Well, it's certainly been an eventful season at Stamford Bridge, as always.

There's been many low points such as crashing out of the Champions League in the group stage, the racism row regarding Mark Clattenburg and of course, the fans treatment of interim-manager Rafael Benitez.

But has it all been doom and gloom? With Chelsea on course to secure a second successive European trophy and a top-four finish which would confirm Champions League football for next season, can it be considered a bad season?

May 19th 2012 feels like a distant memory to Chelsea fans, it was the night every single supporter had been longing for; Champions League glory. With Roberto Di Matteo at the helm, everything seemed perfect, he was idolised by everyone associated with Chelsea football club, except one man. Roman Abramovich. 

It appeared to many that Abramovich was never too keen on Di Matteo, even after bringing him the elusive trophy he had been craving for since taking over the club in 2003 and not to mention the FA Cup beforehand. Di Matteo was eventually appointed as the manager of Chelsea on the 13th of June, 2012.

Chelsea started the season impressively, new recruit Eden Hazard in particular showing why he's rated amongst the best youngsters in world football and the team played attractive football, which led to wins. Juan Mata also continued his remarkable form which saw him win Chelsea's Player of the Year for the 2011/12 season. 

The league wasn't a problem, but the Champions League was. Having been drawn with Juventus, Shaktar Donesk and Nordsjaelland, many expected a tricky group stage but no one expected that the current holders would finish third and miss out on the knock-out stages. With the league performances beginning to decline and being knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages (the only team in Champions League history to be knocked out in the group stages, the season after winning it), the much-loved Di Matteo was sacked. Chelsea fans went into what seemed like mourning, they were disgusted with Abramovich's decision to sack a Chelsea hero in such a disgraceful way.

No Chelsea fan could've anticipated what would come next. Ex-Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez was appointed as Chelsea's interim manager until the end of the season on the same day as Roberto Di Matteo was sacked. To say Chelsea fans were infuriated with this appointment would be an understatement. The fans were devastated and hurt with Abramovich's decision to sack a fan's favourite and bring in a man that had frequently criticised Chelsea and their fans, during his time at Liverpool. Within the first 24 hours of his appointment, Chelsea fans were seen with 'Rafa Out' banners which have since become an iconic image of this season.

During Rafa's reign, Chelsea have missed out on the FIFA Club World Cup having been defeated by Corinthians in the final. They were then dumped out of the Capital One Cup by eventual winners Swansea City in the semi-final. Another cup exit followed when they lost to Manchester City in the semi-final of the FA Cup. Club legends John Terry and Frank Lampard have had to settle for places on the bench and have seen their playing time limited. But believe it or not, there's a few positives for Chelsea during Rafa's time at the Bridge. Chelsea are currently third in the Premier League, on target for a Champions League spot for next season. They are also in the final of the Europa League, where they will meet Benfica. 

Despite the lack of presence from John Terry and Frank Lampard, David Luiz and Juan Mata look like their natural successors, winning many fans' hearts with their tireless work and inspiring performances. Mata has been vital to Chelsea's season, scoring 14 goals and assisting 18. David Luiz has won many plaudits with his passionate displays and his extravagant techniques.

So would winning the Europa League and clinching Champions League football for next season be considered a failure? I personally don't believe so. Many would argue considering the fact Chelsea were only five points behind 1st place when Benitez was appointed, but it's been a very tricky season. I know one thing for sure, Manchester City, Arsenal and Spurs certainly wouldn't say no to a European trophy and Champions League football for next season.


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