The swashbuckling and record-breaking achievement of Antonio Conte’s Chelsea in winning the title last season in grand style was unbelievable. With a small core of players, the Italian assembled a brutally armed troop that took the league by storm and surprised many with dazzling football that had the mixed bag of brawn and brain. Celebrations were heavenly as Chelsea celebrated their second title in three years in May.
The stark reality is that Chelsea’s honeymoon period is over. A reminder came in the calamitous 3-2 home defeat against Burnley. Successive wins against Spurs and Everton can’t take away the fact that Conte’s team is threadbare. The need to add squad depth is familiar failing at Chelsea, but one that can be averted. Three seasons ago, the club’s unwillingness to sign players Jose needed to mount a serious title defence also led to our fall from grace to grass. Now Conte’s magic wand has got us up, the least the club can do is to back him with the players he needs. The Italian had this to say on this issue during preseason:
‘We know the next season will be tough and we want to avoid what happened in the previous season for Chelsea, two years ago, when the team finished in 10th place in the Premier League,” he said.
“We want to try to avoid this. I want to try to avoid what happened two seasons ago.
“Two coaches have been sacked from Chelsea and Leicester after winning the league and I want to avoid this and the players want to avoid the bad season they had with Mourinho.”
With few hours left to complete transfers, it will interesting to see how it all works out at the club. Chelsea must avoid being their own enemy by shooting themselves at the heel rather than making a quantum leap. It will be a case of one step forward, two steps backward. The club must act fast to strengthen the team for the challenges ahead.
Let’s hope for the best. Cheers!