Chelsea Never Too Far Away From A Crisis!


Since Roman Abramovich purchased Chelsea in 2003, the Blues seem to have gone from triumph to crisis on a regular basis. There never seems to be an in between with the London giants.

The Russian oligarch’s handling of the club has been a huge reason for both sets of circumstances. Without his wads of cash, Chelsea wouldn’t have reached the heights of Premier League and Champions League champions. Yet when things don’t seem to be going right, the Chelsea owner isn’t slow in getting rid of his current manager and starting a new project with a new man at the helm.

So with that in mind, any time the team dips in form it’s easy for the media to call it a crisis, as recent history shows that a run of disappointing performances and results could see Roman pull the trigger on yet another boss.

This season many a pundit was stating that Chelsea were struggling after they lost their opening game of the season to Burnley at Stamford Bridge. It really didn’t matter that Chelsea had won the league title just a few months beforehand.

Antonio Conte’s men then went unbeaten for the next eight games, winning seven of those clashes.

A build up of injuries then lead to an ‘injury crisis’.

The Blues were then beaten by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and that loss was quickly followed up by a defeat to bottom side Crystal Palace and a draw with AS Roma at home in the Champions League. The word crisis was again being mentioned regularly in the papers and on social media.

Three wins on the trot, allowed more breathing space and Chelsea back into the Champions League places.

Then tonight Conte watched on as his side were humiliated 3-0 in Rome. Talk of crisis will once again rear it’s head in media headlines and that will only intensify if Jose Mourinho masterminds a Manchester United victory at the Bridge on Sunday.

But the Chelsea gaffer isn’t helping things.

Yes injuries haven’t helped and selling Nemanja Matic (something Antonio didn’t want to do) have hampered his preparations but in all honesty the Italian’s demeanour and some of his press conferences have you questioning his hunger to keep succeeding at the Bridge.

I always thought it was funny that Chelsea and Conte had agreed a new deal that increased the coach’s pay packet but didn’t lengthen his stay. That tells me that neither party really wanted to commit to each other at this stage.

Conte has mentioned more than once that he has a desire to return to his homeland at some stage. Do you really want to hear your title winning manager saying that after just one year in London?

He was also quite critical of his board for not getting transfer business done quickly enough.  Supposedly the fiery Italian was fuming that deals to bring in Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlian all fell through.

Antonio has also tinkered around with his team and that’s at odds with his successful run last term, when consistency was key. The Italian might say that that is down to injuries, suspensions and more competitive games.

The rotation in defence has had a real negative effect.

Mistakes have crept in, just look at Roma’s second and third goals tonight. Poor timing, sloppy passing and bad decision making have cost them goals throughout this season. They’ve conceded nine goals in their last five appearances.

The defenders don’t seem to know who is going to start from game to game and that means that a solid, understanding unit isn’t forming between any trio.

Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Antonio Rudgier were the backline that kept a clean-sheet against Bournemouth in the weekend, yet Conte brought Gary Cahill back for the Champions League game and shifted others around.

In midfield, N’Golo Kante has been a huge miss. The Frenchman is definitely the club’s best holding player and his determination, awareness and effort has been missed big time. Last season, Matic would have been tasked with keeping things together defensively in the engine room if Kante was injured or suspended.

This campaign. it’s down to new boy Tiemoue Bakayoko.

The former AS Monaco man has great potential but he’s still raw and getting used to his new surroundings. He doesn’t seem to have the same defensive appetite that Matic and Kante possess. That might come with time, but Chelsea need a solid middleman now and the quicker N’Golo’s back in the team the better for everyone.

Then up-top you have big summer signing Alvaro Morata struggling in front of goal. The Spaniard hasn’t found the net in his last six outings. He’s clearly a very capable performer at the highest level but Antonio Conte needs his hitman scoring goals again to help fire the Premier League champs away from this current crisis.

It will be interesting to see how things pan out for Chelsea and Conte this season.

The Italian boss has already stated he doesn’t want to see his side suffer like they did after winning the league in 2015 under Jose (which saw the Special One sacked) but at the moment his squad are struggling to gel and find consistency when it really matters.

That being said, Chelsea had a crisis last season, yet Antonio managed to tweak the formation and guide his team to their fourth Premier League crown. The highs are never far away from the lows and vice-versa at Stamford Bridge, so could they beat Mourinho’s Man Utd after that shambolic defeat in Italy?

You just never know.

Leave a Reply