Chelsea and Conte are worthy Premier League champions

Date published: Saturday 13th May 2017 12:25

Chelsea are the Champions, and Michael Graham urges all not to allow the shortcomings of the rest to distract from the achievements of Antonio Conte and his men. 

For all its individual moments of cruelty, one of the finest fundamental truth about football is that you tend to get what you deserve in the end.

Sure, there will be heartbreak and drama, and generally plenty of them, and despite the strangled cries of many a loser, football is a fair old beast.

We have a developed something of an annoying habit in English football of trying to take something away from winners by, instead of giving them due credit for their achievement, criticising the rest for not being better.

Last season, Leicester City produced one of football’s greatest ever underdog stories, and yet many still maintain they basically won the Premier League title by default due to the usual elite clubs all failing to produce their usual standards.

There are fewer of those voices with Chelsea this season, although we have still heard the odd TV pundit label chasing Tottenham, the undeniable best of the rest this season, “bottle jobs” for not winning the Premier League. It’s not really fair on anyone.

The truth is that, yes, it has been a relatively dull title race this year. In fact, it almost feels like we haven’t even had one to enjoy at all. Spurs drew too many games, Manchester City had too soft an underbelly, Liverpool were wildly inconsistent, Manchester United never had the cutting edge, and Arsenal were too, well, Arsenal-y.

None of the above is the reason why Chelsea are champions, though. The reason that Chelsea are champions is because they were the best team in the country by quite some considerable distance.

They recruited the best back in the summer. They had the best defence. They had the most tenacious and durable midfield. They had the most relentless attack. They had the best attitude. You name it, they bossed it, and there is no questioning it.

And if you’re looking for a reason for all of that, look no further than manager Antonio Conte.

The Italian has had a stunning first season in English football. Let’s not forget that, back in the summer, the focus was on the managerial talent that had descended upon the Premier League.

Le Liga may boast the top playing talent in the world, but it was England that the cream of the managerial crop had descended upon for this season. Conte, Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, and Jurgen Klopp all going head to head was expected to produce something special at the top of the Premier League.

It has done just that, but not in the way we all expected. Because for one to emerge from that list and totally dominate the rest is very special indeed, and that is exactly what Conte and Chelsea have done.

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