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Ancelotti the toast of Chelsea

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Phil McNulty | 07:00 UK time, Monday, 10 May 2010

Carlo Ancelotti's glass of red wine - barely touched and described in terms that suggests his grasp of the English language is almost complete - contained the only clouds on his horizon.

Relaxing against the cushion of Chelsea's Premier League title triumph, the Italian let that inscrutable mask slip just a little as he reflected on the scale of his achievements in his first season at Stamford Bridge.

"Just easy questions please because my level of wine is high," he demanded after ditching his traditional suit for Chelsea colours and a blue and white scarf.

But all questions are easy after claiming the domestic game's highest honour with an 8-0 defeat of Wigan, Chelsea's biggest league victory of the campaign.

The Premier League season, rather like Ancelotti's dubious wine, has not been vintage quality but everything - well, almost everything - tasted sweet to the Italian as he basked in the afterglow of a personal triumph.

His relationship with Chelsea's fans has been something of a slow burner, not like the instant love affair kindled by Jose Mourinho when he parachuted into Stamford Bridge on the back of a Champions League triumph with Porto and a blizzard of gilt-edged quotes.

But on Sunday, Ancelotti received all the respect he was due, and more besides, from Blues supporters as they acclaimed a manager who has attained success with a quiet calm and dignity that has gone some way towards scratching away the antipathy aimed at the club during Mourinho's confrontational and tempestuous stewardship.

Carlo Ancelotti with the trophyAncelotti celebrates with the Premier League trophy. Photo: Getty Images

Even as an unabashed Mourinho admirer, it is impossible not to respect Ancelotti as he goes about his job without the degree of pantomime villainy and pandemonium that so often accompanied his illustrious predecessor.

And it all came together in one glorious moment when, with Chelsea in the rather comfortable position of leading 7-0 when knowing any kind of victory would end Manchester United's three-year reign as champions, Stamford Bridge demanded a wave.

Ancelotti modestly stepped forward and obliged. Then, almost as an afterthought, he turned to the Matthew Harding Stand and delivered the most emphatic, animated pumped-fist salute. The bond was sealed.

Brought in by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to attach a more attractive style to Stamford Bridge's ruthless pragmatism, Ancelotti has delivered.

Sunderland, Stoke City and Aston Villa have all taken seven-goal beatings. And what better time than the decisive day in the league season to go one better and make it eight against Wigan?

It was the climax of a convincing finale to Chelsea's campaign. After defeat against Tottenham, they have amassed 17 goals without reply in their final three games to go past a century of league goals in 2009/10, the first team to achieve the feat since the White Hart Lane club themselves 47 years ago.

Chelsea have had their moments. They have been too vulnerable on their travels and should have wrapped up the title some time ago.

But, as ever, the Premier League has the winners it deserves. Any argument is laid to rest by Chelsea's wins, home and away, against both Arsenal and Manchester United, the last victory at Old Trafford rightly seen by Ancelotti as the key one.

In many ways, Ancelotti's more positive approach was the only way forward because the old veneer of invincibility at the back has disappeared this season. Chelsea gave opponents a chance, but they could also score goals by the truckload, which weighed the equation in their favour.

Chelsea have occasionally left the door ajar for their title rivals in 2009/10, but United and Arsenal were unable to bundle through. It may not have been the most distinguished season in Premier League history, but the old rule held good, namely that the finest team finishes top of the pile.

The final margin was only a point, but it would do Chelsea a disservice to claim that they are not rightful champions. United could never get a grip on the race, while Arsenal, quite simply, were nowhere near good enough despite the protestations of those who rail at perceived criticism of the club and their manager, Arsene Wenger.

Ancelotti's steady hand and refusal to overreact in defeat or victory has calmed any troubles Chelsea have faced. He has proved capable of juggling a variety of difficulties, from John Terry's personal problems to high-maintenance individuals like Didier Drogba with expertise borne of years of experience at AC Milan.

And even amid the smoothest passage to victory over Wigan, his man-management skills were called on again following a tantrum from Drogba that was laughable and ludicrous in equal measure.

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Drogba, battling with Manchester United's Wayne Rooney for the Golden Boot, took grave offence at Frank Lampard's not unreasonable suggestion that he rather than the striker should take a penalty with Chelsea still only one up.

Lampard, as he usually does, scored with aplomb but Drogba went into a schoolboy strop for several minutes, seemingly believing that his own personal honour had been shamelessly and unjustly sacrificed in Chelsea's attempt to win the title.

Cue lots of pouting and arm-waving, even a touchline exchange with Ancelotti, who revealed the discussion stretched into the half-time interval. "I told him 'quiet, you can score in the second half'. He did. See, I am a magician," the Chelsea boss explained.

In fact, Drogba scored a hat-trick, thus enabling him to claim the Golden Boot as well as another Premier League title medal and lashings of affection from his team-mates.

Nicolas Anelka scored twice while Salomon Kalou and Ashley Cole rounded off a victory and performance that was a resounding advert for Ancelotti's methods. It also allowed Abramovich to sit wreathed in smiles.

How the Chelsea fans revelled in the restoration of their club to the status of champions. Irony was certainly heavy in the air when they sang "Boring, Boring Chelsea" as their final goal tally was announced over the Stamford Bridge PA.

And no celebration would be complete without a jibe at Sir Alex Ferguson, who hinted at the start of the season that the passage of time might hinder Chelsea's attempt to grab the trophy away from Old Trafford. "We're too old to win the league" was a chant that had Ferguson's name written all over it.

Ancelotti may actually take Ferguson's words into consideration as he holds a summit meeting with Abramovich shortly. The counter argument is that there is no substitute for experience - and Chelsea have that in abundance.

Experience is something Ancelotti also has. His cool demeanour after Chelsea's wobble at Spurs ensured they stayed on course to end a three-year wait to recapture the Premier League crown. And he now stands on the edge of making history less than a year after his appointment as Chelsea attempt to complete the double for the first time when they meet Portsmouth in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Ancelotti claimed he was unsure how he would celebrate winning what he regards as the best league in world football. But while blue was the colour for Chelsea's fans, you suspect he had his eyes on something of the finest red. Fully deserved, too.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Delighted for Ancelotti!

    So many Chelsea fans still hanker for Mourinho, but hopefully they will now embrace the following:

    "The king is dead, long live the king!ª

  • Comment number 2.

    I can just see that this going to turn into a Mourinho blog...you just had to bring his name up didn't you Phill. (typically media hype)

    Full credit to Mourinho.

    But...full credit to Ancelotti.

    Gongratulations Chelsea best team this year. Your goals scored, says it all.

    (By the way, I am not a Chelsea fan)

  • Comment number 3.

    A great article but no mention of how Joe Cole must have forced his way into the England Squad with his cameo appearance that gave us skill, hard work, determination and an attacking force that we will need in South Africa.

  • Comment number 4.

    Dear old Ancelotti, has kept real emotions hidden behind his deadpan expression all season. Watching him let his hair down yesterday made celebrating that bit more extra special. God bless you Carlo!

  • Comment number 5.

    A fantastic result for Chelsea (despite my being a Utd fan) and especially to Carlo Ancelotti who has been a true gentlemen.To win the EPL and score 100+ goals is a superb effort. I think perhaps the EPL needed Chelsea to win the League and open up some competition. Hopefully now Arsenal & Utd can revamp their squads over the summer and come back stronger. Already looking forward to next season.

  • Comment number 6.

    I thought the Aston Villa match was the turning point. It could all have come off the rails if Villa had managed to get a draw or a 1-0. Instead Villa had their worst defeat since ???? and Chelsea and amazing 7 goal victory against one of the best defences in the league.

  • Comment number 7.

    Chelsea are Champs and they deserve it. I can only laugh when Man United fans say we have no history. One question when does hoistory start? We are the champions and it will not be the last. Hopefully we can pull of the double.

