Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho goes into the 2014/15 campaign on the back of a trophyless season at Stamford Bridge and as a result has pressure on his shoulders to deliver.
His return to west London has not quite gone the way the Portuguese man would have wanted. Chelsea were challenging for the Premier League and Champions League at the latter stages of both competitions but were unable to go all the way in either.
The summer will be the chance for Mourinho to bring in the players he believes will make an impact for the Blues, and at the same time show the exit door to those he feels do not fit into his squad
The Chelsea manager has already given the green light for the club to sell David Luiz to PSG for over £40 million, money which is expected to be invested back into the team. John Terry and Gary Cahill formed a solid partnership in central defence leaving no room for the Brazilian in the starting XI.
Diego Costa looks set to answer Mourinho’s striker problems. Neither Fernando Torres or Samuel Eto’o were clinical enough last season and as a result, the Blues struggled for goals. If Costa can repeat the form he showed for Atletico Madrid, which helped them win La Liga and reach the final of the Champions League, Chelsea should be challenging for trophies again.
The Blues have also been linked with Southampton’s Luke Shaw, but they are in competition with Manchester United who are favourites with Betfair to secure his signature.
The Special One has won silverware wherever he has been so far in his career, and although he has already lifted the Premier League twice, the League Cup on two occasions and the FA Cup with Chelsea, he will demand a similar kind of success in his second spell at the club.
If Mourinho does not deliver the goods in the 2014/15 campaign, it will be interesting to see how much patience Chelsea owner Roman Ambramovic will show. The Russian sacked his manager in 2007 because he was not happy with the style of play the team was playing. By reappointing him once again, he has accepted that was a mistake seven years ago.
Ambramovic has always craved a team that is easy on the eye. He has hoped to mirror the great Barcelona side which have won trophies playing attractive football over the past couple of decades. The Russian knows though, he will not get that under Mourinho but he will expect silverware for his investment. Another campaign which ends in a drought may result in the Chelsea owner showing his manager the exit door again.
Betfair make Chelsea second favourites in the outright market for the 2014/15 Premier League, behind champions Manchester City. Last year’s winners are likely to strengthen their squad themselves over the summer.
The Blues are also second best of the English clubs in the Champions League betting with Betfair, while they are odds-on to win a trophy of any kind.