Chelsea: We Never Replaced Drogba & It's Cost Us The League Title
What’s going right?
After finishing 25pts & 14pts off the eventual champions in the past two seasons, finally feeling relevant again has been a significant step forward. We dropped out of the Champions League in the group stages last season, so a solid run was welcome. Performances against top sides are also going the right way - you are confident of taking 4/6pts off those around you. Generally moving in the right direction.
Spectacularly underwhelming performances against cannon fodder has cost us the league title. When you see Liverpool and City with multiple players hitting 20+ goals it does not take a footballing genius to figure out where things have gone wrong. More balance throughout the side is needed, particularly in midfield, and a cutting edge in the final third is a must.
Got the right manager?
Unquestionably. Mourinho gets the majority of things correct, but now needs the club to provide him with quality starters. We spent £100m this season and never bought a world class striker when at least two were available in the summer. We have some great depth, but when City's third choice striker is bagging 25+ goals (Džeko) you know you spent poorly in the summer.
Eden Hazard. The Belgian still blows hot and cold, but without his goals and creativity this season we would not have been where we are. So much is expected of him that many people may suggest he has simply had a good but not great year. I prefer to think of what damage he can do with an elite striker ahead of him and a midfield capable of passing the ball more than 5 yards without taking 30 touches.
Who would you like to sell in the summer?
I have been disappointed by a few of our Brazilians - maybe slightly churlish to suggest that they have had an eye on the World Cup. I think we have outgrown Ramires and would move him on if possible. Depending on the size of bids there are quite a few on the edge who might go to raise funds for problem areas.
Who do you want to sign?
Diego Costa. He is just a horrible, niggly and chaotic striker who fits the club superbly well. Plenty of goals, you would expect, but more importantly a player opposition centre backs genuinely need to be worried by. We haven't had that since Drogba's departure. Give me a midfielder who can pass and a natural left back as well.
Best chant so far?
The one about Gerrard slipping seems to have gone viral & Willian's chant is a feature of almost every game. Despite the Sloop John B-ness of the chant the "we've done it before" chants throughout the PSG game were quality. Recovering from a near impossible aggregate scoreline is a Chelsea favourite.
Best opposition player/team you’ve seen?
Atlético Madrid are without peer in terms of teams we have faced this season. In terms of organisation and quality they were unbelievable to watch. Best player is difficult as we've invariably dealt with "top" players very well. Costa or Turan in the second leg at Stamford Bridge would take it. First time our defence looked to have been bullied and Turan really is a quality footballer.
Biggest wanker of the season?
Chris Foy, Mike Dean etc. Just ridiculous.
Funniest Moment of the season?
Steven Gerrard's slip at Anfield. Another in a long line of Gerrard assists for the team he clearly wishes he'd signed for.
Next season's prediction?
Get the right players in and we'll be champions. We've almost won the title with a horrifically poor set of strikers. Add 30 goals to this team, then we shall see.