It’s not been the best of years for Chelsea, which means a big summer and an ever bigger 2013/2014 season are on the cards.
Chelsea have not performed up to their own expectations this season as their success has hit a dramatic downward spiral since they started the season with a bang and looked like genuine title contenders. Here are some achievable targets for next season.
The first takes place before next season actually starts but it’s fundamental to how Chelsea may get on next year. They need to appoint the right person to come in after Rafa Benitez has left as interim manager and it’s arguably the most important decision Chelsea have had to make in the Abramovich era.
If the reports are to be believed then it could well be Jose Mourinho returning to Stamford Bridge with his Premier League sweethearts. That would be a terrific coup for the club but they mustn’t panic or rush to appoint the wrong person if they can’t get him.
The Premier League
Chelsea need to start the 2013/2014 season in the same way they started this season; quickly and productively. They have to get to near the top of the league quickly because the two Manchester clubs will not make many slip ups over the course of the season.
If Chelsea can keep the gap as minimal as possible or even create a big early lead of their own, they stand the best possible chance of getting close to another Premier League title by the end of the season, which is what most Chelsea fans will want.
If a title challenge is not possible or it becomes too difficult over the opening part of the season, the club have to consolidate in the top four. At the moment Chelsea are in a battle with Arsenal and Tottenham got the third and fourth positions.
They need to make a top four finish a necessity because that guarantees the side a crack at Champions League football, which is important for the club when it comes to not only attracting the best players but also in terms of the cash they can generate in the face of financial rules.
Chelsea need to maintain their success as one of the best teams in England in terms of cup tournaments; the FA Cup and the League Cup. They will be playing fewer matches next season, which means they can afford to play stronger teams in these two competitions.
If Chelsea can beat Manchester City this weekend, they stand a great chance of retaining the FA Cup which then gives them a realistic chance of making it three on the bounce during the 2013/2014 season, which will encourage them to be dominant across all competitions.
One of the most achievable targets for the club is for Abramovich not to do something stupid in the middle of the season again. The new manager has to enjoy a break with recent tradition, which means time in charge to develop the team as he sees fit.
The owner can sit on his hands for next season and can stop himself from making decisions which will damage the club such as Di Matteo’s dismissal this season and the fact Frank Lampard is not being retained, which is still a mystery.
What should be Chelsea’s main aim next season?
image: © Crystian Cruz