x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Premier League: Chelsea's review of the 2012/13 season

A look back at the Blues.

Where Chelsea got it right

Once Rafa Benitez settled, he did an excellent job, rotating a smallish squad to reach the semi-finals of both Cups, finish third in the league and win the Europa League.

He turned David Luiz from a clown into a leader, introduced Eden Hazard to the concept of tracking and even managed to get Fernando Torres looking something like his old self.

The trio of Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata produced some stunning interplay at times, while Frank Lampard completed his reinvention as a deeper-lying player.

 

Where Chelsea got it wrong

The squad is a shambles, too small for a club of Chelsea's stature and unbalanced, the result of the lack of continuity - something perpetuated by the removal of Roberto Di Matteo and his replacement by Benitez.

 

Star man - Juan Mata

Tireless, selfless and intelligent, he passed neatly, creating 12 league goals and scoring another 12.

 

Flop - John Terry

The light is finally fading: he started 11 league games this season and looked unusually slow.

 

Prospective signings

They desperately need another central striker to ease the burden on Torres and Demba Ba, although that might just mean bringing Romelu Lukaku back from his loan stint at West Bromwich Albion. There is probably need of another holding midfielder if Lampard plays fewer games next season.

Another full-back to add depth would not go amiss either, and it could even be argued that they could do with another option in the line of three creators, if only so the likes of Mata, Oscar, Hazard and Victor Moses do not end up playing as many games as they did this season.

 

Prospects for 2013/14

The nucleus of a good squad is there: add three or four players and there is no reason Chelsea should not challenge for the title, although much, of course, will depend on how, if Jose Mourinho returns as manager, he settles in his second time around.