Are Chelsea as far off the pace as people think?


After the international break, the Premier League returned this weekend and everything has continued as it were before the week of England bore fests.  Manchester United and City both racked up impressive wins and continued their 100% records, however something overlooked by many also continued and that is another Chelsea win as they stealthily and quietly manouvered themself behind the leading pack in 3rd, just a meagre 2 points behind the league leaders.

The London club have won all of their last 3 games and it is only a scrappy point on the first weekend of the season that has put them behind the Manchester clubs, and it is strange therefore that they aren’t getting the attention that you would expect and perhaps the attention they deserve.

As I sat in the interminable traffic on Saturday evening leaving Eastlands, listening to updates on United doing their impressive demolition job of Bolton just 18 miles up the road I heard Alan Hansen and other pundits declaring a 2 horse race title race and stating that it looked as if City and United would be the only sides challenging for the title this season.  Obviously such a comment would suggest the gap between 2nd and 3rd would be greater than 2 points, but it isn’t, so why are people counting Chelsea out of the title race already?

I suppose many are focussing on the quality of football being played by the blue and red sides of Manchester, the level of performance has been raised higher than it was last season and Andre Villas-Boas is struggling to reach that standard but that is unimportant if they continue to win as they currently are.  Their opening day point at Stoke is probably not even a bad result, as Liverpool proved on Saturday you can go to the Britannia and play well and still come away with nothing.  Their form since then has been solid but performances have been merely adequate.

The problems getting Fernando Torres to fire were banished at the weekend as the Spaniard was relegated to the substitute bench with Nicolas Anelka and Daniel Sturridge spearheading the sides attacks.  It was a routine victory which was further improved by a stunning piece of skill for their second as the former City forward somehow managed to back heel the ball into the far corner of the Sunderland net.

I suppose it could be aruged that the Stamford Bridge side haven’t had a big test yet, whilst City had to go to White Hart Lane and United had to play Arsenal, albeit a bare bones North London version of the former powerhouse.  Chelsea though continue to get the job done and as fate would have it, their first test will come this weekend and it takes the form of Manchester United at Old Trafford, what better way for them to be judged.

If Chelsea can come away with a win they are even more in the mix than they already are, and even a point would represent a good result and would surely make more people take notice of what they are doing.  Obviously if they suffer a defeat and even more so a crushing defeat it could really harm them going forward but they have it all to play for and are definitely capable of causing an upset.

Clearly it is early days and people lauding Manchester City and United, declaring a 2 horse race have made mention of that fact, but I feel not enough is being made of it.  We are only 4 games into the season and there is ample time for there to be huge power shifts in the title race, the old adage says that the league table is an irrelevancy until 10 games are on the board and that performance is a much better beromteter of a teams capabilities, in that case City and United are a long way ahead of Chelsea, however, nothing is won on who plays the best football, the bottom line is that Chelsea are putting a decent run together and are only 2 points behind the leaders and to count them out already is not only foolish, it is also doing the team a massive disservice.

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I am a huge Manchester City fan, but also a fan of football as a game. I like to watch games at all levels, from Blue Square Premier, right up to the Premier League where I have a season ticket at City. I really enjoy writing for This Is Futbol because it allows me to give my thoughts on the very latest pieces of football news. I also run for all things Manchester City.


  • Akil says:

    Brilliant article! Absoloutley spot on!

  • hans says:

    ya .. of course they need to play with winning attacking mentality if they want to be compare with city and united . The style of play is not yet impressive as what i thought!! maybe top four will do our club( chelsea) but not winning the league!

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