    Hail the Champions

  • Comment number 8.

    If he is drinking cloudy wine he has a major problem believe you me.
    Well done Ancelotti. While chelsea were undoubtedly brilliant, How can 4 teams in league loose by such high margins and the league be considered equitable. Are Chelsea really that good? Or are the others astoundingly bad? What will happen now that Ancellotti will perhaps seek to rebuild for the future? It's not his strong point! For the moment Full Kudos to them...United and the unlikeable Ferguson will be back Next year, one thing is for Sure, your title tip won't be.

  • Comment number 9.

    Congratulations to Chelsea - what a way to seal the title!

    http://the-fa-premier-league.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 10.

    If Man Utd had pipped Chelsea to the title would we really be getting a blog on Man Utd being the undeserving champions of England due to them never having a grip on the title race? I somehow doubt it.

    With regard Arsenal and the "perceived" criticism. I think you will find what most people had issue with was your ludicrous statement "and then there were two" - completely writing them off despite there being plenty of football to play. A couple of weeks later they were 3 points off the top. It was an especially amateur statment given that it took you the guts of half the season to accept that your tip for the league, Liverpool, hadnt a hope of winning it.

    This blog is is just filled with media type hyperbole and lacks any real insight.

  • Comment number 11.

    I am curious how many people will start banging on about United missing Tevez and Ronaldo and what Phil your own view on that is? How did Chelsea change from last season to this season? Is it just the manager?

  • Comment number 12.

    Much and all as you complain about Ferguson at least he was gracious yesterday and gave full Credit to the champions unlike other runners up of last year.

  • Comment number 13.

    Congratulations to Chelsea first and foremost. Best team won the league, No arguement there.

    Question was at the beginning of the season, would United of had a more successful season with Ronaldo and Tevez in the squad? I think now we have the answer.

    As an Arsenal fan, yes we were not good enough and I hope Wenger realises now, especially after resigning Campbell, that there is no substitute for experience.

    Now let's all unite for the World Cup and get behind the boys!

  • Comment number 14.

    Good blog Phil.

    Chelsea will always have the Mourinho name associated with them as he was the guy who bought them the all alluding premier league when he took over from Ranieri for two years on the row. [Special One]

    But Carlo Ancelloti deserves this moment of glory. He is a gentleman kind of figure who did his job silently but at the end ensured that the goal was achieved in a triumphant fashion scoring more than 100 goals in this campaign.

    To some extent, it tells about the standard of the premier league where teams like Sunderland,Wigan and Aston Villa being not competitive enough especially in the defence by conceding more than 5 goals in a match. Other teams have to catch up with the big four with one different team in the four "The Spurs".

  • Comment number 15.

    Credit to Chelsea but they'll have their work cut out to retain it next season, Man Utd will certainly come back stronger, likewise Arsenal and as for Liverpool, they can't get any worse so should offer a little more fight.

  • Comment number 16.

    How did Chelsea change from last season to this season? Is it just the manager?

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    They didn't have to play against a United team including Ronaldo and Tevez.

  • Comment number 17.

    It pains me to say it but congratulations to Chelsea. Over the course of the season they amassed most points.

    Critical that they did the double over us, LFC & Arsenal.

    United were hampered by injuries especially in defence but I suppose that Chelsea were missing players in January and also had injury problems.

    Well done.

  • Comment number 18.

    Other teams have to catch up with the big four with one different team in the four "The Spurs".

    ---------------------------------------

    Really? Not "The Burnley?"

  • Comment number 19.

    Question was at the beginning of the season, would United of had a more successful season with Ronaldo and Tevez in the squad? I think now we have the answer.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    But do we have the answer? Last season United only scored 68 goals in the PL. This season they scored 86 goals!

  • Comment number 20.

    Ancelotti's comment about Drogbas strop: "I told him 'quiet, you can score in the second half'. He did. See, I am a magician." That was hilarious! Ancelotti's gone right up in my opinion. After Chelsea were put of the Champions League he didn't give out about the Ref and he sincerely wished Man Utd good luck against Bayern. Whether it's good news or bad news he just gets on with his work. He's a class act I'd say.

  • Comment number 21.

    Seems a little premature to me for Harry Redknapp to get Manager of the year for finishing 4th when Ancelotti is still in with a very good chance of picking up both top domestic honours in his first year.Add the fact that his youth side have won the FA Youth Cup,his centre forward the "Golde3n Boot" award and his team a new premiership goal scoring record as well.Harry has done well,no question,but "Manaager of the Year"?Don't think so.

  • Comment number 22.

    Congratulations to Chelsea,you have deffo been the top side this season (Man U Fan myself)However shame on you Wigan 8-0! hang your heads in shame,I expected Chelsea to win but thought they would have to beat a proffesional prem team not a local parks footbal team!
    I think my lot will have to sign at least 3 or 4 new players if we are going to get close to Chelsea again next season.

  • Comment number 23.

    #19 I think United have scored enough goals to make up for Ronaldo & Tevez but too much reliance has been on Rooney. They key moment is when Valencia missed that chance just before half time against Blackburn. Had he put that away it would have bene a different story.

    Chelsea have steamrollered some good teams this season but they were also helped greatly by Steven Gerreard thinking he was in a Chelsea shirt last Sunday. WOuld suspect he will be next season

  • Comment number 24.

    Without Mourinho at the helm, I was a lot more happy with Chelsea taking the title this year, and the last three games has shown that they definitely deserve it... (although Drogba in the first half was such a child, I was really hoping he wouldn't score so he would have to put up with sharing it with Wayne, but it wasn't to be...)

    Congrats Chelsea

  • Comment number 25.

    To be honest I would rather a player of Drogbas character and emotion than someone sheepish who would say yeah , okay you take the penno, and walk away head down. I like the passion and the strops are quite funny really.

  • Comment number 26.

    Well done Chelsea, for a thoroughly deserved win, and title. Over 100 goals in a season belies the myth that this season in the PL has somehow been of a lower standard. I think it's more like we've seen the results of great man management, and a manager who knows how to get the best out of really gifted, but occasionally childish players. My view of Drogba's behaviour is amusement, but also a realisation that he's really passionate about chasing goals and targets, and sometimes this spills over into petulance, as it does for many other players. No harm done, Carlo had a word, and DD got a hat-trick. Winners all round. Lampard was right to take the kick, to secure the game for the team before personal aspirations.

    It's been far more entertaining this season than for a while, and more watchable. From the extremes of large scorelines to tense moments when unexpected results turn up, i don't think it's been short of entertainment, and i'm ironically amused at those who claim the standard has slipped, or that teams won because they got "lucky." What a load of nonsense. 38 games in a season plus the extras, and it all balanced out in the end.

    My players of the season, outside of the usual suspects?

    Nick Anelka.
    Did a great job this year, and although accused in the past of being high maintenance, he seems to settled well at Chelsea, and has been devastating for them this season, not only setting up his fellow players, but pulling opposition players out of position, with constant running, and his natural vision. He's matured into a player that frightens defences, and give them a torrid time, game after game. Well done Nick.

    Alex Song.
    In a season where Arsenal took some big hits with injuries, and objectively suffered for it, having a smaller squad, but with a longer injury list, i think they did themselves credit, and although third seems insignificant to some, they're in the CL next year, and have much to look forward to. My pick for Arsenal's unsung hero is Alex Song. Over the season he was often left as the last man standing in defence and midfield, and having to handle more than one opposition player at once, game after game. I think he's been a rock for Arsenal, and it will be a sad day for them if and when he moves on.

    Ji-Sung Park.
    We didn't see so much of him in the latter stages of the season, but earlier in Man United's season he put in big time, and i was pleased to see him get the reward of a goal yesterday. He ran his socks off for much of the season, and filled more than one gap in an often weakened ManU line up. I'm not surprised Fergie called on him time after time to bolster the midfield, and harass opposition players. He does this very well, and more than once has stood his ground to deliver a great pass to Rooney and others. Again, i think ManU will be worse off if and when he finally leaves.

