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10 key reasons why Chelsea won tthe title



Gabriele Marcotti examines the secrets of Chelsea’s incredible success this season as the London club celebrates their first English league title since 1955



They didn’t have far to go

It’s easy to dismiss Claudio Ranieri as an unintelligible, tinkering vignette, but the truth is that Chelsea were an outstanding side last season as well. But for 45 minutes of madness in Monaco, they could well have become only the second English side to reach the Champions’ League final in 20 years. They finished second behind a record-breaking Arsenal side which went the whole season undefeated. Chelsea’s points total in the 2003-04 Premiership – 79 – would have been good enough to win the title in some years.

TEAM UNITY

At almost every football club, no matter how successful (yes, even Sir Alex’s Manchester United), there are players who criticise the manager, whether in public or private. Not at Chelsea. Not one Chelsea player (with the exception of Adrian Mutu, who had an axe to grind for other reasons) expressed any doubts or resentment towards the boss this season. Not even players like Scott Parker, Geremi, Robert Huth or Carlo Cudicini, who all found themselves marginalised after playing important roles under the previous manager, cast doubt on Mourinho’s recipe for success. In fact, when they talk about their Portuguese supremo, they almost sound like members of a cult, singing the praises of the Great Leader. Which can only mean one of two things: either Mourinho is as great as they say or he has convinced them he is as great as they say. Either way, it’s a key ingredient in their success.

FRANK LAMPARD IS NOT HUMAN

He simply is not. There is no logical, physical explanation for how a player of his physique and style can play every single game at 100 miles per hour. There simply isn’t. A big, strong, heavy box-to-box midfielder should pick up knocks or at least pay the price for the pounding his knees take (rather like Steven Gerrard). And yet, since joining the club in the summer of 2001, he has missed only one Premiership game, and that was through suspension. His performances are frighteningly consistent as well – he simply never has a bad game. And his 18 goals make him Chelsea’s top scorer.

ARSENAL AND MANCHESTER UNITED WERE HIT BY INJURIES

Both chasing clubs can complain long and hard about injuries. Gabriel Heinze, Rio Ferdinand and Ruud van Nistelrooy didn’t make their first league appearances for United until the middle of September. Wayne Rooney’s debut came in October. Van Nistelrooy then missed another crucial three months in the middle of the season and Gary Neville was also out for two months. Over at Highbury, the club’s key defender Sol Campbell hasn’t been seen since February 1. Edu, Freddy Ljungberg, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp all missed around a month at various times. And, most crucially, the Brazilian midfielder Gilberto Silva, who was so instrumental (and underappreciated) last season, has been sidelined for the entire campaign. Contrast that with Chelsea. Apart from Arjen Robben (who was injured at the start of the season and missed another ten weeks later in the year) the only other regulars to have been sidelined for a month were Didier Drogba and Ricardo Carvalho.

PETER CECH

The giant Czech won’t be 23 until next month, which is downright scary, given how dominant he has been. A world-class goalkeeper can be worth a bagful of extra points at the end of the season. His saves turn draws into wins and losses into draws. Before this weekend, Chelsea had won points in 33 of their 34 matches – and 18 of those games were either draws or wins for Chelsea by a single goal. You do the maths.

CHELSEA KNEW HOW TO GRIND OUT RESULTS IN A POOR PREMIERSHIP

Chelsea have perfected the art of steamrollering poor sides. And there were more poor sides than usual this season. Liverpool, in fifth place, are far closer to the relegation zone (24 points away) than they are to the top of the table (31 points). That has happened only once in the past 11 years.

CLAUDE MAKELELE

And to think that, this time last year, Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon was briefing journalists that the Frenchman – who he dubbed a “mercenary” – was the epitome of Ranieri’s “poor transfer policy”. The “mercenary” part may be true (Makelele famously said: “When I look at where I am and who I play with, I feel like crying … then I look at my bank balance and I feel like laughing' ) but it’s equally true that the holding midfielder is a top professional who has scarcely put a foot wrong this season. He is the glue that keeps Chelsea together, the fundamental building block which allows Mourinho’s system to work.

