On The Bench

The Premier League is the most-watched soccer league of the most popular sport in the world. It hosts 20 clubs at the top of England’s soccer world.  But, adjusting to the Premier League from other leagues is no easy task. In England, professional soccer games move at a quicker and a more physical pace than in other national leagues. To be in the Premier League, you have to be fast and you have to be mean.

This is why the immediate impact of Chelsea Football Club midfielder Eden Hazard is so remarkable. The  21-year-old appears to have the skills, with an incredible first touch, blistering pace, accuracy with the pass and strength on the ball, due to his short stature (He is only 5 feet 7 inches tall).

Hazard wouldn’t be compared to Barcelona player Lionel Messi, if he wasn’t half decent.

Hazard’s addition to Chelsea FC has been the catalyst of its offense. So far, his arrival has transformed Chelsea into the League’s top club. Along with his teammates, they have defined the men in blue this early in the season.

The Roberto Di Matteo’s roadshow looks to be running at full speed. After nine matches with six outright victories, the spark that the young Hazard provides along with fellow midfielder Oscar and striker Fernando Torres has been spectacular.

For Torres, the game against rival Arsenal was his best this season. He became the leading scorer for Chelsea FC, racking up his fifth goal in nine games in a London rival match. Torres has a proven track record. He is, on his best day, one of the finest finishers in the world. He is capable of terrorizing opposing defenses – using his strength, power, pace, agility, and intelligence to dominate play.

Chelsea’s victory last season, in the Champion League over European soccer teams Barcelona and Bayern Munich, was remarkable and totally unpredictable. I don’t think anyone would deny that they were fortunate, and it’s always nice if you can combine success with a certain degree of style. It’s especially impressive since the team changed coaches in the middle of that season and placed sixth in the final league standings.

With the exit of  Didier Drogba, the team’s best player, Chelsea was left with limited options up front, with Torres and Daniel Sturridge being the only remaining out-and-out strikers. With both players stepping out of the shadow of the soccer great, Drogba, Chelsea has been able to retool and renew itself.

The January transfer deadline could also make an already good team even better, with the addition of even more players to a roster already filled with talent.

The sheer depth of the team is amazing. They have two excellent players for each position and fixed their weak areas during the summer with the acquisition rightback Cesar Azpilicueta. The midfield is stacked, the frontline is healthy and the defensive line is deep.

The team can go against premier league rival Manchester United and defending league champions Manchester City.

Furthermore, with the lackluster play of the Manchester clubs and the disappointing starts of teams like Liverpool and Arsenal, the question is, can Chelsea compete for this season Premier League trophy?  Not only are they competing, they are dominating.

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