To say that Chelsea have had a fair season so far would be an understatement. We have done very well this season, and recovered remarkable from last season’s horror show. I mean, after what happened last season, and where we finished (10th), coupled with a managerial change that involves someone entirely new to the Premier League, the best even Abramovich would have expected from his club this season is a top four finish. It’s not because we lack the manpower to win the league, but because last season’s outing was so poor, everyone believed it would take a whole season of rebuilding to get away from it, and back to the top of English and world football, but then, Conte has done an amazing job with his charges. He has adapted so quickly to life in England, and instilled that winning mentality Chelsea were known for back in the days. He started the season with 3 wins on the trot, then things went awry. We drew to Swansea after being 1-0 up and then lost against Liverpool and Arsenal within that scary period, but as they say, there’s always a positive in even the seemingly most awful situation.
Conte is known to favour playing with 3 centre-backs and wing-backs. It was the same system he used to win back to back Scudetto titles (although a 3-5-2 formation), and achieve so much success in the Serie A. He opted to retain the usual Chelsea formation in his first couple of games, but losses against Liverpool and Arsenal prompted him to revert to his old system.
Ever since he introduced the system at Chelsea, albeit a 3-4-3 system, Chelsea have been on fire. We have recorded four wins on the bounce, and all without conceding a goal. Our once shaky defence is now the most in-form defence in the league, and we’re scoring goals for fun. Wins against Hull, Leicester, Manchester Utd and Southampton has put us back in the top four, and cemented our position as title contenders this season. If anyone ever doubted the seriousness of this Chelsea side, by now, they would have had a change of heart. Our fear factor is back, and players are in good spirit.
On Saturday, we take a trip to Merseyside, in a tricky tie with Everton, who are in a good form as well. In recent seasons, the tie has been a keenly contested one, with wins coming at a slim margin for both sides. 2 seasons ago, we did the double over them, and impressively, but last season, the reverse was the case. —But you have to understand why that happened; we were too poor last season, and just about any team faced us without fear. This season is different though, we’re playing excellently, and definitely we’ll fancy our chances against them. If we get a win against a team like Everton, after beating the likes of Leicester, Man Utd and Southampton, it’ll definitely highlight our preparedness to fight for the league title until the end. It’ll also say how far we’ve come since we switched to the new 3-4-3 system. So I’m looking forward to that game, and without trying today underestimate the Toffees, I have a lot of faith in our boys to carry the day. They just need to get out there, and play like they have over these past few games. Until Saturday, I keep my fingers crossed, and wish them the very best.