3. Where does Chelsea go from here?
In the direct aftermath of Chelsea’s incredible 6-0 collapse away at the Etihad on the 11th of February 2019, angered voices from the fans questioning the club’s identity as one of Europe’s elite reached a crescendo. Chelsea was a club who sacked managers for finishing second in the league, a club built upon the winning mentality and hunger instilled by Mourinho during first stint at the club. Most importantly, Chelsea was the club in Europe, the club that footballers around the world dreamt of playing for.
However, Chelsea today—as it was almost two years ago under the guidance of Maurizio Sarri—still seems ever so far from the heights it once scaled to. Tuesday’s defeat to Leicester City meant that the club’s only victory against a team higher than them in the league table remains the unconvincing 3-0 victory away at West Ham; so much for the title challenge that a reinvigorated Blues side was supposed to put in this season. This was supposed to be the summer Chelsea re-establish itself at the top of the European football chain, having displayed its sign of intent as Europe’s biggest spenders in the summer of 2020. Yet, as things stand, it would appear that the Blues have once again lost their way under the guidance of Lampard.
If Lampard’s first year was about integrating the youth and getting the fans back on board following the massive disconnect during Sarri’s sole year in charge of the club, then what is the second year supposed to represent? A team devoid of any style or solid patterns of play or the start of a “three-year plan” that is on the verge of collapse just six months into its life cycle?
Chelsea’s problems extend far beyond just the manager and his tactics and certainly extend far beyond the players and their performances on the pitch. It is more than just about having that winning mentality and the understanding that nothing less than winning is going to be acceptable at the club. It’s about finding the fear factor and an arrogance that befits being a player for a club of Chelsea’s stature. With things currently in the state they are in, I am not sure if Lampard or most of the players currently at the club are good enough to see the Blues return to where they rightfully belong.
What are some of the lessons you learnt? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!