Over the years, we have become accustomed to seeing Chelsea at the very top of English football decimating teams all over England and Europe. Chelsea has been the best ranked English team in the UEFA rankings for quite some time now which only goes to show our consistency in Europe season after season. As such, this season’s debacle is hard to swallow which is even more mind-boggling when considering the fact that we were league champions last season and Champions League Semi-Finalists.
We, as Chelsea fans have become spoilt over the years, winning 4 League titles in a short duration, winning the Champions League and making into UCL finals twice. This makes our capacity to digest absence from UCL next season even more daunting.
For years, I’ve laughed at Liverpool, what with their delusions of grandeur. They expect to win trophies every year. They start the season believing they’re favourites for the title, being linked with world-class stars every year. It’s hilarious but I’m not laughing now.
With no Champions League next season, I do not believe Chelsea have the pulling capacity to bring in world-class players they had in the recent seasons, even with the imminent arrival of Antonio Conte. With FFP regulations and the onus of balancing our books, we cannot spend more than we earn.
There seems to a general consensus amongst Chelsea fans that there won’t be any garage sale at the Bridge this summer but I wonder if it isn’t a delusion. There certainly won’t be many better keepers than Courtois available in the market. Conversely, do we expect Courtois to turn down any decent offer for a move away from Chelsea in the form of money, European football and a chance of winning trophies? Same goes for others as well. How many of these vacant spots can we fill realistically? Why would any top player want to join us? What if big bids come in for the likes of Costa and Hazard, does anyone expects us to hold a player against their wishes and regardless of what is on offer? We have a stadium to pay for, books to balance. I believe, when the bids come in, business will surely be done. There’ll be a lot of churning at the Bridge this summer and we might not come out on top.
So, to believe that this season was just a blip and we still hold enough pulling power to bring in top talent is a farce. We need drastic changes and a move away from the rampant mismanagement we’ve seen over the past few years. We would have to act early in the summer, identify viable targets and go with the decision. Offloading players would be necessary as we cannot keep knocking off bids for our stars.
I believe getting into top four next season won’t be easy and it wouldn’t be the World class stars that’ll do it for us. We’d have to rely on our young stars to get us there and it might take longer than expected to reach there.
Keep the Blue Flag Flying High!
PS: Read this post on We Ain’t Got no History