    Chris Samba.
    Every time i watch this man play, he's giving his absolute all for the team. I forget how many times i watched him this season making one saving tackle after another, and then delivering a great ball to the midfield and forwards. Given the style of play his team has, i think his skills and passion for winning are often overshadowed by the nature of the team formation, and the pressure it puts on the defence, but he's been a rock all season. A true team player, and well done, imho.

    Damion Duff.
    There's no doubt Bobby Zamora has had a great season for the riversides dwellers, and certainly proved he's worth of consideration for WC duty. It's unlikely to have happened to such a degree without the running, and constant delivery, from DD, and although i'd be the first to say the entire Fulham squad have thoroughly deserved the accolades they receive(no, they didn't play above expectations, they realized their potential with a great manager at the helm, who has had to manage one of the most modest squads in the PL), i'd tip the hat of acknowledgement to DD, who i think has had a great season, and deserves a hearty pat on the back.

    That's 5. Who's yours?

  • Comment number 27.

    23. At 08:48am on 10 May 2010, adampsb wrote:

    #19 .........

    Chelsea have steamrollered some good teams this season but they were also helped greatly by Steven Gerreard thinking he was in a Chelsea shirt last Sunday. WOuld suspect he will be next season.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Sorry Adam, i respectfully disagree with this. I don't think Gerrard's good enough or importantly flexible enough to play for Chelsea.

  • Comment number 28.

    Sorry Adam, i respectfully disagree with this. I don't think Gerrard's good enough or importantly flexible enough to play for Chelsea.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Then you know very little about football. He's had a poor season by his standards but he's certainly good enough.

  • Comment number 29.

    well done Chelsea...a well deserved title!!! One thing thou...why does John Terry only speak to the media when Chelsea win...he never comes near the media when they lose!!! He sends fat Frank a long to speak to them!!!

  • Comment number 30.

    28. At 09:33am on 10 May 2010, Andrew wrote:

    Sorry Adam, i respectfully disagree with this. I don't think Gerrard's good enough or importantly flexible enough to play for Chelsea.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Then you know very little about football. He's had a poor season by his standards but he's certainly good enough.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    I'm not going to bite. I simply disagree with you.

  • Comment number 31.

    Lets not get too ahead of ourselves . . . . Chelsea are only 1 point better than United at the end of the season.

    Just one tiny different outcome from the season, if a little bit of luck went Uniteds way then it would've been a different story.

    And would you say United had been worthy winners though?

  • Comment number 32.

    Fantastic stuff. Well done Chelsea.

    The season? There have been slip ups and injuries but I think lesser teams having a go has brought about some surprising results when they get it right and take their chances, at the same time as leading to some hidings when they get it wrong and leave gaps and the Chelsea games against win are an example of that.

    Next season? With so many clubs with money, but also a time of austerity, it will be interesting to see what keys buys are made and of course the shop window of the world cup gives a chance for some surprise packages to appear.

    Also, I think Ancelotti has now got a couple of seasons of grace. Unless the wheels fall off the wagon in spectacular style next season, I think he will be around for 2011/12 even if he doesn't win anything in 2010/11. This is good for continuity and allows him to develop the team and squad how how he would wish which will hopefully be great for the club as a whole. I've said it before and I'll say it again, next season, with the capital and goodwill he has built, is the time to give Bruma, Mancienne, Hutchison, Matic, Kakuta, Sturridge, Sotch et al many more chances.

    The meantime? Looking forward to the cup final and then a great World Cup hopefully.

    The blog? I do think the media are more interested in past Chelsea managers than the fans are. Ancelotti has been himself, has not played to anyone and has done himself and Chelsea a great service during the season.

  • Comment number 33.

    #10 JDR moaning again....do you EVER do anything but moan about blogs here? If you don't like them then don't read them...simple as that!

    As a Chelsea fan I'm delighted with the result and with how Carlo conducts his business.... I'd say tho he said more than "quiet" to Drogba yesterday at half time...he should've kicked him up the back side...it's a team game, play for the team, get the result assured then go for your personal target!!

  • Comment number 34.

    Whatever everyone says....this will be a season to remember!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 35.

    Wow. A blog about us and our fantastic manager. You do surprise me Phil. I would have thought you would be talking about Man Utd and Liverpool, and what they need to do next year. Still it is a good blog.

    By the way, I have to ask this. Do you support Liverpool?

  • Comment number 36.

    WE SCORED 103 GOALS AND DONE DOBLE OVER "young" Man U, beautiful-football-playing ?? Arsenal, and Liverpool (no comment)

  • Comment number 37.

    I'm in complete agreement with comment 5. I too am a Utd fan but Chelsea deserved to win the league, they have been the most consistant attacking force in the league all season and Carlo has done a great job with his ageing squad. I really hope that this result will spur Utd on to revampinfg our squad, because we really need to. We need to replace Ronaldo, but unfortunately there is only one Ronaldo, so I'd be happy with some signings that have the potential to unify our first eleven and continue the development of our attacking football. I'd really like Fiorentina's Jovetic.

  • Comment number 38.

    Fair enough Chelsea won the Premiership,but overall this season's badly lacked the class we've seen in recent seasons.The top players going abroad,other class players spent too much time nursing injuries of one sort or another,and the ongoing financial problems have produced a season that sure wasn;t decided till the final round of games,which is good but vintage season quality wise,far from it.Just another solid overlong and interesting season but not as good as we've had in recent years.

  • Comment number 39.

    Phil

    All the people who are employed to write/broadcast/blog pointlessly and
    endlessly about football should be sent to work on the railways. We'd
    have the finest rail system in the world.

  • Comment number 40.

    Wigan down to ten men at 1-0 and absolutely nothing to play for, let's not get carried away.

    This puts into perspective the glaring error by the linesman at OT, he has effectively decided the outcome.

    Chelsea have been a strong team this season so to be fair well done Chelsea.

  • Comment number 41.

    Interesting blog about Ancelotti, Phil, he certainly deserves the praise. They did only win the league by 1 point, however, so to claim that they were far and away the clear winners is a tad over the top.

    @#3

    Joe Cole played very well when he came on for Chelsea at 4-0 up. Let's hope he gets the chance to show his skills in the World Cup when England are 4-0 up as well, eh.

    You don't learn anything about players in that situation, and it's not the sort of game to judge potential players for a seat On The Plane. What you look at is who has been able to make a difference in tight games. Joe Cole has done it for England in the past, but not in the league this season, I'd say. But then, international experience is almost the most important attribute in major tournaments, so I'd take him, if only because he's been there before.

  • Comment number 42.

    No mention of Grant, nor of Scolari (not that he deserves any), nor of Hiddink. Does that mean the titles Utd won during that period don't count either? I hope so.


  • Comment number 43.

    As usual the media totally misses the "financial doping" that Chelsea use. They basically spend vast amounts of money they don't have and get a billionaire to bail them out. This is cheating!

  • Comment number 44.

    Phil McNulty, I think you are a "blog" King, for the whole season you did well.... thanks for everything...

  • Comment number 45.

    #32 Mr Blueburns
    Also, I think Ancelotti has now got a couple of seasons of grace. Unless the wheels fall off the wagon in spectacular style next season, I think he will be around for 2011/12 even if he doesn't win anything in 2010/11.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Can you honestly see RA keeping Ancelotti on if Chelsea win nothing next year ???

  • Comment number 46.

    It has not been the greatest season in the Premier League's history, but Chelsea were deserved winners. Was this because they showed improvement or their rivals slipped back?

    I was delighted for Carlo Ancelotti because he has been a dignified, sporting figure this season. In defeat and victory he has been measured and calm, a fine addition to the Premier League.

