We have a pretty botched up squad which will hopefully be hitting even greater heights because they have gained experience in the PL, and this time around we don't have unnecessary stuff like CWC and Europa League ( Hopefully ) but we should be prepared for a 60+ game season nonetheless.
I think a squad similar to the one above would be a really good shot for the title.
Potential Signings are in Italic.
GK - Cech, New Backup, Walker/Blackman
Full Backs- Azpilicueta, Cole, Ivanovic, Bertrand, Shaw
Centre Halves - Luiz, Terry, Cahill, Ake, Bruma, Marquinhos
Pivot Players- Mikel, Romeu, Lampard, McEachran, Essien, Matic
Attacking Midfielders - Mata, Hazard, Oscar, Moses, Ramires, KdB, Schurrle
Forwards- Ba, Lukaku, Torres
Outgoing Players - Marin, Benayoun, Ferreira, Malouda, Turnbull, Hilario
Our backline definitely needs some refreshing, and John Terry's rapid decline and Ashley Cole's potential decline are causes for concern, I feel that Roma's 19 year old Centre Back Marquinhos would be a splendid signing, and would lead our defense along with Luiz for years to come. I think Cahill and Bruma could serve as really good backups and with players like Kalas waiting in the wings, I don't think more than one signing is required when it comes to the CB position.
We should also look to get in Luke Shaw, who is a known Chelsea fan and would be glad to come here. He's pretty much the best prospect outright when it comes to left back, and he would give Bertrand some really good competition and possibly even outpace him in the race for the first choice LB spot.
This is probably Chelsea's glaring area of weakness, and I don't think many fans could stand the prospect of say, a Ramires Lampard Pivot or Luiz being booted upfront. Fortunately, we will have Oriol Romeu back, and hopefully he can comeback with the same form he showed under AvB. We'll also have Michael Essien back, however at the age of 30 and battered with injuries, I don't see him as a starter. We should keep hold of Josh McEachran and try to give him games to see what he can do, but Chalobah should be allowed to continue his development at Watford in the EPL. In that view, we should look to get back one of our old mates, Nemanja Matic, from Benfica. His development as a player has been astounding this season, and he offers the bite and ruggedness we lack in our pivot along with good short passing and posession recycling ability.
The triumvirate of Mazacar will stay intact, and the competent Moses will be there to back them up. That being said, we should shift up Ramires in the right wing spot for versatility and rotation purposes. Hopefully KdB can also be around, and he would be a superb direct backup to Mata, and considering how burned out Mata has been for the past two seasons, I wouldn't mind him just cooling it down a little bit. If sources are to be believed, Andre Schurrle is soon going to be a Chelsea player. He can back up really well to Hazard/ Oscar and push in for starts as well, especially in games that we need to be more direct and shoot from outside ( ie defensive oriented teams ) and he would add unpredictability to the squad as well, and can rotate with the Strikers as well.
I'm sure i'm going to get some stick when I say that I don't think we need Cavani, Falcao or Lewandowski to spearhead our attack. But looking at Lukaku's fabulous performance yesterday, I would really like to gamble on him for next season. Torres seems to be doing okay, and hopefully Ba will start his 3rd full season in England as blisteringly as he started the previous two. And our absolute monster of Lukaku could top it all off. If we add Schurrle, he could cover in this position as well.
Hopefully Mourinho ( or whoever arrives ) will be willing to show some tactical flexibility like Fergie did, that is key when it comes to consistently winning. The above crop of players could easily do 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, 4-4-1-1, 4-2-2-2 or even a classic 4-4-2. I personally think that 4-2-3-1 should be our main formation, and we should regularly mix it up and stay tactically fresh.
I think if we could go into the season with such a lineup, we can definitely win the EPL and take a crack at the other competitions as well. We should be fine, unless our squad hugely underachieves and we have enough depth to go into a 60+ game season. If Luiz and his geezers can keep the back tight, the pivot can do its job of controlling the tempo well, the attacking midfield led by Hazard and Mata can chip in with many goals and assists, and our front 3 can combine to give us at least 50 goals combined, we will most definitely have a sensational 2013-14.
UP THE BLUES!