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The hard work starts now for Chelsea

Tuesday 16th May 2017
Following the turn of the year, Chelsea winning the Premier League title seemed inevitable. However, their ascent wasn't quite as straightforward in the campaign's opening stages.
The Blues endured a torrid 2015/16 campaign during which they failed to defend their title with any sort of conviction. They lost Jose Mourinho in December and were flirting with relegation. Since the introduction of Antonio Conte though, Chelsea have not just climbed back to their feet, they have also climbed the table and won the league.

This season has been one that has redeemed many of the players that failed so dramatically last term. They have been outstanding throughout the campaign and it is a testament to their ability and resolve that they have bounced back in such a way, however, the hard work begins now for Chelsea.

The Blues' players face a massive test next season as they look to defend their Premier League title. Teams will now know all about their formation and it is likely opposition managers will be working throughout the summer on the right tactics to beat the three at the back that has become so difficult to break down.

The players will also be tasked with matching their performances from the season before. There will always be comparisons raised with each player and their shadow from the last campaign will hang over them. It is sometimes too difficult for a player to match those expectations.

Chelsea displayed they are not exempt from suffering difficult second season troubles with their woeful campaign last year.

Transfer wise, it will be a very busy summer for Chelsea. The men at the top will be working overtime to keep the likes of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois who have all been linked with moves away.

As far as incomings go, Chelsea need to add to their team. Of course, they have been outstanding this season but there are areas that must be strengthened. Costa does not have any real backup so a striker should be added, John Terry is leaving at the end of the season meaning more defensive cover is needed, and perhaps a real creative midfielder in the ilk of Real Madrid's Isco would add to their ability.

For Antonio Conte though, there is a test waiting that no one else has ever passed. No manager has ever been able to build a dynasty at Stamford Bridge - a title-winning campaign is usually followed by a difficult season.

It is likely the Italian will have to take his management to the next level in the coming season as he will now be the man to beat, a prized scalp for the other 19 Premier League managers.

Chelsea will face a mammoth task next season. It is incredibly difficult to replicate a Premier League title win and there will always be questions hanging over them following last campaign's showing. The entire club must overcome a plethora of different issues. They must find a way to triumph.

Come Christmas, everybody stated they saw Chelsea's title win coming. After six games into the season though, the Blues were struggling and those same people probably said Antonio Conte was not right for English football.

Conte and Chelsea overcame those problems this season and need to do the same again next campaign.
Ben Darvill

I graduated with an upper second class degree in English and Creative writing from Cardiff Metropolitan University. I have been a freelance sports writer since leaving University and have written for a number of online websites. I am a Chelsea and England fan but I enjoy watching any team play as I have an intense passion for football.

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