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Chelsea: Boring or Efficient Premier League Champions?

September 07, 2015

- Grant Whittington

(Image URL: http://www.standard.co.uk/incoming/article10274611.ece/alternates/w620/CescCosta.jpg)

There is a joke currently doing the rounds in the UK claiming that all four of the football league champions for 2015 begin with the letter ‘B’. These include Championship winners Bournemouth, League One champions Bristol City and the team that topped the bottom tier, Burton Albion. Then we have the EPL champions, who are being ironically labelled as ‘boring, boring Chelsea’ by the clubs’ fans in the wake of significant media criticism and scrutiny from rival supporters.

Are Chelsea boring or Efficient Champions?

So is it fair to call Chelsea boring, or are they simply efficient and capable of grinding out a consistent run of results. Certainly it is fair to say that no side can maintain top form throughout the demands of a typical EPL season, while progressive and attacking football usually becomes a secondary goal once clubs begin to suffer from injuries, suspensions, and an ever-changing starting line-up. So while Chelsea certainly lost some of their fluency towards the end of the season, the quality and abandon of their football at the beginning of the year should not be overlooked.

That said, there is certainly an expectation that Chelsea should play more expansive football, especially given their status, financial resources, and the quality of players already at the club. Critics also claim that the club and manager Jose Mourinho fail to showcase any ambition during clashes with major rivals, especially when they travel away from Stamford Bridge. This could also be described as pragmatism, however, as Chelsea’s impressive form and level of consistency against so-called ‘lesser’ teams in the division affords them the luxury of simply avoiding defeat against the clubs at the top end of the table.

The Final Word

When you balance these facts, it is fair to say that the current Chelsea side is occasionally boring and perhaps fails to optimise the attacking talent at the club. This is a trait that has been possessed by most football league champions through the ages, who have all had the capacity to grind out unattractive victories and adapt their playing style to suit real-time circumstances.

This subsequently negates much of the criticism aimed at Chelsea, especially when you consider their goal-laden start to the recent season (which was characterised by attractive, attacking football). Instead, we should be applauding worthy and consistent champions, who have outperformed their rivals throughout the season and won with incredibly efficiency and almost frightening ease.

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