Chelsea have faced accusations of being ‘boring’ this season, but there is more than a hint of jealousy in the words of those critics who are quick to try and undermine the efforts of a dominant force.
The Blues have been that in 2014/15, leading the Premier League title charge from pillar to post to all-but wrap up a first top-flight crown in five years.
Jose Mourinho’s men may have already done enough to etch their name back onto English football’s most prestigious piece of silverware but, given that Arsenal’s game in hand is not due to be played until the middle of May, the job can be finished in style this weekend against Crystal Palace.
Fittingly, that contest will be staged at Stamford Bridge, with the champagne very much on ice as an expectant home support prepare to pop the corks on Sunday afternoon.
There will, of course, be a few onlookers in party-pooping mood, but Chelsea, especially under Mourinho, have been here before and will pay little attention to those clutching at straws in an effort to dampen their sense of achievement.
A little over 10 years to the day that the Portuguese delivered a first Premier League title to west London, he and his side are back under a spotlight where they feel they belong and one that few can argue they deserve to be.
Boring, it would seem, is being confused with consistent by those on the outside looking in, with Chelsea having shown once again that they – with the world’s best coach when it comes to getting the job done – are fabulous frontrunners and an immovable force once in full flight.
For all of Arsenal’s success since the turn of the year, they were made to look average at the Bridge and seem incapable of piecing together a 38-game campaign in the manner in which Chelsea have set about their business.
That is why they are back on top of things and those behind them are reflecting on what might have been.
Once again on Wednesday night, having headed into the interval at Leicester City trailing 1-0 and looking well short of their best, the Blues emerged after the break a different animal and put in a second-half performance that further underlined the gulf in class between champions-elect and the also-rans.
There are also the all-important season-defining numbers to be taken into account from a so-called ‘boring’ outfit.
No side has more points (80), more wins (24) or fewer defeats (2). Only Southampton boast a tighter defence, by one goal, while only Manchester City, just two in front, have proved more prolific going forward.
Diego Costa, in his first season in English football, is just one effort shy of hitting the 20-goal mark – a milestone he would surely have reached were it not for niggling injury problems – while Eden Hazard has been crowned PFA Player of the Year and forms part of a Premier League select XI that includes five of his club colleagues.
You do not achieve that level of success and recognition through being boring, but if that is what it takes to hit these heights, then Mourinho will take that every day of the week.
More of the same should be expected next season. It will be up to the rest of the Premier League pack to prove that they can tame the Chelsea beast and influence football betting markets that already have the Blues as favourites to go back-to-back in 2015/16.