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Is the Premier League title opening up for Chelsea?

Despite being also-rans for a large part of the season, one cannot help but thinking that the Premier League is beginning to open up for Chelsea for the 2009-10 season. While Guus Hiddink may now have left the club, the Blues will certainly fancy their chances under new man Carlo Ancelotti of regaining their title which has alluded them since the departure of Jose Mourinho.

I am off the opinion that had Hiddink been in charge for the entire duration of the 2008-09 season, then Chelsea would have pipped Liverpool and Manchester United to win the title. Under Luis Felipe Scolari, Chelsea were an unorganised shambles and dropped a number of silly points that did not happen under the Dutch tactician.

Chelsea finished the season strongly, winning the FA Cup and looked much more like the organised, disciplined side that we had come to expect under Mourinho. After a significant dip in sales during the Scolari reign, Chelsea shirts started to fly off the shelves once more.

With the news that Manchester United are set to sell Cristiano Ronaldo for a world record fee of £80m, Chelsea’s main title contenders are significantly weakened. Of course, United will have significant transfer funds to spend to reinforce their squad but with Carlos Tevez also set to leave the club, the reality is United are without two of their most attacking players and two men who, along with Wayne Rooney, have been largely responsible for United’s success over the past two seasons. While it is likely United will bring in quality, it will be a largely transitional time for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

In Merseyside, despite their impressive form last season, Liverpool continue to be haunted by financial worries which will likely prevent Rafa Benitez from competing in the fantasy world that is the transfer market this summer. Indeed, a successful transfer window for the Reds may be hanging onto their best players, with both Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso both strongly linked with moves away from Anfield.

In contrast, Chelsea have both a settled side and funds to invest. Among the names linked with a move to Stamford Bridge and Ancelotti’s ex-Milan stars Andrea Pirlo and Alexandre Pato. The latter appears most likely and could provide an exciting spark to a somewhat flat Chelsea side.

With Arsenal also set to invest in new players this summer, it promises to be one of the most exciting Premiership title races for many a year.

Written by Danny Watson, a professional sports writer who blogs about football news.

This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Is the Premier League title opening up for Chelsea?

  1. Tyson says:

    Chelsea are always a threat to any team on the planet when they are on form but most worryingly they are consistent enough to pose a proper challenge.

    Teams have good and bad years all the time but Chelsea are rarely down for more than a few games so they will pose the challenge they always have and always will.

    United on the other hand a huge windfall that could strenghten the squad significantly.

    I think the sale of Ronaldo and that windfall puts United in a better position for fending off Chelseas title charge though.

    if Untited make the right movies then I think United may be even more formidable next year.

  2. Christopher says:

    As a Chelsea fan I’m hoping that the improved cohesion we witnessed towards the end of the season becomes a more commonplace sight in the next campaign. But, then again, I had high hopes last year too… anything can happen in this game.

  3. williamhill says:

    in the end, the big four ended up in the top four spots. albeit each clubs hitting a few speed bumps along the way.

    i think ancelotti will do well next season, man utd will have something to prove without the aid of ronaldo, liverpool proved that they can fight all the way and arsenal, if they can keep fabregas and the other core members of the team fit and maybe acquisitions for the defence, can also compete for the title too

  4. Dave Miller says:

    I could’t agree more with your article,as a Chelsea fan it was so frustrating giving away valuable points with regular monotony so cheaply.I think any aquisition this season needs to be quality and preferably with younger fast legs.

  5. JLay says:

    Does the sale of a whiny, self-centered primadonna and an influx of £80m really weaken United? People said the same thing when Becks and RVN left – but we’re still here.

    Ferguson put this move off for 2 years – don’t think that he’d pull the trigger now without a viable plan B.

    My guess? Tevez stays, we grab another winger / striker in the transfer market, and United are a better TEAM next year.

  6. coachie says:

    Completely agree with the column, this is Chelski’s prime chance.

    JLay, you have to admit that Beckham and Ruud Bwoy, while fantastic players for the club, do not hold a candle to Ronaldo. He has carried the squad for vast stretches of the past few campaigns. I’m pumped to see some of the promising youngsters get a chance to shine, but at this point it does look like Chelski’s time.

  7. Tyson says:

    coachie the only reason you’d put Ronaldo above Beckham and Ruud is because Ronaldo is just a more complete player. I think Ronaldo may be the most complete player in the world in fact, he’s just so good in practically every department.

    End of the day though the fact of the matter is we’ve had players contribute more to the team than Ronaldo did.

    It was only his second season when Ruud put in 44 goals in a season for United.

    We’ve had big goal scorers come and go at United so we won’t be missing his goal scoring prowess.

    Fact of the matter is as good as Ronaldo is your best off having a more complete team.

    We get caught up in this debates about the best player like this isn’t a team sport.

    Honestly I’d swap Ronaldo for Xavi and Iniesta in a split second. If United can prop up their midfield with 2 good players and add a good striker they are going to be a significantly better team.

    If United can add the likes of ribery and valencia and bring a good striker up front they are going to be significantly more dominant this season.

    It’s all about building a more complete team and losing one player is never a big loss its about what you do with the rest of the team that matters.

    If United can put in 2 good players in the midfield and perhaps one striker Ronaldos presence wont even be missed at all. In fact United will do even better.

  8. Kalli says:

    Man united will come back with some great replacement like they always do but will they be good enough to replace Ronaldo , I really doubt it .
    Liverpool will most likely take the title next season .

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