In the English Premier League, the Chelsea Football Club is currently running away with the title with 60 points- eight points ahead of the second place Manchester City team and 10 points ahead of Tottenham and Arsenal.
This time last year, Chelsea was in 13th place on 30 points, only seven points away from the relegation zone. So how is it that Chelsea has made such a turn around in one season?
Due to a lot of changes in the beginning of 2016, Chelsea has gone from one of the most disappointing teams in the league to one of the most solid and entertaining teams in the league.
At the beginning of the 2015-2016 Premier League season, Chelsea was coming off of an illustrious league title win with 87 points, granting Jose Mourinho his third Premier League title with Chelsea. Going into the following season, Chelsea was seen as a favorite to win the league once again.
Diego Costa was the newest and most feared striker in the Premier League; the entire team seemed unstoppable, and with reinforcements such as Pedro and Asmir Begovic, they looked set to win the title for the second year in a row.
But early on in the season, Chelsea did not seem like the championship winning team that they were the previous season.
They started losing games early on, the team lacked focus and none of the players seemed content or motivated. By Christmas, Chelsea was in 15th place with 19 points in 18 games and only two points away from relegation. To make matters worse, the team’s manager, Jose Mourinho, got into an altercation with physiotherapist Eva Carneiro and was eventually fired.
In 2016, Jose Mourinho was sacked after a bad run of form and the legal battle that resulted with Eva Carneiro. Chelsea seemed to be going downhill, and people started to wonder if Chelsea would get relegated.
Chelsea then brought in a former manager, and now current manager, of Leicester City, Claudio Ranieri, to be the interim manager for the rest of the season.
Not long after Ranieri arrived at Chelsea, things started to look up again for the club. The players seemed happy with a new manager, the overall team morale seemed to be better, and players looked motivated to play.
Even though Chelsea finished in 10th place on 50 points, the season did not end as bad as it could have, and for Chelsea fans like myself, we were glad to have the season be over.
In the summer of 2016, big changes were made.
Claudio Ranieri went on to manage Leicester City, the club brought in the passionate Italian manager Antonio Conte and we signed some big-name players like David Luiz (who had only left the club before the start of the 2014-2015 season), Michi Batshuayi, Marcos Alonso and N’Golo Kante.
Chelsea even changed formation, changing from the classic 4-2-3-1 to a 3-4-3. Currently, Chelsea has 60 points after 25 games, winning 19 games, drawing three and losing three games.
The players look incredibly motivated this season; Conte has brought out the best in players such as David Luiz and N’Golo Kante, and at this rate, it looks like Chelsea may run away with the league this year and return to Champion’s League football.
If that’s the case, Chelsea fans like myself will be rejoicing in May, as this would be a pleasant gift after such an abysmal 2015-2016 season.
Luke Stergiou can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org