But having finished 10 the previous season, getting back to winning the Premier League title straight away seemed too tall an order. "Some of the criticism was deserved, some not, but to bounce back in this way, to be champions again and to have been top a long way, is incredible".
ANTONIO CONTE has incredibly confirmed he is "100 per cent" set to stay on as Chelsea boss, despite talk of him heading back to Italy.
"I spoke to Thibaut Courtois right after the game last night, and he said people don't always appreciate the amount of effort we've all had to put in to buy into Antonio Conte, to take on board exactly the way he sees it and the way he believes it works". We have had three competitions this season - league, FA Cup and League Cup - and for this reason I think some players didn't find a lot of space [to play]. That being said, the motivation might be low and perhaps the best performance might not be demonstrated by the players who will feel down.
"Now they know my idea, I know them, the characteristics of my players, and we can improve", he added.
The visit of Watford may also offer a chance for some of Nathaniel Chalobah, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ola Aina to show Conte there is no need for swathes of new recruits for next season's return to the Champions League.
Gary Cahill will receive his second Premier League medal with Chelsea next week as he was also part of the squad that won the league under Jose Mourinho two years ago.
Scorer of the goal that won Chelsea the title, Michy Batshuayi will hope to make his first Premier League start for the club in Monday's home game with Watford. "Obviously after past year, when we had a moment when we were 16th in the league, people laughed".
"If you can continue with these players you can improve a lot", said Conte.
Every team will be out to get Chelsea next season and owner Roman Abramovich is known to lose patience quickly when results stop going his side's way. "We are now missing four defenders and it is very unlucky", said Mazzarri, who will at least be able to call on midfielder Tom Cleverley, who was not eligible to face parent club Everton under the terms of his loan deal.
It may have been a scrappy goal, and, dare I say it, there may have been an element of luck involved. Sometimes we play well, but concede a goal and then it's hard to get back in the game.
The Watford fixture was rearranged from March after Chelsea progressed to play Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-final.