Chelsea are two wins away from winning the Premier League title, but that is not enough for Blues assistant manager Steve Holland, who claims the champions-elect are not getting the praise and respect they deserve.
“They haven’t had the credit they deserve as a group nationally this season in my opinion,” he told Chelsea TV, “We are in the middle of April and have lost just two matches in the Premier League. This League is tough. You’ve just seen what Leicester have done by getting three wins in a row.
“So to have gone eight months with only two defeats and been top for the whole season means the players deserve great credit for their consistency and mental qualities.”
Whether Chelsea get the credit they deserve or not, what cannot be denied is just how impressive the Blues have been this season as they can potentially wrap up the league title with four games still left to play. By winning the title, Chelsea will set a new Premier League record for days in first place.
But maybe the plaudits would be flowing more for Chelsea if they played the kind of attractive football that they are capable of, instead of playing in essence six defenders at home to Manchester United at the weekend.
But Jose Mourinho did not care about preferring substance over style in the win, saying afterwards:
“Once you decide to play this way, the statistics don’t matter, only the result does,” he said after the match.
Only one side in the Premier League has scored more goals than Chelsea at the moment, and that is Manchester City, and they have played a game more. But when fans think back on the 2014/15 season they don’t think of the swashbuckling style of Chelsea early in the season when Costa was scoring for fun, and Fabregas was ripping defences to shreds with his passes. Instead they will think of the park the bus approach of Mourinho, where Chelsea go one up and shut up shop, instead of going for more.
This season we have seen the pragmatic Mourinho. The Mourinho that won the treble in Italy. If Steve Holland wants Chelsea to get the respect he feels they deserve, Premier League fans want to see the Mourinho that led Real Madrid to club records in points and goals scored.