Chelsea are once again champions of the Premier League after an extended, processional run-in. Friday night’s crowning victory at The Hawthorns was the 25th in 30 league matches since Antonio Conte’s decisive re-gearing of his team in September. The most remarkable player is Victor Moses, who was taken from the laundry bin in the autumn to become a key part of the title surge.
It is now 14 years since Roman Abramovich arose as a spendthrift presence in west London. Five titles and a Champions League win have now sealed Chelsea’s place as the dominant English club of that period. It is Conte’s role in this that shines through, not just as an example of ruthlessly detailed coaching and man management, but as something new also. In Conte, Chelsea has something different, a manager who inherited a messy, enervated squad fresh from the worst title defense in 25 years and threw a lightning bolt through pretty much the same group of players to create a fresh champion team.
This different approach, a profound resizing of angles and personnel that has made every part clunk into place, with key players given roles that emphasize their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses, is what has led to Chelsea’s victory.