SAFETY FIRST

The guy behind the back four (Cech) and the guy in front of the back four (Makelele) are among the top five in the world at their respective positions. The back four itself isn’t too shabby either, which means the defensive base at Chelsea is as solid as any in football. Carvalho’s pace and athleticism made him the ideal complement for John Terry, while William Gallas showed he is the best defensive jack-of-all-trades in the business. That corps of players kept Chelsea in games even when their strikers were misfiring or when the opposition raised the barricades. Not coincidentally, Chelsea have conceded more than a single goal in a league match just twice all season.

JOSE MOURINHO

He said he was “special” and even his detractors would have to concede that he is, at the very least, “different”. He chose a game plan and stuck to it (unlike his predecessor), his supreme confidence pervaded the entire side (unlike his predecessor) and he kept his expensive squad in line throughout the season (unlike his predecessor). In short, he wasn’t Ranieri.

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH

The simplest reason is often the most important. You can talk for hours about tactics, Mourinho and the significance of winning a title every 50 years, but it doesn’t change the fact that a previously-unknown billionaire came out of nowhere to rescue the club from bankruptcy and give it the world’s biggest transfer budget. Abramovich spent more than £210 million on new players. That’s more than two and a half times what Arsenal and Manchester United combined spent on signings. In football, as in life, money talks.

01 May 2005
 

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yaf said:
Somebody forgot the only person that matters:
Arjen Robben
and so obviously if that's the case Chel$ki have another reason to thank Ranieri for signing him and Abramovich for bankrolling the deal, otherwise Man Utd would have won the EPL this year by your logic.

but of course we all know that Chel$ki winning is virtually all down to the brilliant football of Terry, Lampard and the nous of Kenyon and Mourinho though :tongue: ;)
 

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great posts but surely Cech, Lampard, Terry and Makelele were chelseas best players

robben was gr8 and all but hes been injured for sometime now and chelsea still dominated
 

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Good analysis but the way i see it is they won due to Abra's money. That is obviously the backbone behind it all. Its like using Editor in Championship Manager and pumping up your teams Transfer Funds to a rediculous and unrealistic amount.
 

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Mourinho is a top manager, and Cech is a top goalkeeper - and Man Utd are too stupid to spend their finances on acquiring similar assets, so are in no position to accuse Chelsea of succeeding by financial muscle alone. The fact that Man Utd cannot even spend their way into second place despite being much richer than Arsenal proves your silly statement wrong.

Well done Chelsea, a deserved success, and I hope you continue to enjoy reading the tiny-tears whinging from 'fans' of the Biggest (3rd-rate) Club in the World:)
 

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Its funny hearing all the bitter reds saying how Chelsea bought the title. I didn't know van Nistelrooy, fake ronaldo and ferdinand came through their youth system then
 

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Laporta said:
There's only 1 key reason why Chelsea won the title: Roman Abromovich
The 1 reason for me they won it above and beyond the ridiculous cash they spent was their defence. A team that keeps as many clean sheets as they have and loses only once makes best use of their goals scored. If you don't conceded you can't lose and it only takes one goal no matter how lucky.

As for the money aspect, yes they added some expensive signings but for me the keys were existing players in Duff, Lampard and Cole as much as Carvalho, Cech, Ferreira and Robben. They wasted money on new expensive strikers when I still rate Gudjohnsen as their best. Man Utd certainly can't complain about money spent when they still have the three most expensive signings in English football of all time
 

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You could draw a simple dependency chart for this league championship. Every entity above depends on the one below and without it cannot exist.

Mourinho
^
top class squad
^
Abramovich's $$$

Clearly, if you remove Abramovich's funding, the whole pyramid collapses. But without the other pieces, it wouldn't exist either. Last year Chelsea had both the money and the expensive players and won damn all.
 

