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Chelsea in an oddly envious position – lurking in third but outside the pressure cooker

Jan 20, 2014, 5:25 PM EDT

With Jose Mourinho’s squad just two points off the lead in the Premier League table, Chelsea have work to do if they want to gain a stronghold in the title race.

Arsenal are “winning ugly,” as Fulham’s Rene Meulensteen called it, working hard and getting 1-0, 2-0 results with a strong CB pairing and cutting-edge counter attacks.

Manchester City are dazzling to watch, taking no prisoners as they blanket the English game with an attacking onslaught that is a sight to behold.

And yet for both of the leaders, one slip-up could mean the death of their title hopes.

That’s where Chelsea come in. Sure, they are in a similar situation when it comes to wiggle room – in short, there is none. But nobody’s talking about it.

The Blues of Stamford Bridge continue to plod along, finally finding their footing under new management.  Even the Special One Jose Mourinho takes time to settle into a new club, but with a defensive line solid as a rock and an attacking midfield spilling over with talent, it was only a matter of time before they developed a style that translated to winning.

The team took time to pick out an identity, but now that Mourinho’s system finally seems to be gaining a strong foothold in the squad, the days of dropping points to Stoke, Newcastle, and West Brom seem to be in the rear view mirror.  Chelsea are on a six-match unbeaten streak (5 of those wins), with Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United among those six.

And while a title race is not just about not dropping points, but also about beating the top teams – something which they have struggled to do thus far – now that the squad is hitting its stride, look out.

So while Arsenal and Manchester City look to fend off the dogs, Chelsea can tread water until the time comes for them to pounce, an enviable position.

Oh, and they’re having fun too. Check out the video above – after Samuel Eto’o‘s hat-trick against Manchester United, he responds to Sky Sports reporter Geoff Shreeves in French, and John Terry‘s translation attempt leaves a few things out.

Mark February 3rd on your calendar.  Chelsea visit Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, and we will find out very soon whether Mourinho’s bunch indeed belongs with the big boys.  That could be their moment to pounce.

  1. Sgc - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    It’s interesting that we’re this late into the league and the team in front is still not the bookies favorites, or even second-favorites.

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