    Chelsea fans, where do you think your team needs to strengthen for next season?

    And yes, Manchester United did miss Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo. What must Sir Alex Ferguson do (or more precisely who should he sign?) to address this problem next season?

  • Comment number 47.

    The best team won the league, they beat all three of last seasons main contenders home and away, scored a record number of goals, won the golden boot and had four players in double figures. They also did it under new management and with an injury crisis and many ageing players. Everything that was meant to be true about us, was proven false. It was a highly competetive league and Chelsea are in for a double shot. A great side which held it's nerve at all the crucial moments in the league. Bravo

  • Comment number 48.

    As a United fan I have to congratulate Chelsea and Ancelotti on a well deserved title. But Terry's comments about United following this great achievement speak volumes - why is he still thinking about us?! I wonder...

  • Comment number 49.

    #46 Diablo Rojo

    As I sit here now, yes.

    As I said, it does depend on the manner of 'failure'. Mourinho was allowed failure and it was his mouth and lack of respect that cost him his job. Ancelotti seems a much more measured man in his job, the team are playing football which must please the owner and it seems that he is started to use all the resources at the club, namely including the youth.

    Think about it, a club getting or brushing with success, playing good football, getting closer to profit and bringing through youth to create a good and valuable squad. This strikes me as being quite likely at the moment. Why would Abramovich get rid? In seven years, if you accept that Ranieri wasn't his appointment in the first place, then he has only really sacked two managers. One for being a bit too big for his boots and one for not being able to deal with the squad and position as manager.

  • Comment number 50.

    As usual the media totally misses the "financial doping" that Chelsea use. They basically spend vast amounts of money they don't have and get a billionaire to bail them out. This is cheating!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You need to show an example of a title winning PL team that has not previously invested in several top players for your comment to have some kind of validity!

  • Comment number 51.

    Good Article Phil. I think that we (chelsea) need to start bringing in the new, young players in our squad a bit more. I thought Kakuta, when he played, was excellet along with Sam Hutchinson and would like to see more of them.
    To Diablo Rojo I think as long as we push the eventual winners up until the final day and continue to play good football RA will keep Ancellotti on.

  • Comment number 52.

    Chelsea fans, where do you think your team needs to strengthen for next season?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Once Essien got injured in December,our midfield was exposed as being a bit leggy and lacking in pace. So a Scott Parker type player would be a useful addition. I also think we need a midfield playmaker. I would love Modric,but that ain't going to happen, but someone similar would be a great addition.

    We need a better 2nd choice GK and given Anelka's and Drogba's age, one more striker.

  • Comment number 53.

    #46 Phil

    The points scored tally of the winners shows that things are quite the same as in previous seasons. See my comments at #32 for what I think of that.

    As for Chelsea strengthening, I don't think we have to that much. We have the players it's just a question of using more of the squad rather than relying on the same 11.

    As for Man U, I would guess that they need a proper number 9 as a start. They have scored many goals but Rooney and that man O.G. have been their best players. Take them out and leave Berbatov up front and they struggle a bit.

    Valencia has grown into his role and I would imagine will get better next season. Midfield is also an area for them. Hargreaves is still a doubt (but virtue of not having proved himself yet on his return) and I was a little surprised by the new contracts to the old folk. Still, Anderson and Carrick will probably go. Play Gibson more and find a proper left winger and they'll be fine.

  • Comment number 54.

    Talking about Drogba's strop by the way, why do English people assume everyone must be in a straight-jacket? That is what is so boring about this country - this attempt to mass-produce a 'type' and kill off all variety. What is it about this country despising anything flamboyant or elaborate (like spain's passing game for instance)

    Life is only interesting when you have the Fergie's, Wengers', Mourinhos and Ancellotti. The Drogba's, Ronaldo's, Tevez' and the Cantona's. Just imagine if everyone was like Ancellotti or if every footballer was as calm headed as Lampard...how boring would that be??? Oh I forgot...thats England without foreigners!

  • Comment number 55.

    At 10:50am on 10 May 2010, NickF wrote: They basically spend vast amounts of money they don't have and get a billionaire to bail them out. This is cheating! ............. ;)))
    Sounds like you are bit jealous Nick. Do not know exactly how much Ancheloti spend, but do not think is even near to what the others spend this year. About the owner? What can I say ... Any club will love to have that kind of owner, just ask the rest? And cheer up don’t be a lemon

  • Comment number 56.

    Credit to The Blues. They deserved the trophy, and as you say Phil, proof of a new EPL goals record. I think SAF found the opponents much tougher and to be honest that is what I think he will view them next season. How many games did he opt for the defensive 4-5-1 formation over the 4-3-3? And my suggestion is that if he will use his (naive-I-respect-the-opponent) 4-5-1 he should buy a 'magician' in midfield. My thoughts? Miguel Veloso, Stephen Ireland, Luka Modric.

  • Comment number 57.

    #53

    I forgot to say, there are a few players that can go now as well.

    Probably Ferreira, though he was useful in the second half of the season, Carvalho, Deco, Ballack, Belletti and Hilario. Any fees received plus the saving in wages, then, combined with the youth coming through, the refreshing of this squad shouldn't cost Abramovich any money, unless he wants it to.

  • Comment number 58.

    #55 jiko99

    Indeed. On the subject of the owner, how many clubs have someone as interested as Abramovich, jumping around in their seat throughout the season.

    On the issue of 'financial doping', much of it is relative and surprisingly common. Afterall, how do you think that Wigan got into the top division in the first place. Gate money?

  • Comment number 59.

    While Chelsea deserve the title I think its been more about their rivals inability to take advantage of situations that has handed it to them in the end. Man Utd were poor in the pressure games, really should of beaten Blackburn etc. The lower teams conceeding 7 or more at Stamford Bridge have shown all the signs and attitude that teams used to years ago when coming to Old Trafford. They accept defeat even before kick off and then just capitulate.

    Congratulations to Chelsea but if it was any other season your points total wouldnt of been enough.

  • Comment number 60.

    OldRedBren how can you say this:
    "Wigan down to ten men at 1-0 and absolutely nothing to play for, let's not get carried away.

    This puts into perspective the glaring error by the linesman at OT, he has effectively decided the outcome."

    The fact UTD goal was deliberate hand ball cancels out the offside goal and therefore we would have still won one nil. Please also do not knock Wigan, you did not mind putting 5 past them in August did you

  • Comment number 61.

    The league table don't lie - As a United fan Chelsea handled on field problems (injurie etc) better than we did. Anchellotti also managed the off field issues well and kept the team focus on the prize avoiding any real wobble.

    United have started investing already in cover at the back (Evans new contract & Smalling) but they need to keep a squad with depth this may save a couple of players bacon. But Foster, Anderson and Owen defintely out - but we need three strikers Rooney, Berba (maybe) + one big transfer target. In midfield we need more goals (rather than OG's)Obertan & Gibson to step up a level with Hargreaves in the last chance saloon in 2010/11.

    Chelsea's record against the top teams won it for them but barring some huge transfers of 'Star' players from Spain (unlikely to sell prize assets). It will be close again next season btwn United & Chelsea while Arsenal need to find a hard centre and Tottenham & Man City will be more even competitive.

  • Comment number 62.

    I would also like to see a new right winger as Malouda is great on the left but on the right we are a bit exposed, J. Cole is injury prone and after him we just put players out of position at RM/RW.

  • Comment number 63.

    YES BOYS!

    Four years too many - and finally, the title is back at the Bridge! Absolutely delighted - now let's make it a Double!

  • Comment number 64.

    i don't think its as simple as united missing tevez and ronaldo - they miss them and yet score 18 more goals?

    not a united fan but no one seems to mention united's chronic injury crisis in defence mid way through the season which would have also played a part. it was 16 defenders injured at one point i believe. and yet they didn't whine about it and got on with it. credit where credit's due.

    likewise credit to chelsea - they were not much better than last year, but really turned it on when it mattered and fully deserve it. congratulations

  • Comment number 65.

