After recent accusations of Chelsea being a boring side, Jose Mourinho clearly aimed to make a point with his substitutions against Crystal Palace.
Juan Cuadrado was withdrawn for John Obi Mikel at half-time, Kurt Zouma came on for Willian, and Filipe Luis for Eden Hazard as the Blues clinched the Premier League title with a 1-0 win.
Mourinho’s side finished with a central midfield of Zouma, Mikel and Nemanja Matic, perhaps as a way to demonstrate how attacking they have often been this term.
For most of the season, Chelsea have lined up with Matic and Cesc Fabregas in midfield, and they have racked up the second-most goals in the league with 69.
The Blues have tightened up recently to keep four clean sheets in their past five, but they have been far from a boring side this season even though they boast the league’s best defence.
However, next year, Mourinho might well give all his critics the ammunition they crave by remoulding his Chelsea side into a more resilient unit.
Despite their success, the Blues have cracked on several occasion this term, notably in the Champions League against PSG, the FA Cup loss to Bradford and the league defeat at Spurs.
The last match, a 5-3 disaster at White Hart Lane, led to Mourinho changing the mindset at Chelsea, who haven’t lost any of their 15 league games since, conceding just eight times in that run.
This was the second season in a row where Mourinho has been forced to adjust his defence in the latter part of the campaign, after Chelsea had started the year in a more free-flowing style.
After the Blues lost 3-2 to Stoke in December 2013, their manager demanded more defensive resolve, and they promptly kept nine clean sheets in their next 14 games.
Mourinho now might expect that kind of resilience from the off next term, as he did when Chelsea conceded just 15 goals in winning the title in 2004/05.
With Manchester United improving rapidly under Louis van Gaal, Arsenal looking stronger than they have in years and Manchester City set for a reboot this summer, Chelsea will face sterner competition for the title next season.
Mourinho is only likely to respond in one way. Chelsea weren’t boring this season, next season they will need to be if they are to defend their crown.
The Blues’ next match is at home to Liverpool, a game they are 11/5 to win to nil.