Premier League 2018/19: SWOT Analysis of Chelsea
With less than 24 hours to the start of the 2018/19 Premier League season, all 20 EPL clubs are gearing up for the fresh challenges that lie ahead. Some such as Burnley will seek to consolidate on their impressive performance last season, while others will aim to make amends for their underperformance last season.
One of the clubs in the latter category is Chelsea, as the London club suffered a winner's second season syndrome last term, and spectacularly imploded, finishing in fifth position just a year on from winning the league in record-breaking fashion.
There have been changes to the team, as the club seeks to move on from the debacles of last season. Premier League winning manager Antonio Conte has departed the club, with 59-year-old former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri appointed in his stead and the Italian bringing Jorginho from Estadio San Paolo with him, while Kepa Arrizabalaga was signed for a world record fee of £71m from Athletic Bilbao on deadline day.
Like the rest of their rivals in the top six, Chelsea would be aiming to achieve their season's objective of finishing at the peak of the league table, however, the strength of their rivals in the top six means that two teams must drop out from the Champions League places.
Using a SWOT analysis, I profile The Blues and their chances of success.
Strength: Key areas or qualities which the club possesses that puts it at an instant advantage, and makes it a contender
Weaknesses: Areas or qualities which puts the club at an instant disadvantage and makes it weaker than its opponents
Opportunities: Areas or qualities with potential to make the team stronger than its rivals
Threats: Areas or qualities which have potential to make the team weaker than its opponents
CHELSEA - Strengths
One of the standout defensive midfielders in the world, Kante led the way for most interceptions in Leicester's fairytale EPL triumph in 2016. He continued with his imperious form for Chelsea a season later, which played a crucial role in The Blues winning the Premier League in his debut season with them, and he was deservedly named the 2017 PFA Player of the Year (an incredible feat, given players in his position usually don't get such recognition).
A tireless worker, the sheer amount of games the World Cup winner has played over the last three seasons with almost no rest is mind-boggling, yet he shows no signs of fatigue, consistently running and discharging his duties with minimum fuss.
He is every coach's ideal player, and every player's dream teammate, and even though he had a bit of lull in his performance last season, there is no doubt that N'Golo Kante's ball-winning abilities are going to be central to everything Chelsea set out to achieve this season.
Heavily touted as the galactico replacement for the Juventus bound Ronaldo at Real Madrid, Hazard now seems set to spend at least another season at Stamford Bridge, and this will come as sweet music to the ears of Chelsea fans, as the Belgian is the chief orchestrator of the team's attacks.
The 28-year-old is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world, and though plagued by consistency issues, on his day, he has the key to unlock any defense in the world, and Chelsea are blessed to have him within their ranks.
After a disappointing 2017/2018 season for Chelsea, Eden Hazard reminded every one of his qualities at the 2018 World Cup, where he put in a Silver Ball-winning performance to guide Belgium to her best World Cup finish in 52 years.
Hazard was unplayable at times, embarking on devastating runs and shouldering the responsibility of lifting Belgium, particularly in the quarter-final against Brazil, where he outplayed and outshone Neymar.
Not losing Hazard in this transfer window and having him ready for the coming season is a major transfer coup for Chelsea, as he can inspire the blues to domestic dominance, much like he did in 2015, when he was named the PFA Player of the Year.