So, are Chelsea really that good? Their 14-0 goal record, while picking up nine very easy points to start the season suggest a few things – The English Premiership isn’t as strong as it once was. It’s hard measuring a strength of an entire league, but we can’t go by the big clubs alone, and if Chelsea cut and shredded three lowly teams that easily, that has to say something about the other teams. Or at least about their preparations to the new season, factoring in they may need some time. And that’s the thing about Chelsea – A change of philosophy to rely pretty much on the squad of the last two seasons, while cutting back and getting rid of the unwanted or unnecessary with minor additions to a structure that has been the best in the premiership since the second half of 2008-2009, under Guus Hiddink. Ancelotti picked off from there, giving Chelsea their first league title since Mourinho.
The defense and keeper have yet to be tested, but still, not conceding a single goal in three matches is impressive, despite Terry not looking like the man we picked as the World’s best centre back nine months ago and sending Carvalho to re-join Mourinho in Madrid.
The midfield? Essien and Mikel are back and healthy, and although Frank Lampard isn’t looking like his 2009-2010 self, no doubt still reeling from the World Cup (and now might be facing a groin operation) while Florent Malouda, underused by Domenech in that joke of a World Cup campaign that France had is continuing his progression in becoming Chelsea’s go to guy, along with Didier Drogba. Malouda has scored four goals in the first three matches, completing the transformation he started after arriving from Lyon, much more than just a winger but a much more refined and total offensive player.
And Drogba? His partnership with Anelka continues to flourish, and he looks completely fine after suffering from the broken hand just before the World Cup started. Four goals and three assists, including an opening day hat trick, for the man who right now looks like the best striker in the world. That is until Barcelona kick off their season and we see what David Villa has in the bag for Los Cules fans.
It is early, but Chelsea look like the best in the premiership again. United just don’t have enough I believe to better the champions. More than that, the most likely team to finish second right now seems Arsenal. Barring injuries, they seem to have the second best squad in the league, and maybe this is finally the year they show that Wenger is more than just style. And if Manchester City connects, who knows. But still, Chelsea look like a fine, mean, lean scoring machine. If injuries don’t come a knockin’, a repeat should be arriving to West London. Now about the Champions League, that’s a whole different story, for a different time.