At its best, football can be a soul-stirring, borderline orgasmic sport to watch. For tension, twists, thrills and spills it produces unscripted drama that sends the heart rate soaring like very little else on earth.
I know we’re not all made the same way but it never fails to puzzle me how some people don’t enjoy it. For such an intoxicating sport it’s perhaps a contradiction then, that the very best are often the one’s that make the fewest mistakes; the one’s that surprise us the least.
It’s boring to think this way but the greatest teams and individuals very rarely mess up their lines.
So if you want to know why Chelsea are dead certs to win this season’s Barclays Premier League, you have it there in a nutshell. The Blues will make far less blunders than anybody else.
A cursory glance at the challengers, and it’s boo-boo central.
Up at Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers’ summer transfer spending appears to have been incredibly wasteful. As the situation worsens the Reds boss is beginning to make stranger selections, and his continually changing back four has been nothing if not consistently error-strewn.
My favourites Arsenal have committed the cardinal sin of repeating the same slip-ups. A third of the goals they’ve conceded have resulted from counter attacks, and even more have been shipped from headers inside the box, yet to date they’ve appeared reluctant to alter their approach. Arsene Wenger’s failure to sign a centre-back and defensive midfielder last summer was also a mistake.
But for Sergio Aguero’s brilliance, who knows how far down the table Manchester City would be? Manuel Pellegrini’s expensively assembled defence has been very ragged, and the Chilean doesn’t seem to have a plan B up his sleeve when the champions begin to toil. The only consistency they’ve shown is in a high error count.
Manchester United find themselves inside the top four, and given their incredible oversights last summer that’s miraculous. Failure to purchase at least three more defensive players (when it was obvious that was their primary weakness) should have cost them more than it has. However, if they’d strengthened not neglected that department, United would be sitting much closer to Chelsea and that shouldn’t be overlooked.
In contrast, Jose Mourinho and his band of Blue brothers have an almost spotless recent record.
Cleaning the decks of his dead wood, the manager has rebuilt a beautifully sturdy side. Recent newcomers Thibaut Courtois, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa have all taken the team to the next level (just as he planned) with consistently outstanding displays.
The signings have been great, the tactics have been solid, the results have been superb. The Happy One is happy.
His team doesn’t make many mistakes either. Yes, it’s true they endured one or two iffy moments early on against Burnley, Everton and Swansea City but those instances aside, they’ve given practically nothing away. Chelsea’s back five are streets ahead of anything else in English football.
As a Gooner it pains me to say it but they have the look of a near-perfect team.
Down the spine Chelsea boast the best keeper in the league, the meanest central defensive partnership, the most balanced and talented engine room, and up front a centre forward that’s among the planets’ deadliest.
Supported by two reliable full backs and a trio of energetic and gifted attacking midfielders, there are no obvious weak links.
With hunger, resilience, spirit, ability and a tactical approach that’s so far this season beyond reproach, Chelsea fans must be reveling in what they see.
They’re only human so mistakes will be made between now and the season’s climax but don’t expect too many.
Unlike their rivals, Mourinho and his class of 2014/15 won’t be gifting the Premier League title to anyone else.