Can Chelsea FC lift the title this season, or will it be another season of ups and downs for the London Blues?
Chelsea finished last season in 4th place in The Premier League (EPL) and assured Champions League (UCL) qualification in the process. That would appear to justify the hiring of manager Thomas Tuchel. However, last term was a rollercoaster ride for The Blues of London. The global pandemic and a loss of form from then-manager Frank Lampard’s men saw them falter. What followed was a run of results that saw them drift into 9th place in the EPL. The writing was on the wall for Frank Lampard and after spending nearly £220 million on incoming transfers, he was sacked by the club.
However, there are positives that Chelsea can take from last season. Firstly and most importantly the club won the most prestigious prize in European football; The UCL! Kai Havertz scored the only goal in the first half of a game that saw them beat Manchester City in the final and made Chelsea the champions of Europe!
They were also excellent in defence, albeit mostly after Tuchel’s arrival. They played three at the back and their pressing game was impressive. Chelsea kept 18 clean sheets last season. That tally was the 2nd highest in the league, after only Manchester City.
There were also negatives, however. Most notably was a lack of firepower upfront. They scored the fewest goals out of all of the Premier League’s top seven teams, scoring just 58 in 38 games.
There are reasons for Chelsea to be optimistic about the upcoming season. A sustained run at the title is the aim, even though Chelsea have not been serious contenders since winning the EPL in 2017. Tuchel will accept nothing less after outmaneuvering Manchester City in the Champions League final. 47-year-old Tuchel is seeking to strengthen the club in a few areas, but one believes that the signing of a quality striker is the one thing that Chelsea need to compete with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, and Manchester United. Tuchel is apparently interested in signing Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski, Harry Kane, and Romelu Lukaku to solve this problem.
Highlighting this attacking frailty perfectly is the fact that Jorginho was Chelsea’s leading scorer in the league last season with 7 goals. There is also a need for the attacking midfielders to step up. Mason Mount had an outstanding campaign, but there must be more consistency from Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Hakim Ziyech. Kai Havertz must also decide more games after scoring the winner in the final against City.
Players to Watch
Mason Mount is a young Chelsea player with a bright future. He enjoyed an excellent campaign for Chelsea, as well as getting his first taste of major European football at the Euros. Last year he was voted Chelsea’s player of the season and the attacking midfielder is one to watch again this time around!
Chelsea are difficult to stop when N’Golo Kante is fit and playing well. The midfielder remains susceptible to injury, but he was incredible in the Champions League final, outclassing City’s midfield with limitless energy, positional intelligence, and quality interceptions.
“You see his intensity in the physical report after matches and you think they may have tracked two players and put it into the same sheet,” Tuchel said. “He’s unbelievable in what he delivers in terms of intensity, in terms of ball recoveries. His devotion to the group is world-class.”