It wasn't so long ago when Didier Drogba stepped up to tuck away the penalty that gave Chelsea the Champions league, and only two weeks before that they were lifting the FA cup at Wembley for the fourth time in six seasons.

That seems a long time ago now and instead of fighting for the title Chelsea find themselves clinging on to fourth place, trying haul themselves into third. How times have changed at Stamford Bridge.

But what now for Chelsea? Surely with the financial backing owner Abramovich provides, they can continue to buy the players needed. Players such as Eden Hazard and Oscar were brought in, with the hopes of better times ahead, but world-class players like them will no longer want to stay at Chelsea and new stars won't be attracted if trophies dry up at the Bridge. 

The "old guard" continue to play in the starting line-up and Chelsea look weak without them, Frank Lampard is yet to sign a contract but continues to perform at the high standard he always has, John Terry may be being phased out but he is still an important figure at Chelsea. These players can be replaced by players from Chelsea's own academy, we saw Dutch midfielder Nathan Ake perform well at Middlesborough and players like Josh Mceachran and Romelu Lukaku out on loan are doing well at Middlesborough and West Brom respectively.

Then there is the situation of the revolving manager's door at the Bridge. Rafa Benitez is going to become the next to leave, although this situation is different because of his unpopularity, it's almost expected that a manager will not hold his position for more than two seasons, however successful. Over time this has become a real problem because the team is constantly unsettled.

Benitez this week also blasted the fans by saying "They have to support the team instead of wasting time doing banners or singing songs. What they have to do is support the team and create a good atmosphere in Stamford Bridge". Usually the Chelsea fans have never been a problem to the team, but it seems they are unable to let go of the past and comments made by Benitez.

But it does not matter as long as he is in charge - they should get behind him and keep their feelings to themselves. Even from his first game at home to Manchester city they were on his back with signs, banners and booing, not prepared to give him a chance.

No one can predict what the future holds for Chelsea, but at the moment it doesn't look too bright, long term plans are needed to keep the club successful and they need to stop relying on luck. 2012/13 looks to have been a season to forget. But the Blues can hope 2013/14 holds the start of something new, with a new manager. It will be time to start challenging the top clubs again.



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