After putting a turbulent season behind them, Chelsea began the season with a new coach and look on course to mount a serious challenge for their Premier League title this season. They remain one of the favourites to win it as shown by the stat on online soccer betting.
However, in the last 62 years and since Russia billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003, only two coaches – Jose Mourinho (thrice) and Carlo Ancelotti (once) have won the trophy at Stamford Bridge.
2003 till date, Chelsea have been handled by 12 different managers both full time and interim managers. Mourinho took over the reigns at Chelsea after the sack of Claudio Rianeri in 2004 and the Portuguese coach guided them to their first Premier League title in 50 years and helped them to retain it the following season before losing it to Manchester United at the third attempt in 2007.
After Mourinho sack in September 2007, Israeli coach Avram Grant took over and almost won it but lost it to the Old Trafford outifts on the last day of the league after a 1-1 draw with Bolton and he was subsequently relived of his post.
Replaced by Brazilian coach Lius Felipe Scolari for the 2008/2009 season but the former Brazil coach was sacked at the turn of the second half of the season and Ray Wilkins saw took charge of few matches before Guus Hiddink saw them through the season winning only the FA Cup.
Former AC Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti came on board in 2010 and deliver the league title, becoming the second manager in many years to achieve that feat. A run of poor result the following season to his sack and Andre Villas Boaz took charge in 2011.
Mid-way through that season he was shown the exit door and Roberto Di Matteo was brought in and he guided them to their first ever Champions League triumph in 2012. He was later confimed as a full manager.
But known for his intolerance for poor result, Abrahimovich showed the Italian the exit door and replaced him with Rafael Benitez as interim manager. The Spainard has only the Europa League triumph to boast of.
Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge in 2013 and won the Premier League in his second season but another run of poor results also led to his sack on December 2015. Two managers, Steve Holland and Guus Hiddink saw the Blues through the season but no silverware.
This summer former Juventus and Italy coach Antonio Conte was signed as the new manager. He started on an excellent note but it was punctuated by losses to Liverpool and Arsenal. But after those loses, Conte has shown that he has what it takes to take the Premier League by storm.
A run of 5 wins – including the 5-0 demolition of Everton on Saturday- in which they have scored an impressive 16 goals and kept a clean sheet in each of the match has catapulted them to the top of the table. Chelsea fans and even Abramovich will definitely like what they are seeing right now.
But winning the league is more important. Switching to a 3-4-3 formation has also helped the attack and the defence. Conte need to keep his two main strikers fit. Both Eden Hazard and Diego Costa have scored 16 of the 26 league goals scored by the Blues so far. Injury to both or any of them could turn the tide.