It has not escaped anyone's attention that Chelsea haven't splashed the cash this summer. Despite a new sponsorship deal with Yokohama Rubber and finally getting Fernando Torres off the books, the Blues have been extremely quiet in the transfer market, despite everyone else in England spending tens of millions on reinforcements. That's a far cry from last season, when Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa were added to the mix, but if we take Jose Mourinho at his word we shouldn't expect a change of tack before the new season starts:
In the beginning of Mr. Abramovich coming to Chelsea, Chelsea was buying the title. Now, [our rivals] are buying the title. All of them, they are buying the title. It is up to us to be strong and to fight them and, obviously, to try and win it again, even without the big investments.
Everyone is focusing on the ‘buying the title’ part, but that's less interesting to me than the last sentence. It's up to Chelsea to defend the league title without the big investments, apparently, which would suggest that the club is in a weaker position this summer than last, at least in terms of personnel. Everyone else has spent money to get better, Chelsea have not.
The question is whether or not the combination of a year of experience plus Mourinho's methods can keep the gap clear without a major investment. We have a championship squad at our disposal, and it's up to them to see how far they can go.