Where to start with this one? Well, I suppose you could blame Vladimir Putin, as without his callous, ruthless and heinous acts in Ukraine, Chelsea may still have their revered owner Roman Abramovic. This site is not about politics so to keep it brief his exit destabilised the club and was forced to sell up.
Todd Boehly was the lucky man to take the reigns at a bargain price of just £2.5bn! There was an initial buzz and positivity in the air. Billions more promised to invest in players, the women’s team and the stadium and surrounding areas.
Thomas Tuchel started the season, looking to build on an unlikely looking, but deserved Champions League final win just months prior. The money started to flow, and Chelsea spent nearly £300m in the summer window on the following players:
- Wesley Fofana: £72m – from Leicester
- Marc Cucurella: £58m – from Brighton
- Raheem Sterling: £50m – from Manchester City
- Kalidou Koulibaly: £34m – from Napoli
- Carney Chukwuemeka: £16m – from Aston Villa
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: £11m – from Barcelona
- Gabriel Slonina: £8m – from Chicago Fire
- Denis Zakaria: loan – from Juventus
On the face it many felt that it was solid, good business. Raheem Sterling in particular being in the prime of his career, with a very fruitful few seasons at Manchester City in the rear view window. Marc Cucurella was being courted by Manchester City after having a superb season at Brighton, Wesley Fofane widely touted as one of the best young defenders in the world. Kalidou Koulibaly was a log term targets for all the super clubs across Europe and was seen as a solid addition. Even Denis Zakaria seemed a sensible, prudent signing, good international experience and added competition in midfield.
So things were looking up? Not entirely, There were murmurings behind the scenes that Todd Boehly and manager Thomas Tuchel had fallen out, the rumour being that Boehly had taken a couple of his friends into the dressing room after a game. Tuchel was sacked after a few poor results to the season much to the fans shock.
Todd picked out Graham Potter to lead the next chapter and it seemed a slight risk but a very forward thinking, exciting long term project. He brought in a few of his staff from Brighton and built a setup behind the scenes which seemed professional and polished. Graham Potter struggled to work his magic in the early games but did a few good results and qualified for the Champions League Knockout phase.
The January window was afoot and yet more money was splashed out. this time the transfer methodology seemed wildly different from the summer. Instead of thoughtful, sensible signings it seemed that they were just buying any young winger showing promise and giving them 8 year deals. This was unheard of, the norm is usually 5 years with a 1 year extension at most. A huge gamble and especially with a net spend of over £600m before you pay the wages.
Results did not pick up, there was no cohesion and Stamford Bridge had started to turn on Potter. They beat Dortmund over 2 legs to by him a little bit more time but the premier league table was a sorry sight to behold. They were dropping like a stone and sitting in mid table. They werent playing terrible football but there was a lack of idea in the final third and NO goals to speak of. Finally patience wore thin and Potter was sacked bringing to an end an ill fated experiment.
The man Boehly turned to to save Chelseas season? Frank Lampard of course! He had not long been sacked by Everton for a terrible run of results, but it seemed just like a handout, keep one of the old legends on the payroll and in the limelight as a favour. A very strange decision and coming up was Real Madrid, the kings of Europe. Boehly stated before the game that Chelsea were going to win 3-0, an outlandish comment from anyone let alone the chairman of a football club on the eve of their biggest game of their season. This was there cup final, could Lampard do it?
I think we all know the answer, after showing some early promise and missing a couple of gilt edged chances aswell as heroics from ex Chelea player Thibaut Courtois, Vinicius Jr. Karim Benzema and co put Chelsea to the sword and with that their season was over. Since then they havent won a game and havent really come close to looking like it.
They have clearly missed the likes of Timo Werner who was sold for a measly £20m, someone who wasnt clinical but was a constant threat and wanted to run in behind. They have also missed Antonio Rudiger who now plays for Real Madrid and was a huge part of that solid Chelsea defence. And Romelu Lukaku although divisive could definitely have provided some goals and some threat instead of the lacklustre display from chelseas forwards this season.
Despite all this next season they could be a real threat, they need the right manager, the rumour is that Pochettino is the man to take over. I think that would be a shrewd signing. Although never a huge winner of trophies, he clearly has a friendly positive outlook, that resonates with younger players and players do listen to his message and imporve under his coaching. Either way I’m looking forward to what happens next!