As a turbulent and disappointingly trophy-less season comes to an end at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho needs to now focus on chalking up a winning team for next season.
And with the enforcement of Fair Play Regulations, Chelsea will have to avoid profligate spending while at the same time not compromise on talent.
Chelsea’s season though, was far from shoddy. With the likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar on the field and Mourinho on the sideline, the Blues smoothly cruised throughout the season notably knocking aside the big teams in the Premier League. They were even in contention for the title but sadly a few poor performances and the other contenders’ tenacity ultimately cost them.
In the Champions League, the Blues displayed the same resilience they did back in 2012, but their rampage was cut short by a determined Atletico Madrid. It is now time for introspection.
The most infamous reason for Chelsea’s failure is the lack of a notable striker up front. The striker problems have plagued west London since the legendary Didier Drogba left Stamford Bridge. Now is as good a time as any, to finally cement the most gaping hole in the squad. The media is rife with rumours of Diego Costa having already agreed on a deal with Chelsea. If such is the case, the chink in our attack could finally be sealed.
With the colossal amount of gossip in circulation, it is impossible to separate truth from fiction. But there is truth to the fact that a few players will leave the club. David Luiz, Petr Cech, John Obi Mikel and Hazard have been linked with moves away from the Bridge.
One must also admit that if we are to buy new players, we must get rid of the ‘dead weight’ to comply with the FIFA Fair Play Regulations. It would thus be prudent to sell our misfiring players. However, a club can never have enough of experience and the manager should retain some of our long serving and deserving veterans.
The Chelsea Youth Team this season won both the FA Cup and the U-21 Premier League. This incipient and unharvested field must be focussed on. Many talented youngsters are also out on loan. Some noteworthy players are Lucas Piazon, Christian Atsu, Nathan Ake and Thorgan Hazard.
A member of the double-winning youth team, Lewis Baker has recently caught the eye of many football fans and is certainly a promising youngster. Players like Josh McEachran and Bertrand who have first team experience need to be re-inoculated.
Mourinho will certainly have his hands full in this pre-season period. It will be interesting to see which players make the cut and which are jettisoned. Whether the squad will be assiduously reformed or merely tweaked at a few places, whether the youth will be given preference, whether the old guard will be retained; all these questions will be answered over the summer. I look forward to seeing a refurbished Chelsea next season!
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