Football Season Review

Champions: Chelsea

Antonio Conte’s arrival brought Chelsea back where they firmly believed they belong and the Blues not just won their second title in three seasons but played some truly outstanding football that in the end saw them breaking the record for most wins achieved in a single campaign. Conte chose to focus on strengthening his defence in the summer and he signed Luiz and Alonso, who immediately became an integral part of the starting line-up. The campaign started with three consecutive wins in August, but the next month was a difficult won and Chelsea earned a single point from three matches. Back-to-back defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal made the gaffer think and he made the bold decision to change the 4-2-3-1 formation to the 3-4-3 he used so much while at Juventus and immediately this worked miracles. It would be fair to say that the title was won in the autumn and early winter as Chelsea ended 2016 on a staggering run of thirteen consecutive wins, which also brought ten clean sheets. Defensively the Blues were very solid, while with Matic and Kante dictating things in midfield they were also able to commit plenty of bodies forward. Kante was particularly effective, plus Fabregas was a massive weapon off the bench. Pedro and Hazard had wonderful seasons down the wings, which helped a lot as Willian’s campaign was disrupted in October by a family tragedy and he didn’t start many games after that. Diego Costa was the usual lethal weapon inside the box and he continued to score goals regularly. In January Chelsea lost vs. Tottenham and drew against Liverpool, but they still won six of eight games in the first two months of the year and the fact that Conte was blessed to work with an injury-free squad paved the way towards the title. Chelsea ended the campaign on a six-game winning streak, which saw them achieving the staggering 30 wins in 38 matches to convincingly confirm their dominance in the league this season. The campaign ended on a slightly sour note though as Chelsea missed on a double after losing the FA Cup final against Arsenal, but all in all the players and Conte had a year to remember and they are promising to return in 2017/18 even stronger.

Player of the Season: N'Golo Kante