    Premier league has not been vintage...agreed
    it was more of a case of "after you,no after you."

    a brief look at the stats shows

    both Chelsea and United won 27 games.
    both teams points tally in last 14! games of season identical.

    so head to heads were crucial

    chelsea's win at Old Trafford against a Rooneyless United suffering from a Munich hangover was deserved
    but
    Chelsea were more than a little lucky to win at Stamford Bridge.

    Utd's 86 goals without Ronaldo/Tevez goals and assists were more evenly spread over the season

    Chelsea's 103 ( 29 of them in just 4home games.and 21 of those in 3 of last 4home games )

    both sides had significant injuries.

    United even without their first choice defence for long periods of the season actually still managed to have the best defensive record in the league

    So,in conclusion,

    a poor season by Utd standards rather than a brilliant one by Chelsea
    ...having said that ...
    a league title and almost certain FA cup is not a bad reward.

  • Comment number 66.

    Phil - your question about who fergie should sign to breathe life into Utd is an interesting one, mainly because we could direct that question to a number of clubs.

    Utd know they need players of a higher calible (1 0r 2 probably). But so do Arsenal (maybe 2 or 3?), Spurs (1 or 2), City (numerous). When you add in the likes of Liverpool (who need to start again with a blank piece of paper after their captain, goalkeeper and striker), Villa, Everton...

    The question is: Just how many truly world class players are there and how many are up for grabs?

    I think all of the top 6 can swap and change but need players of the very highest calible to push them up to a new level. I just don't see where these players are. And which club should they sign for?

    Harry Redknapp has done a great job at Spurs and the bench against City showed just how good - but eeven he has come out to say he needs to sign one top drawer player 'in the Torres class' to see Spurs click into another gear.

    For my money, there are maybe 5-10 'Torres class' players in the world. And there are almost as many clubs in England alone in the hunt for them...

  • Comment number 67.

    A lot of us discussing the squad next season.

    I think Deco, Ballack and Carvalho are off.

    Alex is now first choice partner for Terry, and Ivanovic may be first choice RB (although I'd actually prefer Bosingwa) but he is essentially a CB and with Bruma, Mancienne and Hutchinson coming through I think we have enough.

    I'd like to see a young holding midfielder bought in, for the first team, someone like Veloso or maybe even Moutinho. Essien, for me, is much better in an attacking role and although Mikel has been good this season, I'm not sure he's what we need. With Deco and Ballack most probably going, and Matic not ready for at least another season (he's only had the odd few minutes here and there), we need a CM in.

    I'd like to see Van Aalnhot (sp?) as first choice backup for A. Cole, with Zhirkov used as a winger.

    I think we'd all agree (perhaps even Carlo will!) that Stoch deserves a go on the RW in the first team after the season he's had with Twente, whilst I think Kalou and Sturridge should start to take up Drogba and Anelka's places next season as they aren't getting any younger!

    Next Season I'd like to see

    Cech

    Bosingwa
    Alex
    Terry
    A. Cole

    Veloso
    Essien
    Lampard

    Stoch
    Drogba/Anelka/Kalou/Sturridge
    Malouda/Zhirkov


    and a reserve team that looks something like

    Turnbull

    Hutchinson
    Bruma/Mancienne
    Ivanovic
    Van Aalnholt

    Mikel
    Matic
    ?????

    Kakuta
    Sturridge/Kalou
    Kalou/????

  • Comment number 68.

    58. At 11:28am on 10 May 2010, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    #55 jiko99

    Indeed. On the subject of the owner, how many clubs have someone as interested as Abramovich, jumping around in their seat throughout the season.

    ------------------------------------

    Indeed, it was the camera shots of him "kicking every shot" and "cheering every goal", sitting in the bleachers instead of camped in the director's box, and his unashamed enthusiasm for the team's performance that would put many of the more cynical owners to shame. He's done this all season, and it's not the first time he's been seen cheering, or head in hands when someone misses.
    I don't understand, after all this time, why he's still a target for the disgruntled. Surely he's paid his dues, and is demonstrably obvious as a genuine football fan who loves the game, and is willing to invest and bring his astute business skills to the game? Chelsea seems to have the best books, and is an extremely well managed club who have and will weather any financial upheavals.
    Why is this a problem for so many?

    Sour Grapes?

    Envy?

    He's not English?

    I think you'd be hard pressed to find half a dozen genuine premier league football club owners, who have brought not only financial acumen, but real passion for the English game, and are willing to do this for the LONG term. Roman Abramovich took a lot of crap when he first bought Chelsea, but i think he's earned his stripes, and the PL would a lot poorer, and even more cynical, if he weren't involved.
    Whether you're a Chelsea fan or not, the financial common sense, and passion for the game, speak for themselves, and i'd like to see him get a fair shake for once, instead of the unintelligent diatribe he seems to have to put up with, from those who would hypocritically offer to kiss his backside if he showed an interested in their club.
    This is the same man who financed Guus Hiddink's job as the Russian manager, for the same reasons. Passion for the game, and seeing it go up in standard and quality. This is well documented.
    Contrary to the efforts of what seems like a perennial pack of tribal morons eager to gloss over the cynical debt-inducing nature of their own owners, i'd venture he's one of the most passionate football fans of all, and football as a game is lucky to have him.

  • Comment number 69.

    I am a United fan and you have to give full credit to Chelsea. I hate it when people tell blatant lies just to make a cheap point. Comments like "They basically spend vast amounts of money they don't have and get a billionaire to bail them out" are totally untrue and try to take away from their achievement, this is a very bad spirit for a human being to have and very unsportsmanly. How much did Chelsea spend for instance in the last two seasons - certainly much less than Senor Benitez despite his constantly bleating about 'not having money to spend'.

    Most of Chelsea's spendng happening 4/5 years ago and since then there has been no Marquee signing.

    As a United fan, I am of course extremely jealous that they have won the league and quite mad that they beat us at OT and got a fabulous assist from Stevie G. Nevertheless, we have to look at ourselves (United) and admit that we did not quite try hard enough when it mattered most.

    The games against Bayern and the matches against Chelsea and Blackburn effectively decided our season. We have not had enough warriors in our team (Tevez, Vidic and Hargreaves come to mind) and Carrick was exposed as a massive weakling when we needed strength and reliability.

    Rooney was left to bear almost 80% of the burden and this was a massively unfair thing to do. Rooney and Fletcher typified the spirit we needed but it seems the other players were quite happy to just coast along. Regardless of what Sir Alex might say, deep within him he know we missed Tevez...massively. I might even go as far as saying we missed Tevez more than Ronaldo because while Rooney supplied the goals we missed from Ronaldo, there was no one to supply the sheer enthusiasm and bloody-mindedness of Tevez and this is what you need when things are not going well. Where he needed aggression like you would get from a Rottweiller or a Pit Bull we had the lap dog that was Berbatov - more like a Yorkshire Terrier or Chihuahua if you ask me.

    Our priorities have to be offloading Berbatov and Carrick and getting in decent replacements. I would bu Akinfeev (keeper), Pienaar, Joe Cole and Benzema (or Fabiano, Higuain, Balotelli, Oscar Cardozo) any strker who actually scores goals!

  • Comment number 70.

    Both united and chelsea were poor this season by their own standards. Both teams have work to do this summer in order to avoid the gap being smaller or even non-existent next season...

  • Comment number 71.

    They have been fan-BLUESTIC all season. But yesterday was super-ANCELOSTIC. What a way 2 crown our CARLO-BLUESTIC season with E-I-G-H-T "AnekLampKaluDrogColistic" goals. My world will remain BLUE 4eva. Blues 4 d Double!

  • Comment number 72.

