Around the Bases

Tariq Engineer

Money, it seems, can buy happiness. Just ask any Chelsea Fan.
Roman Abramovich spent close to $300 million on players since buying Chelsea FC, and his expensively assembled side captured the Premiership title with a win over Bolton last week.
Chelsea began slowly, initially struggling to score goals, as Arsenal set the early pace. But as the season progressed, and Abramovich provided Jose Mourinho with a choice of players 99 percent of managers can only dream about, Chelsea set itself to the task of winning the league.
Led by the indefatigable Frank Lampard in midfield, and superbly marshaled by John Terry at the back, Chelsea became practically unbeatable. Terry was voted PFA player for the year, while Lampard was Chelsea’s talisman and leading scorer. Petr Cech replaced Carlo Cudicini in goal, and during the course of the season set a new premiership record, going 1,025 minutes without conceding a goal.
Arsenal and Manchester United gave chase in vain, but Chelsea had too much class in the end. While Man U was hampered by injuries, and Arsenal by inconsistency, Chelsea had too much depth and too much talent to suffer a letdown during the season, eventually clinching the title with three games to spare.
At one point during the season Chelsea was on course for an unprecedented quadruple of the Premiership title, the FA Cup, the Carling Cup and the Champion’s League. In the end though, it had to settle for the Premiership title and the Carling Cup.
Settle, however, is a relative term. Chelsea last won the league in 1955. Fifty years on a Premiership – Carling Cup double is nothing to sneeze at. Just ask a Chelsea fan.