Expectations have been at an all-time high at Stamford Bridge this season, understandably since Chelsea are the European Champions, but the high standard and anticipation amongst supporters is rapidly starting to deteriorate.

Setting an unwanted record; the first Champions League holders to be eliminated at the group stage the following campaign, losing out in the Charity Shield, UEFA Super Cup Final and the FIFA Club World Cup, Chelsea have not taken the opportunity to add numerous other trophies this year. 

Didier Drogba's decisive penalty against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in May, now seems so far away. The Chelsea faithful have been discouraged by this, however they became increasingly discontent after the quick-fire sacking of crowd favourite, Roberto Di Matteo. 

Di Matteo had guided Chelsea to both the Champions League crown and the FA Cup last season, not to mention his on-field exploits, cementing his legendary status at Stamford Bridge. The Italian's name still echoes around the ground on the sixteenth minute of every Chelsea game, since his departure. 

Rafael Benitez has taken over and this has made the club's circumstances even worse.

The interim manager is clearly not viewed as a long-term appointment. Russian owner Roman Abramovich has openly stated: "Benitez will stay until the end of the season. His task is to finish in the top four and also to win a trophy." 

Like many before him, Benitez is just a short-term fix for Abramovich, which once again highlights the instability and volatility any manager will have at the helm of the Blues. 

Benitez and Chelsea have had bad blood in the past, with the Spaniard saying as Liverpool boss in 2007: "We don't need to give away flags for our fans to wave — our supporters are always there with their hearts, and that is all we need."

Benitez, at the beginning of his Chelsea life was initially jeered by the west London boo boys, and has done little to gain credibility from the supporters he previously insulted. 

Brought in to man-manage the egos of various first-team stars, Benitez has had problems with Florent Malouda, who claims to be a victim of emotional breaking, and has also had problems helping Fernando Torres rediscover his best form. 

The £50million price tag on his head doesn't help his permanently perilous situation, and big names such as Ramadel Falcao and Edinson Cavani are rumoured to be on Chelsea's summer wish list.  

Di Matteo isn't the only club legend to be discredited, and unfairly treated under the current regime. Frank Lampard, closing in on becoming Chelsea's all-time top goalscorer has yet to be offered a contract, with his current term scheduled to end this season. 

Lampard is currently on 199 Chelsea goals, only three goals away from Bobby Tambling's record of 202. Surely a contract is on the cards, if not, the fans will yet again be left in a sense of angered disbelief. A conspirer would suggest that Lampard may be offered the managerial job; however, currently this is neither here or there.    

Chelsea have clearly been regenerated this season, there is an obvious emphasis on both youthfulness and free flowing football. Abramovich has an obvious mind-set of 'out with the old, in with the new'. 

The recruitments of the young; Victor Moses, Marko Marin, Cesar Azpilicueta, Oscar and most notably Eden Hazard make firm evidence of his sentiment. This coinciding with the controversial dealing of Lampard and his contract issues, also portrays the Russian billionaire's ruthless ideology. 

The answers may lie in Chelsea's youth ranks, and with loaned out players such as Romelu Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois. However, it is more likely the owner will fork out the cash and bring in a big name manager to west London. 

Abramovich's actions in the past have been victorious, with Chelsea being the most successful British club during his tenure. However, the loud, taunting words of their counterpart, opposition support, of "Champions of Europe, you're having a laugh", continues to add salt to the wounds of Chelsea fans.


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