    The final margin was only a point, but it would do Chelsea a disservice to claim that they are not rightful champions. United could never get a grip on the race, while Arsenal, quite simply, were nowhere near good enough despite the protestations of those who rail at perceived criticism of the club and their manager, Arsene Wenger.
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    u can go ahead and criticize wenger and arsenal for all we care.
    i dont even think u are a good journalist.
    chief sports writer indeed.
    am sure this comment will be moderated and not posted but u can please urself.

  • Comment number 73.

    I must admit I have been laughing at this blog and last nights MOTD.

    Everything is black and white, success or fail, no shades of grey, no reality, hence.

    Chelsea (well done BTW) a success, Man Utd (still in my opinion the hardest team to get a result from) a failure who “never got a grip on the title race” , p lease!

    Spurs- a huge success and can challenge Man Utd and Chelsea next year (don’t laugh!) Man City and Liverpool a dismal failure who need six and ten new players respectively!

    So if Utd had won the title they would still be a team who “never got a grip on the title race”

    And if City had beat Spurs and qualified for CL they would still be team who “don’t play like a team, they need 5 or 6 new players” which is a contradiction in terms as getting new players would make little difference if you don’t get them to play as a team in the first place.

    I am happy for Chelsea and have no issues with genuine Spurs fans but this blog like last nights MOTD, smacks of lazy journo’s and pundits not willing to be objective, maybe you are just following a BBC rating chasing script.

    PS no doubt all the over 50’s football pundits will get the boot from the BBC soon so they can get some eye candy younger lads to attract the mums.

    The BBC- Putting ratings first.

  • Comment number 74.

    66. At 11:55am on 10 May 2010, PrestonSpur wrote:
    Phil - your question about who fergie should sign to breathe life into Utd is an interesting one, mainly because we could direct that question to a number of clubs.

    Utd know they need players of a higher calible (1 0r 2 probably). But so do Arsenal (maybe 2 or 3?), Spurs (1 or 2), City (numerous). When you add in the likes of Liverpool (who need to start again with a blank piece of paper after their captain, goalkeeper and striker), Villa, Everton...
    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    You have just re-ashed the guff from last night MOTD.

    PS Liverpool have the best squad outside the top 2 but just didnt get the best out of them.

  • Comment number 75.

    When we get back Bosingwa and Essien for the start of next season, it will be like having two new signings. I am sure we can only afford one at most, if any for next season (assuming that we keep some of the youngsters). Even if we buy noone, then the following is a good basis.

    ----------Cech/Turnbull/Delac
    Bosingwa/Hutchinson-------AshCole/Van Aanholt
    ---------Alex/Ivanovic/JT/Bruma
    -----------Mikel/Mancienne
    -----Essien/Lampard/Cork/Matic
    ---JCole/Stoch--------FloMo/Zhirkov
    -----Drogba/Anelka/Kalou/Sturridge

  • Comment number 76.

    Congratulations to Chelsea who deserved to win the league

    However, with the recent dominance of Chelsea and Man Utd who have proved to be consistently better than their nearest rivals Arsenal, Liverpool and laterly Spurs has the premiership lost the element of competition needed to make it viable in the long term? Or do we end up with just two clubs able to win reflecting the Scottish premiership?


  • Comment number 77.

    (73) bluedefence


    I find myself agreeing with your every point. Let's treasure this moment ;-)

  • Comment number 78.

    31. DevilOfRed said:
    "Lets not get too ahead of ourselves . . . . Chelsea are only 1 point better than United at the end of the season.

    Just one tiny different outcome from the season, if a little bit of luck went Uniteds way then it would've been a different story.

    And would you say United had been worthy winners though?"
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    We could say the same of the 2008 season no? The points difference was 2, one tiny slip up would have changed things. I think the fact we scored 103 goals is a great way to demonstrate we were worthy champions, if the 1 point difference isn't enough.

    Yes they would've. Whoever wins it, wins it. Like Liverpool in the 2005 CL, despite the ghost goal against us they still won that tournament, that is the end of the story. Barca last year despite the refereeing in our semi, they won it and that is that. Or Barca's wrongfully disallowed winner against Inter a few weeks ago, another one that won't sully Inter Milan's probable victory.
    _________________________________________________________________________

    48. Detta said:
    "As a United fan I have to congratulate Chelsea and Ancelotti on a well deserved title. But Terry's comments about United following this great achievement speak volumes - why is he still thinking about us?! I wonder..."
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Because you are our main rivals, seeing you guys win it 3 years in a row hurt, especially after our back to back success. Of course one is inclined to think of their rivals when enjoying the fruits of success!

    Please Phil talk with BBC web admins and get a quote system sorted out. Also it would be nice to have a part near the commenters name that displays their team, so people wouldn't have to say "as a *INSERT HERE* fan" all the time ;)

  • Comment number 79.

    How important is the new tax band going to be while these clubs try and bring in new players?

    Its surely only the likes of Chelsea and City who will be able to compete with wages of the top teams abroad.

    Some of the players courted by the likes of the top 6/7 are wanted throughout europe and how many are going to be willing to hand 50% of their wage straight to the British government.

    A player on £100k a week would require somewhere in the region of £150k to stay at his current take home level.

    In the next two season I think we will see those players who are truely loyal to their clubs and those who seek wealth.

  • Comment number 80.

    Well done Carlo from a Villian.

    Have to say with their new style of playing and manager, its hard to to not like them now (in a footballing sense), given that they stopped man u winning for the 4th time in row.



  • Comment number 81.

    Okay so United scored 20 more goals than last season, and had the meanest defence of the season and people still maintain they missed Tevez and Ronaldo. I want you all to back that up with, How exactly? Rooney wouldn't have been as stunning as he was, and neither the clubs of Tevez or Ronaldo have done any better than United this year.

  • Comment number 82.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 83.

    @74 said You have just re-ashed the guff from last night MOTD.

    PS Liverpool have the best squad outside the top 2 but just didnt get the best out of them.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    United don't even have a squad as good as Tottenham's! They just have a brillaint manager. Apart from Rooney, which other exceptional player does United have?

  • Comment number 84.

    As a Chelsea supporter yesterday was by far the best day since the second leg of the semifinal against Liverpool.

    In terms of adding players in the summer we will need a new centreback as backup (Simon Kjaer, Ryan Shawcross) or if Alex goes I wouldnt mind Chiellini. A midfield dynamo since Essien is becoming a sicknote of late and Ballack/Deco are going. I would like De Rossi of Roma. Upfront I wouldnt mind Higuain or Torres. But please not Aguero, he is one of the most overrated players in the world.

  • Comment number 85.

    Jeez some Chelsea fans are so fickle though. It wasnt long ago many were doubting Ancelotti. The margins of greatness can be truly thin but the margins of Fickleness are as wide as the Atlantic.

    Also to people requesting Joe Cole as a "potent attacking force" on yesterdays display. I agree he is a good player but dont base his England inclusion on a decent enough performance against a 10 man Wigan who have conceded over 80 goals this season.

  • Comment number 86.

    As a Liverpool fan, i'm obviously delighted that Chelsea won the league. They are a far different proposition to the Mourinho years when they managed to match their success with a thorough lack of charm. Some of their displays this year have been absolutely majestic - i have to confess to being truly envious of the way they go about demolishing teams, whether that be Wigan or Arsenal.

  • Comment number 87.

    77. At 12:35pm on 10 May 2010, kanchelskis_legend wrote:
    (73) bluedefence


    I find myself agreeing with your every point. Let's treasure this moment ;-)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    Indeed we will :-)

  • Comment number 88.

    @ 46. At 11:01am on 10 May 2010, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:
    It has not been the greatest season in the Premier League's history, but Chelsea were deserved winners. Was this because they showed improvement or their rivals slipped back?

    I feel this is a bit too opinionated. Take "greatest" aside and I'd say this seasons been "one of the greatest".

