Premier League Champions 2016/17
Chelsea have won the Premier League!
Chelsea have won the Premier League for the fifth time! Last Friday (May 5th), the Blues beat West Brom 1-0 to win the title with two matches still to play. It's an amazing turnaround for the London club and an amazing achievement by Chelsea's manager, Antonio Conte. Last season, Chelsea finished in 10th place and many thought this year would be a season of consolidation under the Italian. However, Conte, in only one season, has managed to take Chelsea from mid-table to Premier League Champions! Let's take a closer look at Conte and the Champions and how they won the Premier League title.
How did Chelsea win the title?
Conte took over as manager at the beginning of this season. The previous permanent manager was sacked following disagreements with his players and staff. Jose Mourinho had led Chelsea to victory in 2014/15, but was not able to defend the title and left the team in December 2015. Chelsea ended up finishing the season in 10th place under caretaker manager, Guus Hiddink. Conte was confident from the start that he could bring the players together and that the team would do well in the new season.
I hope we can surprise people, that there is a small flame flickering that can grow into a blazing inferno.
Antonio Conte, Chelsea manager.
A good start fades away
Conte started the season strongly with wins over West Ham, Watford and Burnley. However, when the team lost to Liverpool and Arsenal in successive matches it was clear that the new boss had work to do. When some managers arrive at a new club, they try to buy lots of new players so that they can build their own team. Conte believed in his players and set about training the team to play the best football using the players he had.
We are a great team only on paper, but not on the pitch.
Antonio Conte - following their 3-0 defeat against Arsenal
The recovery starts
He worked hard on the training ground and soon the players were using his favourite three-man defence, the system he had been very successful with in Italy. David Luiz, who had been brought back to the club on transfer deadline day was used alongside Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpiliceuta as one of three centre-backs. As the team started to play together and understand what their manager expected them to do, they grew in confidence. Very quickly, the stars began to show the form that had made them champions.
Players back to their best and one important arrival
Mourinho had claimed that Eden Hazard was the best player in England, but the forward didn’t score once between August 2015 and April 2016. But this season, the Belgian has been phenomenal and scored 15 goals and completed 50% more dribbles than any other player in the Premier League this season. The Spanish striker, Diego Costa, has played his best season in the Premier League under Conte, scoring 20 goals with two matches to play. In addition to the return of Luiz, Conte made one other important signing. N’Golo Kante was brought to the club after winning the Premier League with Leicester City last season. He has had another amazing season and has made more tackles and interceptions than any other Premier League player. He also won the PFA Player of the Year award.
Chelsea have fought a great campaign and their performances have shown them to be deserving champions. Now they are looking to strengthen the team and once again take on the biggest teams in Europe in the Champions League.
We’ve won the title but that doesn’t mean that the team cannot get better. Every team, even if they win, will try to improve and I’m sure that Chelsea will try to do that.
Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea midfielder.
What do you think?
Do you think Chelsea were the best team this season? Why?
Who has been Chelsea's best player this season?
Is Antonio Conte the best manager in the Premier League?