“…..Its theirs, they have done it. Chelsea are the Premier League Champions….”, were the words of the match commentator after Chelsea won 1-0 against Newcastle United on the 3rd of May,2015. This win steered them 16 points clear to the second placed Manchester City and there was no way they could catch up with just three games to end the season. Chelsea had won their first Premier League title after 2010 and had broken few records in doing so. They had stayed at the top of the table for a total of 274 days. An Incredulous number I must say considering the level of competition in the English Premier League.
Everything was going in the favour of the Blues just when the 2015-16 season happened. Chelsea finished 10th in this very latest edition of the Barclays Premier League and this being recorded as the worst title defence in the history of the Premier League with Blackburn in 1996 and Manchester United in 2014 both finishing 7th. Not a record to be proud of right? So what had actually gone wrong? Chelsea had gone from being champions to fighting relegation battles in a matter of a few months. Was the reason for this, internal turmoil’s as many suggest or were the players really out of form?
It all started on their first match of the new season when they were playing at home against Swansea City. The match was tied at 2-2 when Eden Hazard was fouled very badly during the stoppage time. Following this the Chelsea physio Eva Carneiro rushed onto the pitch for his aid. Chelsea Manager Jose Mourino furious at her, reportedly called her ‘names’, if you know what I mean. After this incident however, some players supported Eva by saying that ‘she was only doing her job’. Whatsoever may be the case, after many tug-of-wars with the Chelsea Board, Eva Carneiro finally left the club in September of 2015. However the rumours has it that the club was at a civil war, with some players hating Mourinho and his way of running the club. The prominent ones were the club’s star players- Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas. The club’s condition went from bad to worse as defeat came to them more often than not. They were defeated by the likes of Stoke City, Norwich City, the underdogs of the league and we could see no ‘class’ performance by the aforementioned players. Chelsea stooped so low as till 17th position. Yes you read it right, just one position away from the relegation. The fans were frustrated, the Board was worried, players were helpless, Mourinho was clueless and rivals- happy. To sum it all up, it was total chaos. It was either Mourinho-‘The Special One’ or The Three Star Players of the club. The Board had to take a decision and they decided to fire Mourinho. Mourinho was sacked on the 17th of December,2015. The fans however didn’t like this idea and responded very offensively thereafter for a few home matches.
The manager less Chelsea played against Sunderland at Stamford Bridge next. In this very first match without Mourinho the team played surprisingly well scoring twice in the first fifteen minutes and went on to win the match 3-1. Costa and Fabregas were getting more into the box, creating pressure on the opposition. This was something we hadn’t seen from them until ‘The Sacking’. Not only this once but these players continued to perform well throughout what was left of the season. A coincidence? Well, I leave it to you guys to think whether this was because Mourinho was sacked or because of the new manager Guus Hiddink or simply that they happened to get their form then with everyone else at the same time. 🙂
Whatever may be the case, the team did definitely improve from then on. The new interim manager Guus Hiddink who had worked with Chelsea before, got the team together and saved them from relegation. From December, Chelsea had an unbeaten run in the Premier League until March. They gained the much needed points and slowly crawled back up the table. Costa who had netted only 5 goals until December began scoring almost every match now. Things were finally beginning to look up for Chelsea. The fans were now only hoping for a top four finish which qualified them for the next year’s Champions League even though it was a little farfetched to think that it was even achievable. However, sadly the Club finished at 10th place with 50 points getting 12 wins and losses each and 14 draws. With this on 15th May the worst title defence came to an end with Leicester City winning this trophy. Chelsea’s nightmarish season had finally ended giving the fans their much needed breathing space. However one observable irony was that, it was Hazard’s goal against Newcastle last season that won them the cup, similarly it was Hazard’s equalizer against their rivals Tottenham Hotspurs that confirmed the league trophy for Leicester City and ended the League title run for the Spurs.
However the coming season will be an interesting one to watch as Mourinho will visit Stamford Bridge as Manchester United Manager with Pep Guardiola also joining the show as Manager of Manchester City. Meanwhile Chelsea will be lead by Antonio Conte, the current Italian Manager for the Euro 2016. He is a successful manager and has had a great track record at the Italian club Juventus. Chelsea fans can be rest assured that this season will be nothing like the previous one, and a top four finish is achievable like it has been doing continuously for the past few years. With the summer transfer window open, there are many rumours about some star player who may find themselves at Stamford Bridge this August. Chelsea has been linked with Roma’s Nainggolan, Juventus’ Alvaro Morata and Paul Labile Pogba, Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann, Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, and so on, the list of the names continue. All in all, only time will tell how these changes will turn out for them. But all we can do is hope for the best right? Chelsea fans will surely wait for the next season with bated breath. So if there are any Chelsea fans reading this, you better buckle up because you guys are going to have one hell of a season up ahead.
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