Chelsea throw down title gauntlet; Moses proves Conte worth

Date published: Sunday 20th November 2016 6:32

Antonio Conte: Chelsea boss impressing with transformation

After another win and another clean sheet, Michael Graham believes Chelsea have laid down the gauntlet in the Premier League title race.

There really is something quite disgustingly efficient about Chelsea this season, isn’t there.

In Sunday’s win over Middlesbrough, the Blues appeared to be playing within themselves a little and yet still came away from Teeside with three points that were earned in relative comfort.

True, ‘Boro turned up the pressure now and then at the Riverside, but every time they did Chelsea just seemed to click up a gear, ride out the storm, and slip back down again once it was safe to do so.

It was, in short, an authoritative performance of a team who are very confident in what they are doing right now.

And that, for me, sets them apart as favourites for the Premier League title this year, despite there being more competition at the top than ever before.

Liverpool are looking great and Spurs still being unbeaten at this stage is remarkable, but both play a very high-intensity pressing game and there is a danger that it may catch up with them in the run-in. Chelsea, though, seem to be capable of preserving what is in their tank and tyres a little more and that could make all the difference.

Manchester City and Arsenal will, of course, likely be up there too, but both look a little more prone to frailties to me, especially when things go against them.

Over the last six games, Chelsea have faced just about every type test this league has to offer and they have set out their stall with six wins and six clean sheets. Now it’s up to the rest to stop them.

Moses proves Conte’s worth

Branislav Ivanovic has been a fixture at Chelsea for so long now it’s almost as if you forget he’s actually there.

He’s not always been a favourite of Chelsea fans, but with 8 years service, best part of 400 games, and eight major trophies during his Stamford Bridge stint, his contribution should not be dismissed by anyone.

However, at 32-years-old, there is no question that Ivanovic’s best days are behind him and Chelsea have been looking to replace him for a couple of years now.

Who, I wonder, would have predicted that serial-loanee and erratic winger Victor Moses would’ve been the man to do it, though?!

Moses has been nothing short of a revelation for Chelsea this season in the right wing-back role, and it’s to the enormous credit of both himself and Antonio Conte that he is blossoming so much.

You can’t just plonk a player like Moses in a responsibility-laden position and hope for the best. It’s evident that he has received a large amount of education and attention from his coach and, in an era when the transfer market is king when it comes to solving problems, that is an absolute breath of fresh air.

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