What are your expectations for Chelsea FC this season? Do you expect us to finally win the quadruple or finish trophyless once again or stay somehwere in between. Remember, it’s the expectations we are talking about, not the hope. For some, expectations are different from hope. I hope we win the quadruple but I don’t expect us to.
Premier League: I don’t see any experts saying Chelsea will win the league, especially after the opening rounds of the premier league. Man Utd have not made even one marquee signing in this window but still they are the firm favourites. Man City have brought in Aguero and Nasri and many seem to think that Man City will either win the league or be a close second to Man Utd. Where does that leave Chelsea then?
Firmly at the third place fighting with Liverpool and Arsenal breathing down their necks for an automatic champions league qualification spot. Almost all top betting websites are consistent in this – Man Utd as champions, Man City as runner-ups, Chelsea is third, Liverpool fourth and Arsenal out of the top four finally.
I still have my doubts about this Man Utd squad. We will see less of the old guard this season. Their experienced defence is very injury prone too. If they had signed Sneijder, I would have said that they will win their No.20. Man City have a deep and strong squad but I can’t see them untroubled by controversies and stuff that would distract them. Plus teams will soon start parking the bus and frustrating Man City too, like they do for Chelsea and Man Utd. This season will be a test of character for Man City manager and players and I expect them to fail the test.
I personally expect us to win the league. We have a strong squad. We have a lot unused/unseen but exciting potential in the squad. We will have some re-inforcements coming in January. I’m very impressed with Andre Villas Boas. This could be the season where the mini-league of Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal will determine where the trophy is going. I think Chelsea will have the last laugh.
Champions League: The football fraternity do not want to look beyond Real Madrid and Barcelona for champions league predictions. They want us to believe that we have two equal favourites and 30 underdogs. Not really. We’ve seen it time and again that the best team or the best squad or the best manager don’t always become European champions. A team like Chelsea should always consider themselves to be one among the favouites.
Will Chelsea win the champions league this season? That’s a bit unlikely though. Unlike the premier league, we are not in the top three of champions league. There are a number of fantastic teams that would be favourites to win above us. I’ll have to be happy with a semi final spot.
Domestic Cups: I don’t think the Manchester teams will win either of the domestic cups. For them, the premier league and champions league are very very important and they are looking for a point to prove. Man Utd want to convey that they are the real champions no matter how much the noisy neighbours spend. Man City wants to win the league to put the fear in the minds of not just Man Utd but for every team. They want to mark the beginning of a new era. I think they would give the domestic cups a miss.
That said, I’m kinda confident that Liverpool will win either the FA Cup or the League Cup. Mostly, they might win the League Cup while we will be FA Cup champions.
So clearly, I don’t expect us to win the quadruple. I don’t expect us to go trophyless either. You might ask that if we win the double and if a Spanish team wins the champions league, will the Manchester teams go trophyless? I don’t know. You might think I’m an optimist. These are my expectations based on (a) squad strength – age, ability, experience, depth and possible reinforcements (b) manager’s capability – strategy, tactics, selection and man management?.
Okay, what are your expectations for Chelsea FC for this 2011/12 season?