All of the news for Chelsea’s 2013-14 Premier League previews and preseason has been focused on the return of the “Special One,” Jose Mourinho. I think his impact on this team will be felt across the league. He has already started with his mind games, focusing in particular on David Moyes, Manchester United and Wayne Rooney. Whether or not Wayne Rooney is actually transferred to Chelsea remains to be seen, but Mourinho has done a good job of sowing those seeds of discontent and rumor to do his best at keeping him unsettled at United.
Mourinho is inheriting a mixed team of older players he is familiar with along with young, promising players and a struggling striker in Fernando Torres. One thing to remember about Mourinho is his love of playing a tactical game of defend and counterattack. With this Chelsea team he should be able to manipulate this style rather well. There are certainly some question marks when it comes to this Chelsea defense most notably in the aging Ashley Cole and John Terry and the questionable, inconsistent performances from Gary Cahill and David Luiz. With that said there is a lot of promise in Cesar Azpilicueta and a definite solidity in Branislav Ivanovic. If anyone can transform a player like Cahill or get the most out of Cole and Terry it is Mourinho.
Chelsea’s midfield is where the true talent lies with a star lineup including Juan Mata, Oscar, Eden Hazard, and Ramires. There is also the likes of Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, Jon Obi Mikel, Victor Moses, Marco van Ginkel, and youngsters like Kevin De Bruyne and Lucas Piazon (who may be sent out on loan still). With those sort of players vying for positions, it is actually going to be somewhat difficult for Mourinho to be making decisions on who starts, but will almost certainly mean a five man midfield.
As if the Chelsea midfield wasn’t strong enough they have plenty of attacking options up front as well. With the addition of Andre Schurrle they have a player who can play as an attacking midfielder to link up with a player like Fernando Torres or even Romelu Lukaku. It will be interesting to see which strikers Mourinho will be playing up front considering that Demba Ba is still on the team and will be pushing for a place as well. Although it is very likely that Chelsea will try to sell Demba Ba. If Wayne Rooney is added to the mix then it creates even more competition in an already crowded position.
My prediction for Chelsea is that they will win the Premier League title while also going far in the other cup competitions. I’m sure that they will also go far in the Champions League, perhaps even as far as the final. For the 2013-14 Premier League season Chelsea will be a team to watch and enjoy watching. I think they will be a very exciting squad and make it a fun year.