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How to fix Chelsea Football Club

It is safe to say that this season for Chelsea has been nothing short of horrific. A season that started with optimism under a new owner, albeit a shaky preseason, turned into a nightmare that four different managers tried and failed to salvage. It is imperative that the board learn from the multiple failures this season to avoid a repeat this season.

First off, Chelsea need to establish stability on and off the pitch. Going through four different managers in one season was a clear example of the board’s inability to find stability. Whilst there was merit to the sackings of Potter and Tuchel, whether it was through off the pitch decisions or poor results, the timing of these firings were questionable to say the least. For Tuchel, to sack him a couple of days after the transfer window closed was an inaccessible decision as that led to players who had signed under the guise of playing under Tuchel, to now play for a completely different manager in Graham Potter. Aubameyang, for example, was one player that was almost completely exiled under Potter and eventually lampard. Even though the striker did underperform in the brief game time given to him, it was peculiar to have an experienced striker frozen out of a squad going through a striker crisis. Situations such as this caused by the untimely sacking of Tuchel led to a squad that could be best described as dysfunctional.

Potter’s sacking was well-received by fans as results had not been acceptable, however, with little left to play for, it seemed like an odd time to sack Potter. With only Real Madrid to play in the Champions league and a destined mid table finish, bringing in either an interim or long term manager would have been pointless. When Lampard did arrive as interim, the results and the performances were arguably worse than Potter’s Chelsea. It seemed that the board had succumbed to pressure from the fans and sacked Potter somewhat prematurely, unnecessarily disrupting a season that was already over. The constant disruptions throughout the season were significant in the downturn of results and performances as players had to attempt to learn and adapt to three different managerial styles throughout the season. The most successful teams in the Premier League this season, Manchester City and Arsenal, had been constructed over time to ensure that the players could fit into the philosophy and systems of Pep and Arteta. Chelsea cannot see the same level of consistent success if they keep changing the manager, not allowing the influence of a philosophy or system into a squad.

Another important lesson that the board should have learnt from this season was their involvement in both the summer and winter transfer windows. What Chelsea fans can and should respect about the owners is that they are willing to spend big, however, that willingness to spend can cause recklessness in the transfer market. Since the arrival of the new owners, Chelsea have spent £585.5 million on transfers. Whilst most football fans would understandably be envious of the bottomless pit of cash Chelsea seem to have, this method of spending big on multiple talents have led to a bloated squad with varying levels of quality.

Reflecting back on the summer signings, Chelsea brought in: Koulibaly, Sterling, Cucurella, Fofana, Aubameyang, Slonina, Chukwuemeka and Zakaria (loan). From these signings, it is fair to say that only Fofana and Sterling have been able to make a decent impact on the team with the future of the rest of these players looking uncertain. This approach from the board was before the arrivals of key board members such as Paul Winstanely and Laurence Stewart, therefore Chelsea’s summer transfers reflected a “scatter-gun” approach and the new owners lack of experience in the football industry.

January was an improvement on the summer as the board became influenced by people with more experience in the football industry. The plan behind the signings became clearer as they were all young players with high potential. However, the flaws of this was that it led to a bloated squad full of young players that cannot get any minutes. Madueke, a bright spark of this season, only got consistent football in the last two months of the season. To avoid repeating their mistakes, Chelsea need to ensure that they have a plan for the squad heading into this summer instead of the “scatter-gun” approach that has resulted in varying success. Pochettino should be involved as he will take on this squad but not too much power as that was what led to the off pitch conflicts between Tuchel and the Board last summer.

Even though I believe it is unlikely that Chelsea’s horror form will continue into next season, if the board want to take all precautions to avoid that happening, they need to show the fans that they have a plan for how the club will operate both on and off the pitch. I also believe in the owners and think that they can be a success and that they care for the club but it is clear that they have made numerous rookie errors in their first year. The bloated squad and multiple managerial changes in one season must not become a common theme under these owners otherwise, Chelsea will struggle to get the success that they had under Abramovich.

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