This is an article showing how Chelsea will have a completely different season to the previous one. Last season Chelsea did very well in the cup competitions, winning the FA cup and the Champions League. However the blues did less well in the Premiere League, finishing in 6th place - the worst league finish since abramovich took over as owner. The new signings like to play attacking, technical football (marko marin, oscar and eden hazard), and the departure of didier drogba, jose bosingwa, salamon kalou - who were very physical and strong. All this indicates that Chelsea are ready to play more attractive, attacking football, keeping the ball on the ground with less crosses and more passing. However they will still be taking a direct approach and be looking to hit on the break with the pace in the team. This theory has already been proven by our first two league games where we passed much more than normal, achieving 651 passes with a 88.9% success rate against Reading. Therefore I predict we will see a change in the results as a result of the change in style. Hit the jump to see what that change in results will be.
In the champions league it is inevitable that you will at some point, if you get far enough, face the likes of Barcelona or real madrid as Barcelona have won it in 2009 and 2011 and both the two nearly always reach the semi finals. I will use Barcelona as an example. Last season the blues faced them and managed to overcome them over two memorable legs, winning the first 1-0 and then drawing 2-2 at the nou camp. This was achieved largely thanks to Di Matteo's brilliant tactics which mainly involved parking the bus, riding their luck and hitting on the counter. This is proven as Chelsea had 28% possession in the 2nd leg and completed just 117 passes to Barcelonas 660. They also missed a penalty and hit the woodwork several times. Last season this worked very well but with the new style the club looks set to play with they will struggle to repeat this. That is because we will now rely more on passing and will have less of a physical presence as we did with didier drogba. However if you try and play attacking, attractive football against Barcelona you nearly always loose as they are much better than anyone else at keeping the ball. Take Arsenal for example. They were nocked out of the champions league in successive seasons (09-10, 10-11) against Barcelona when they tried to keep possession of the ball and play attractive football. Another example is Manchester United who tried to play attacking football in the 3-1 loss in the champions league final to Barcelona in 2011. Therefore i predict it will be impossible for the blues to repeat their champions league success but in the league this new style of play could have very different effects.
We have already seen in the opening two games how the likes of eden hazard and co. can rip up defences with clever, tidy passing and skills. This has been shown by him (hazard) getting 3 assists and winning 2 penalties in the first two games. Therefore against lesser opposition (which we will see a lot of in the premiere league) it should be easier with our new style of play to pick up the three points because we will create more chances and take advantage of the inferior defences of other teams. In the last season we often drew games as we failed to create enough chances and therefore scored less.
As a result of all this, i predict a much higher league finish and a title challenge but struggle to see us repeating our champions league success of last season.