Stamford Bridge Isn't Falling Down: Chelsea's Early Season Review

Bela TrimmelCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2009

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15:  Nicolas Anelka of Chelsea celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Chelsea and FC Porto at Stamford Bridge on September 15, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)

East African Business Week reported on September 14 that Chelsea owner, Roman Abrmoavich had attempted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. He didn't quite make it.

However, unlike their manager, Chelsea are making a steady climb toward the summit of the Premiership early in the season.

With five games under their belt, the west London side are at the top of the table on points and on goal differential.

The early weeks of the Premiership campaign are usually more up in the air than a child with a new trampoline, but the start of this season has seen the traditional "big four" tossed around.

Manchester United are a game behind the Blues. Liverpool and Arsenal are sitting at fifth and ninth, respectively.

With the opening pawns being pushed across the board, Chelsea are making the proper moves toward checkmating the Premiership title for the first time in three years.

Solid Foundation

A run toward the title starts early on in the season and Chelsea are laying the foundation for that run.

Chelsea didn't throw a lot of money around in the previous transfer window and there was speculation that the age of the team and the lack of depth would hurt the team against younger squads.

However, Chelsea have proved their critics wrong in the early going.

While the key players on the squads are getting on in the years, there is no lack of fire in the starting eleven.

Two of these key players, Drogba and Anelka, are finally syncing with each other, a feat that previous managers have been unable to achieve.

The play of these two players is being accentuated by coach Carlo Ancelotti's use of the diamond formation that former manager Jose Mourinho was known for.

The formation allows for players like Lampard and Ballack to release the two strikers into space with more ease and create chances.

But Is Foundation All That Solid?

There is no doubt that Chelsea have had the best start of the traditional top four clubs, but there are areas that are lacking.

Three of the five matches have seen Chelsea go down early. While they have equalized and eventually won, the go-ahead goals are coming late in the matches when it seems like a draw is in hand.

While a win is a win, with the offensive capabilities of the squad, the victories should't be coming in the last gasp.

With further regards to the squad, the FIFA enacted transfer ban will likely have an effect on the first team selections.

While the ban is expected to be appealed, Ancelotti will need to dip into the younger members of the team to ensure that the senior members of the squad can be rested for key matches. It also ensures a crop of talent in case the ban is not lifted until 2011.

May Is What Matters

The season is five weeks old and it is going to be a long, cold, and hard season.

With the new threat being posed by Manchester City and the early defeats that the other top four teams have suffered, the road is certainly not going to be paved with gold for the Premiership favorites.

However, with the return of Joe Cole and Yuri Zhirkov, the Blues available options will increase and increase their chances.

So, will this be Chelsea's season to displace Manchester United?

Only time will tell, but, if they continue their current play, we will likely see the Premiership trophy return to Stamford Bridge.


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