    Ok so we might not of had the gelled tumbler, we might not of had Mourinho, might not of been a real relegation battle and arguably too many injuries to top players. But in terms of competition it has been a fantastic season for the neutral. Liverpools bad season made it exciting from the start for the fourth place. MANC blew it. Should of stayed with Hughes. Spurs final run against the "top4" was astonishing. So much happened this season. The only downside for me was Hull Burnley and the Administration.

    My opinion to the question above has to be that Chelsea have got better (You did mention goals scored). To claim it was because of their rivals (You mean MANU ?) have got worse is rather hypocritical to your "deserved winners" comment. No one has really got worse. Teams have only got better at the top of the table except maybe Liverpool. But they will be back and stronger too.

    I fully agree with JDR on this one. Your bias is absolutely atrocious considering your the chief football writer.

    Ferguson doesn't really need to sign anyone Valencia has become a hell of a lot better for the mufc. I hate you mufc fans who are always so ignorantly football righteous. You claim to win trophies without spending the money but look at your team now. The only players brought up from the academy who actually play in the first team are the 35 and 36 year olds. You will end up with either Benzema or Aguero for a good tens of million. But world cup years make transfers more un-predictable.

  • Comment number 89.

    83. At 12:46pm on 10 May 2010, Dapsy wrote:
    @74 said You have just re-ashed the guff from last night MOTD.

    PS Liverpool have the best squad outside the top 2 but just didnt get the best out of them.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    United don't even have a squad as good as Tottenham's! They just have a brillaint manager. Apart from Rooney, which other exceptional player does United have?


    HAHA that's a misguided comment. A better manager ? Then why did his squad cost more than spurs if it is not as good player for player ??? Is he not a very good manager in transfer market ?

    ANd you would seriously rather have Crouch and Pavlachecko on your team.

    It's great seeing some MUFC fans not handle losing.

  • Comment number 90.

    To Man U fans and other anti-chelsea people who envy our passionate and wealthy owner, if they think that investing in your team to make it a winning combination is a bad thing then why all this anti-Glazer campaign???

  • Comment number 91.

    The Premier League season, rather like Ancelotti's dubious wine, has not been vintage quality but everything - well, almost everything - tasted sweet to the Italian as he basked in the afterglow of a personal triump
    ________________________

    The above statement by McNulty typifies all that has been said those that try to water down Chelsea's title win. What is a true measure of any claims that this had been a poor Premiership season? Some seasons ago, pundits were complaining about how the Prem was getting boring because of the lack of competitiveness, with Chelsea winning the league with 3 games to go. That year, Chelsea were untouchable. After 2 years of Blues domination, Man Utd won 3 titles on a trot. The top 4 teams remained unchanged from 2005 till this season. This year has seen a shift in dominance; with an infiltration of Spurs into the top 4. Until last week, Aston Villa and Man City were in with a shout. Any team that wants to win the League next year now has to go to the top 4, as well as Everton, Liverpool, Man City, Villa, and even Birmingham and Blackburn. Every team presents a danger, even Burnley beat Spurs yesterday and Liverpool drew at Hull. What is happening in England now has been happening in countries like Germany and Italy (before the scandal). In Germany, 5 teams have won the Bundesliga since 2001 - Dortmund, Bayern, Stuttgart, Wolvesburg, Bremen. Apart from these traditional giants, Schalke, Leverkusen and Hamburg are tough teams. Chelsea has done so well this season; the dynamic of the Premiership has changed, and wins away to Hull, Blackburn, Wigan and Birmingham cannot be taken for granted as these teams have the personnell to punish you. Fulham's rise to the final has shown the strength in the midlevel teams.

    England's fortunes in the CL should not be taken to mean that Premiership has dropped in standard. Inter beat Barca, and are perhaps the only team in Europe that could have beaten Chelsea this season. I believe that if Chelsea had drawn Barca in the. 2nd round instead, we would have won. Arsenal were defensively and tactically naïve; and Man Utd, in my opinion, lost the tie in the first leg, with Bayern's second goal.

    All this talk about Chelsea having aged players is laughable, especially coming from Man Utd fans or their manager. Neville, Giggs, Scholes, Rio, VDS are in their 30s or close. Vidic, Park, Berbatov, Hargreaves, Wes Brown, Oshea, Carrick are all in their late 20s. I don't think some of the replacements are good enough or have settled in: players like Obertan, Anderson, Foster. The future is bright for Welbeck, Macheda, Raphael, Gibson but they need more playing time.

    Chelsea does have aged players, like Man Utd, and so the 2 clubs are in a similar predicament. But a core of players between 20-27 are in or on the periphery of the team: Stoch, Borini, Kalou, Alex, Zirkhov, Mikel, Sturridge, Matic, Bouma, Kakuta, Ivanovic, Macienne. If Chelsea decides to strengthen this summer, no player bought, should be older than 25 in my opionion. I have frowned on any moves for Villa, as he is 28. Chelsea actually needs a flair attacking player who can dribble and run at defences especially in the tough games, like Inter. This need has been apparent, and that's why Robinho was supposed to have joined last summer. Ribery, if not for his age, would have been a perfect candidate. I like the look of Aguero, but I am weary of his slight stature, in a physical league like the Prem. Chelsea also requires a cover in central midfield, a good passer of the ball and tackler; like De Rossi (Roma), Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Diego (Juventus), Gago. A good cover at centre back may be good if Carvalho leaves, though Ivanovic can cover, and Bruma should be bled in.

    Its time the media let the ghost of Mourinho rest in peace. The Special One will always be held in high esteem at Stamford Bridge, but its time for the media to let this umblical cord be cut.
    Most Chelsea fans have taken Ancelotti to their hearts, and its time for all to get behind him, as we seek to sustain our success domestically and push for European honours. With significant investment, we can push for the CL next year. This league title did not just come of the blue (pardon the pun); remember that in 2008 we took it to the wire, and in the other year we were quite close. The media needs to stop being color blind to all things blue.

    Congratulations Champions of England. I'm so proud to be Blue!

  • Comment number 92.

    "Congratulations to Chelsea but if it was any other season your points total wouldnt of been enough."

    Which 'any other season' in the Premiership would that be, then? Not 02/03, 00/01, 98/99, 96/97, 95/96 or 92/93, that's for sure!


  • Comment number 93.

    I am a United fan but I have to say you must give full credit to Chelsea. I hate it when people tell blatant lies just to score a cheap point. Comments like "They basically spend vast amounts of money they don't have and get a billionaire to bail them out" are not only totally untrue, they are an attempt to take away from their achievement; this is a very bad spirit for a human being to have and very unsportsmanly.

    How much did Chelsea spend for instance in the last two seasons - certainly much less than what Liverpool spent! Yet we have the constant irritation of Senor Benitez bleating about 'not having money to spend' - #17 million on a full back and #21 million on a crocked midfielder tell some of that story...

    Most of Chelsea's spending happened 4/5 years ago and since then there has been no Marquee signing. Who have they bought in the last three seasons that actually contributed significantly to their winning the title?

    As a United fan, I am of course extremely jealous that they have won the league and quite mad that they beat us at OT and got a fabulous assist from Stevie G. Nevertheless, we have to look at ourselves (United) and admit that we did not quite try hard enough when it mattered most. There are games that require blood and thunder (re -Paul Ince/ Roy Keane) and in these games, we simply failed to perform. Losing Rafael in the CL sem was no excuse! Thiago Motta was sent off after just 28 minutes against the mighty Barca at Camp Nou yet the special one and his players somehow still conjured an aggregate victory.

    The games against Bayern and the matches against Chelsea and Blackburn effectively decided our season. We have not had enough warriors in our team (Tevez, Vidic and Hargreaves come to mind) and Carrick was exposed as a massive weakling when we needed strength and reliability.