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And Man U have similar finances and are STILL third rate - hence the sour grapes :D
 

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Man Utd have spent plenty and had a league winning side to start with. They've spent more than Arsenal and are four points behind them with vastly inferior GD
 

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Attila_the_Nun said:
And Man U have similar finances and are STILL third rate - hence the sour grapes :D


similar finances??!!! :howler: :howler: we dont spend £100mil a season m8 chelsea do
 

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Personally I feel the reason they won the title was due to Mourinho. It is my personal belief that Mourinho could have won the league without the cash of Abramovic.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
^^^^^^^

Mourinho is a world class manager but thats just bollocks mate, Chelsea would of been bankrupted without Roman.

Its not down to 1 thing guys, why does everything have to be just one, its many things, some things have bigger influence than others but its still a mixed formula.
 

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Firenze said:
Personally I feel the reason they won the title was due to Mourinho. It is my personal belief that Mourinho could have won the league without the cash of Abramovic.
Mourinho wouldn't have even been managing the club if Roman hadn't have saved them from abyss in the first place, I don't know where you get that idea from.

If it weren't for Roman they wouldn't have lasted much longer, the were on the verge of administration and eventual liquidation ffs.
 

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Mourinho took a big Portugese club to the Champions League title - big achievement

Mourinho took a club with Abrahamovic's ca$h to the Premiership with three games to spare - not nearly the achievement many are making out.

Good manager + cash = title
Average manager + cash = few trophies
crap manager + cash = nothing

Good manager + no cash = high-ish league placing (not top three)
Average manager + no cash = mid-table
Crap manager + no cash = low league placing
 

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Pumba said:
similar finances??!!! :howler: :howler: we dont spend £100mil a season m8 chelsea do
They've spent what you've spent - they just did it quicker - but since you preferred to spend it on effeminate divers, crap goalkeepers and a tactically-naive old poof of a manager you'll have to settle for third-best... again.
AND it took tiny-tears Fergie seven years to buy the title :D:D:D

Rio Ferdinand: £20m+; John Terry: hardly anything... penny dropped yet?
 

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Man Utd have the three most expensive players of all time. Their current 'best' team cost £105m and three of those players were free

Man Utd (£105m)

Howard £2m
Heinze £7m
Ferdinand £30m
Silvestre £4m
Neville N/A
Giggs N/A
Scholes N/A
Keane £4m
Ronaldo £12m
Rooney £27m
Van Nistelrooy £19m

Chelsea £135m

Cech £7m
Bridge £7m
Terry N/A
Carvalho £20m
Ferreira £13m
Duff £17m
Lampard £11m
Cole £7m
Makelele £17m
Robben £12m
Drogba £24m

Average money spent on players in first XI's above (excludes 'frees') - Man Utd £13m, Chelsea £13.5m.
 

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Owzat said:
Man Utd have the three most expensive players of all time. Their current 'best' team cost £105m and three of those players were free

Man Utd (£105m)

Howard £2m
Heinze £7m
Ferdinand £30m
Silvestre £4m
Neville N/A
Giggs N/A
Scholes N/A
Keane £4m
Ronaldo £12m
Rooney £27m
Van Nistelrooy £19m

Chelsea £135m

Cech £7m
Bridge £7m
Terry N/A
Carvalho £20m
Ferreira £13m
Duff £17m
Lampard £11m
Cole £7m
Makelele £17m
Robben £12m
Drogba £24m

Average money spent on players in first XI's above (excludes 'frees') - Man Utd £13m, Chelsea £13.5m.
Whereas our money spent is over a span of 12 years while Chelsea's is over just 4 years....

:thmbup: You deserve exceptional praise too for choosing to look at the first XI only while you know that Chelsea have bought a whole new team :star: add them in and... :wallbang:

And while you are at it try and include in sales too, didn't we make over 40 million from transfers in the summer of 2003?
 
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