From the very minute the final whilst blew on the 25th of February, Chelsea Football Club was always facing an extreme uphill battle to progress through to the Champions League Quarter Finals having lost 3-0 to Bayern Munich. Three weeks later, the teams were due to meet again, but the small problem of a Global Pandemic delayed the game for a few months until last night, where Munich finally finished what they started.
Despite the score being a pretty spectacular 7-1 on aggregate, I personally found it hard to even be too annoyed as goal after goal rolled in. Chelsea were missing a total of eight first team players through a combination of injuries and suspensions. Whilst the side was given a minor boost with the fitness of N’Golo Kanté who made his return to the team as captain, this tie was always due to be an uphill battle for Frank Lampard’s side.
You’d be pretty hard pressed to find a Chelsea fan who was distraught after the debacle at the Allianz. For many the season ended last Saturday in the FA Cup final and whilst the result didn’t go Chelsea’s way, the securing of Champions League Football the weekend before offered some consolation. From the minute both Jorginho and Marcos Alonso were suspended in the first leg, this tie was all but over and the main positive going into the game would be the opportunity to watch a couple more youth players given a run out.
Admittedly, the nature of the goals conceded should be reason enough for Chelsea fans to be frustrated as they appear to be a continuation of the errors we’ve seen in weeks gone past. Frank Lampard and his coaching staff now have a few weeks before the Premier League gets going again and it’s imperative they directly address these errors in order to further solidify the clubs position in Top 4.
Chelsea have already made two huge signings in the form of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech. Tammy Abraham showed why he has so much promise and potential as a striker but he cannot carry this club’s attack by himself. Tammy has gone through long periods without scoring and that’s forgivable – as a young player you are not always going to be scoring every week.
Fortunately, Olivier Giroud was able to pick up the slack in the business end of the season with some crucial goals in difficult games. I fully expect Michy Batshuayi to depart this summer, leaving us with Werner, Abraham and Giroud as forward options. Werner will be crucial in pushing the most out of Tammy Abraham and it’s comforting to know the club still has the experience of Giroud to call upon if needed.
Hakim Ziyech is something this club has been missing for a very long time. For years Chelsea have had an abundance of pace on the wings, but Ziyech offers something different with his magic left foot. I expect him and Werner to develop and extremely close partnership and Werner is the perfect candidate to get on the end of his delicate back post balls. Furthermore, opposition defences will struggle to contain both Reece James and Ziyech down the right hand side knowing both have such devastating final balls on them.
Bayer Leverkusen met with Inter Milan on Thursday in the Europa League Quarter Finals and Antonio Conte did his old side a serious favour by knocking Leverkusen out. This ended the season for Leverkusen and Kai Havertz and means any move is likely to be accelerated. This would be one of the most impressive signings the club has ever pulled off given Havertz is considered to be one of the biggest talents in Europe; and his decision to choose West London demonstrates the pull power and excitement of this current project.
One would hope, given the current defensive issues, that Chelsea will continue to strengthen by adding to their defence. Goalkeeper is a priority and whilst I don’t believe Kepa is a bad player, the relationship between him and the defence has now just gone too far and the only solution is for him to start afresh elsewhere. Declan Rice would be a huge coup if Chelsea can transfer him from East to West London. A new left back is needed also, but this will only happen if one of Alonso or Emerson leaves the club. Emerson would be my preference to leave, I still believe Marcos Alonso has a huge amount to offer this side. These signings, if combined with a new tactical set up in defence, will leave the club in a great position going forward.
Whilst the Bayern game didn’t have quite the magic as our visit in 2012, there is still a huge amount to be positive about at this club and I can’t wait to see where we go next season.
Do you agree with Jack that next season will be a success at Chelsea? Let us know in the comments below!