    Rooney was left to bear almost 80% of the burden and this was a massively unfair thing to do. Rooney and Fletcher typified the spirit we needed but it seems the other players were quite happy to just coast along. Regardless of what Sir Alex might say, deep within him he know we missed Tevez...massively. I might even go as far as saying we missed Tevez more than Ronaldo because while Rooney supplied the goals we missed from Ronaldo, there was no one to supply the sheer enthusiasm and bloody-mindedness of Tevez and this is what you need when things are not going well. Where he needed aggression like you would get from a Rottweiller or a Pit Bull we had the lap dog that was Berbatov - more like a Yorkshire Terrier or Chihuahua if you ask me.

    Our priorities have to be offloading Berbatov, Anderson and Carrick especially! and getting in decent replacements. I would buy Akinfeev (keeper), Pienaar, Joe Cole and Benzema (or Fabiano, Higuain, Balotelli, Oscar Cardozo) any strker who actually scores goals!

  • Comment number 94.

    Incredible season, so happy we finished it in style! Love how Ancelotti has just got on with the job, accepted defeat, never once criticised a ref, and just been a great role model in general, while sir alex has had more tantrums than ever even though his side have had their usual bit of luck!

    Our squad does need strengthening though, particularly in midfield. Deco and Ballack have proved to be liabilities in the big games, and I can see both of them leaving. Hopefully Essien will have an injury free season but we can't guarantee that. I am a fan of Mikel, but in the big games, he still fails to make an impact. He will develop into a quality player though.

    We need a holding midfielder (Toulalan/Veloso?) as Essien has shown this season and at the end of last season that he is great at going forward and we shouldn't restrict him as a defensive mid. Another goalscoring/creative centre mid would be good as well (Hamsik?) just so we have more options.

    I can see Ferreira and/or Belletti leaving, but Bosingwa will be back next season so I think with him, Ivanovic, and Hutchinson/Bruma, we should be fine at right back. Terry and Alex should be our defensive partnership next season, although I would like to see us sign a centre-back to replace Carvalho who is on his way out, but might stay for one more season. Someone like Bonucci/Luiz/Subotic/maybe even someone like Steven Taylor for the english contingency. I don't think Mancienne is good enough though. Some left-back cover would be good, as Zhirkov needs to play in midfield next season. However, Van Aanholt and Bertrand showed signs of quality at Newcastle and Reading and I'd put some faith in them.

    I don't know if we should sign any strikers though. I know Drogba and Anelka are getting old but surely they'll be class next season? We can push Malouda up in that front 3 as well, where he shows his true quality, and Zhirkov could play on the left of attack. Kalou had a great end of season run, and I can see next season being breakthrough seasons for Sturridge and Kakuta, and Stoch will get a decent run-out on the right flank due to his incredible season at Twente, and you never know, di Santo might become good! One striker I would like to see us sign though is Romelu Lukaku, 16 year old, 6ft4 striker from Anderlecht, top scorer in the Belgian League this season, could be a long-term replacement for Drogba!

    Sorry for the rant :)

  • Comment number 95.

    Dapsy at number 54 seems to be missing the point: it is a team game, and Drogba should have been focussing on that, not his individual battle. Nationality doesn't come into it.

    I don't understand how people can suggest the Premier League was not of the quality of some years. How do you measure quality in football? As a sport it needs to be entertaining, and with the number of goals Chelsea scored and the tight finish it was certainly that. Well done to them!

  • Comment number 96.

    I think this season should go some way to dispelling the years of chelsea hatred that has run round the country. Besides a couple of private issues amongst the players (Terry, Cole) I think chelsea have carried themselves with class, humility and unassuming quality for the large part of the season.

    Ancelotti has proven himself as a true gentleman of football (not an accolade that you can bestow many in the modern game) and with over 100 PL goals Chelsea have won the league with an exciting and entertaining style of football.

    I believe we will now enter a small transitional period. I cant see more than one or two big signings coming over the summer so I think over the next couple of years we will see the blooding of Kakuta and co (good news as the youth team have just won the FA cup). Now is the perfect time to start to see the return on Abromovich's investment in our youth set up. This is the key ingredient to prolonged success as long as finances for big signings are available if necessary - I draw on barcelona as my example for this rather than arsenal who are a perfect example of what can happen if you rely solely on a good youth set up.

    But today, the sun is shinning over stamford bridge and I can't see it setting for a good few years to come.

  • Comment number 97.

    well done chelsea...and thanks for making sure man u didn't win 4 in a row.

    from reading the posts i see there are the usual bitters, undermining chelsea's achievements, stating it was a poor league this year blah, blah...strange to think that most people would like to see the top teams lose more as it would indicate a more competitive league...can't imagine why those posters disagree ;-)

    anyway once again well done, looking forward to seeing how the team changes over the next few months and hoping to see alot more of the youths (kakuta etc) ear marked to replace the current elite.

    ps - i agree with simplyzola, Aguero is over rated

  • Comment number 98.

    93. At 1:11pm on 10 May 2010, Dapsy

    Dapsy, brilliant. A United fan who speaks the truth. To quote an unwise money "take a bow, son". Best of luck next season - hope its as competitive as this!

  • Comment number 99.

    I said at the start of the season that the top teams are relatively cautious these days compared to previous years with many playing a variation of 4-5-1. If any had the guts to regularly play two up front then i felt they would take the title (simlpy because you tend to score more goals).

    - Anelka and Drogba respectively were top scorers in the prem last year and this year. Chelsea had the best strength in depth in this area, athlugh Anelka had to make way more this year in a wide position.

    - Liverpool play with Torres as lone striker. Yes Gerrard gets forward but its not the same. Kuyt, who i thought signed as a striker, doesn't appear to be one anymore. Torres is a fantastic player but if Torres is injured the cover isn't great.

    - Arsenal are similar. RVP is a good player but once he got injured the cover isn't great.

    - United lost Tevez and Ronaldo. Rooney often play up front on his own. Berbatov rarely starts with Rooney. When he does he doesn't play well. Certainly i'd rather have Anelka ahead of Berbatov

  • Comment number 100.

    Deserved champions. Don't think anyone can argue. 6 out of 6 against the rest of the top 4, top goalscorer and most goals in the Prem ever.

    Things United (and others) and parping up about...

    Money: Football is a business now and has been for years. Where do poor clubs get with no rich owners get? Nowhere.

    Injuries: Yes Arsenal have had them but who hasn't this season? Vidic, Rio, Torres, Carvalho, Essien, Cole, Ivanovic, Bosingwa to name a few... That's the price you pay for having a weaker squad than others.

    Age: Laughable looking at United's squad. Though I do think we need to invest in some youth as well as give Kakuta, Matic etc. a go. Aguero looks like a great player and he banged 2 goals against us in the group stage earlier in the season, I think he could cut it.

    Slip ups: Winging that if United didn't draw at Blackburn blah blah... then it would have been a different story... Chelsea should have wrapped it up ages ago but they didn't cos they also slipped up. It happens. That's why a season is 38 games long.

    Terry: Having a go cos he said was 'it was hard watching them win for the last 3 years and it's time for them to sit back and watch us...' Hardly blasphemy is it? He's just won the league for the first time in 4 years... People need to stop having a go cos of what happened in his private life. Is Cantona remembered for losing his cool and kicking a fan live on TV? No, he's remembered for being a great footballer. They might earn stupid amounts of money but they're all human. They all make mistakes like the rest of us. I bet a lot of the people that blog on here have done a lot worse. And you're telling me if one of us was offered that money you'd say no?! Exactly.

    United have got a good squad but it needs work. Nani is never gonna be the next Ronaldo. Carrick/Fletcher/Anderson are not of the same quality as Keane, Scholes etc. Berbatov can't hack the pressure of being at the biggest club in England. Neville, Giggs, Van der Sar won't last much longer. I like the look of Gibson but he needs games. Fergie needs a big think over the summer!

 

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