Chelsea are having a change of fortunes and looking very different than the team we saw about two or three months ago. Let’s roll the dice back a bit. Before Guus Hiddink was appointed, the club was having a disastrous season that culminated in the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ was sacked despite leading them to the title and signing a new long-term contract at the end of last season. While he is still regarded highly by everyone at Chelsea Football Club, the string of poor results couldn’t help save his job as the club was 16th in the league.
The players were having a horrible period with rumors of dressing room problems hitting the headlines from time to time. It seems the players were not enjoying going to work and expressing themselves freely when the ‘Special One’ was in charge. They had become complacent and somehow lethargic.
Since Guus Hiddink was appointed for a second stint as the club’s manager, Chelsea are unbeaten in all competitions. They are in fantastic form at the moment. The atmosphere at the club is remarkably different.
Diego Costa has seemingly discovered his scoring form while other players are becoming more effective in their roles like Cesc Fabregas and Obi Mikel. Even though they are still in the bottom half of the table and just seven points adrift relegation, Chelsea is a very different team now as compared to few months ago when Mourinho was still in charge.
While they have drawn their last three home games, Chelsea have not conceded a goal in any of their last three away games.
So, what has really happened at Chelsea? Has Hiddink revived the team? It’s simple… the team has returned to the basics. Hiddink has said that all he’s done is to ask the players what they used to do when they became champions and attempted to get them back to these things. His work has primarily involved getting them to do the basic things they used to do and he is fairly successful in doing so.
As a disciplinarian, Hiddink is slowly returning the players to where they belong while enabling them to play with more freedom at the same time. John Terry, the club captain, has admitted they are playing with more freedom than few months ago. The change of fortunes has basically been brought by a return to the basics and avoiding complacency.
Are there chances of a top four finish for Chelsea? Probably not. However, if they keep doing what they are currently doing and stick together as a unit, why not? As the revival continues, expect much better performances from them.
A top four finish is still mathematically possible and somewhat attainable.