Even if Chelsea win the Europa League this season, the campaign cannot be considered a success.
What a season it’s been if you’re a Chelsea supporter. You’ve seen one of the most successful managers in the club’s recent past replaced with someone that many despise and challenges on various fronts falling by the wayside.
The Europa League remains the only piece of silverware that Chelsea can win, but even if they lift that title it’s not going to cover up the inadequacies which the club needs to address this summer.
The managerial situation was farcical, but it happened and everyone has moved on. What Chelsea need to do looking forward is ensure that the person replacing Rafael Benitez is given the chance to develop the next generation of players at the club.
In terms of the Premier League Chelsea have not been up to the standards they normally set, which is surprising considering the club looked like serious title challengers at the start of the season.
The massive gap between themselves and the two Manchester clubs at the top of the game is proof that Chelsea’s season has been poor and proof they need to up the ante and attack again next season.
The Champions League defence is also something which was less than admirable for a set of supporters that deserved to see much better.
Chelsea didn’t even make it out of the group stage thanks to some inconsistency and the owner pulling the fire trigger before Di Matteo even had a chance to get the team out of that mess.
The Europa League has given the club a chance to resolve many of the tactical issues they have faced in Europe, but it has to be measured fairly because the Europa League is always going to be lower in quality compared to the Champions League.
On the domestic cup front, Chelsea have played very well in the FA Cup only to be foiled at the last moment by a determined Manchester City side and the incompetence of Chris Foy.
Had Foy not made so many basic errors during that game, Chelsea would have more than likely pushed on to draw level and win in extra time.
However, that didn’t happen which means it’s another example of a tournament Chelsea came so close to doing well in, but ultimately something they missed out on.
It’s all about re-building this summer and heading into next season with strong challenges on all fronts. The club should finish in the top four which makes the Champions League a virtual certainty.
One thing is for sure, Chelsea won’t be as weak in Europe’s biggest tournament next season and they should close the gap in the Premier League but this season cannot be considered anything close to a success.
Chelsea fans, do you agree?
image: © Jason Bagley