their managers strategy to you in our MSN convo’s so thats the only result i’d say was a justified result). The fact Wigan had been hit for so many goals against Spurs tells you alot about the defensive mindset of the side. Take those 2 results away from Chelsea that I spoke about and thats 14 goals off their goals for in just 2 matches! so to be fair that goals tally in those 3 matches alone flatters the league table.

    What also sums up the season is that quote by Pundit Hansen, “it’s a testament to Ferguson that United are even in with a shot”, we were nowhere near our best and we only finished 1 point behind them? What really does that say about our competition? I have always stood by the league standings and will continue to do so, everyone has 38 games to win the league and Chelsea have amassed the most points.

    Analysing the results you speak about; United have lost 7 in the league this season. All the teams dropped points this year, even Chelsea weren’t at their best. Here is a quick rundown of the losses;
    Burnley A Lost 1-0
    Liverpool A Lost 2-0
    Chelsea A Lost 1-0
    Aston Villa H Lost 1-0
    Fulham A Lost 3-0
    Everton A Lost 3-1
    Chelsea H Lost 2-1

    I appreciate what your saying about the not finishing off other ‘lesser’ sides but in reality we lost twice to the eventual champions. Had we won that Game to them at Old Trafford I think we would of been champions. Never the less it wasn’t to be and as that season proved when we finished 3rd, it never does the squad any harm to kick them up the backside by proving they aren’t unbeatable. Those 7 results prove that. I drastically think we need to sort out the back 4, no side can win the title convincingly when we are as unsettled as we have been, can you imagine what would happen if Patrice got injured!! That would give me nightmares never mind Ferguson!

  2. Chris Hollindale
    May 12, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    I don’t think anyone would say United didn’t miss Ronaldo; I think the more common argument is that they haven’t missed him as much as one might expect, which is actually probably true. Having said that, I’m confident they’d have won the league if he’d have been playing (and not sulking), as you rightly suggest, so they clearly do miss him.

    There’s some good tactical analysis of United and Chelsea’s seasons on Zonal Marking (my new favourite football website), which makes some very valid points:

    Chelsea: http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/05/10/chelsea-premiership-champions-2009-10/
    United: http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/05/11/manchester-uniteds-attacking-options/

    One thing is for sure: it’s a funny old game.

    P.S. Don’t mention Forest!

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