Jose Mourinho has accepted that Chelsea are one of the title favourites for the new Premier League season. After downplaying expectations throughout last campaign, he feels that the new signings this summer has given the squad a lot of strength.
Pressure is high on Mourinho after a season without any major trophy. Perhaps, it explains the reason for signing experienced players, read that as Cesc Fabregas and Filipe Luis, rather than players with potential. Ahead of the first match of the season, he said:
“Last season we were not feeling as though we were a title contender but in fact we finished very close to the title.
“We didn’t feel like one of the favourites for the Champions League and we played a semi-final, so we did well.
“This season obviously we bought some key players, we believe and we are feeling that the new players have brought the squad and team into another dimension.
“Yes we are title contenders, if you expect me to say we will win the Premier League I can’t say that. I can’t because I have to respect the competition, which is the only one that has more than two title contenders.
“I have to respect the opponents and efforts the other teams made to improve their already top teams, but we all feel we are title contenders.”
Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas will undoubtedly be regarded as the major additions to the squad. Costa, in particular, addresses a key issue that troubled Chelsea throughout last campaign – scoring goals. It is comforting to know that even without a top striker, Chelsea were able to finish just four points behind champions Manchester City.
The pre-season has shown that Costa looks like a significant upgrade over last season’s attacking line-up consisting of Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres, and Demba Ba. Fabregas may not be a goal scorer like Lampard, but he has the brilliant vision to take advantage of runs from Costa and Hazard.
Despite Mourinho enjoying a place in Chelsea fans’ hearts, this is a make or break season for the Portuguese. Owner Roman Abramovich has shown in the past that he does not think twice about sacking even the top managers if results do not come along. Mourinho’s Chelsea has to hit the ground running from the start.
Chelsea take on Burnley at Turf Moor on August 19.