Chelsea in the Mire


So, Chelsea's season is now officially a nightmare.

Shipwrecked in the bottom half of the Premier League having outspent the continent's clubs combined in January, the Blues' third manager of the season Frank Lampard has lost all four matches since arriving to rescue or at least steady the sinking ship.

Real Madrid v Chelsea.
Real Madrid dump Chelsea out of Europe

After Real Madrid cruised to a 4-0 elimination of the Londoners in the Champions League quarter-final, the Blues' last flickering hope of having something to savour this season was snuffed out.

Los Merengues, meanwhile, march on in defence of their cup again, aiming to break their own record of 14 Champions Leagues/European Cups.

Chelsea could take a leaf out of Real's book. The holders took the field this week with a cohort of players who have fought for years in the all-white kit - Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio. Good sides have strong backbones.

The whites pressed with alacrity at Stamford Bridge, attacked more fluently and above all passed more effectively thanks to superior telepathy, the proof of familiarity. Eleven men who know each other's movements on the field do not waste precious split seconds anticipating or wondering where their teammates will run to. Move as one mind and you will beat the sides which stop and think before acting.

Chelsea's hastily and expensively assembled box of chocolates did not have that same esprit du corps about them, too frequently failing to make it to a third pass, as hesitancy turned fatal while white shirts nipped in to dispossess them.

The Blues did try to take the game to their opponents but without a recognised striker, their Achilles' heel all season, the two good chances they carved fell to defender Marc Cucurella and midfield anchorman Ngolo Kante, neither famed for their shooting boots.

Fingers once more point to new American owner Todd Boehly's naivety at this level, first falling out with the man who had won Chelsea the Champions League and Club World Cup, Thomas Tuchel, then taking a leap of faith in appointing a manager without big club experience in Graham Potter, a gamble with an all too predictable ending.

Chelsea's recruitment strategy has failed miserably this season, overpaying for the wrong types of player, leaving obvious gaps in the squad and stranding the club in 11th, far off the European spots in the league.

Boehly's decision to enter the dressing room a week earlier to berate the players to their faces cannot have helped either in terms of morale or respect for Lampard.

Club owners should not enter the dressing room during the season, trespassing on the manager's territory. They should be in the background aware of what is going on but telling the players how to play is a breach of the accepted hierarchy and makes as much sense as fans being called into the dressing room post-match.

That is not to say fans are as clueless as Boehly. Most Chelsea supporters have seen the malaise grow like a mould for months and feel powerless to remove it.

And pity poor Lampard, a storied player who after a promising start at Derby has failed to replicate his prowess on the other side of the touchline firstly at Chelsea, then at Everton and once again at Chelsea.

Unlike septuagenarian Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace, Lampard has been unable to register a point on his unexpected return to his beloved team and with a clueless man above him trying ineptly to pull the strings, he looks all at sea.

The biggest-spending club are heading nowhere fast and the end of the season cannot come quickly enough for Boehly's baptism of fire.

Chelsea Related

Bees Sting Post-Roman Blues

Chelsea Baku To Life

Kepa's Last Stand

New Chelsea Stadium

Chelsea v Liverpool

The Torres Mystery

Mourinho Calls It A Day

Tuchel Sacked

(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post