Monday, 19 May 2014

Chelsea 2013/14 Season Review

Chelsea 2013/14 Season Review

Chelsea lost the European SuperCup on penalties ( indeed, they lost the game in the last seconds of extra time with Jarvi Martinez's last gasp equaliser, after getting their tactics spot on for much of the encounter against Bayern Munich. That should have been a foreboding for the rest of the season! )

Chelsea reached the fifth round of the FA Cup, the quarter-finals of the League Cup, the semi-finals of the Champions League and played their part in the Premier League title race until the very end, but they came away empty handed.

This has been one of the most frustrating seasons I can remember!

That’s not to say that Mourinho’s tactical expertise failed him throughout the campaign—the very opposite, in fact—but his side just didn’t have enough to cross a few finish lines.

None of the top teams in the League got the better of Chelsea. NONE! The Blues took 16 points out of a possible 18 from the top 4!!

At the end of the day, Chelsea really should have won the EPL. It should have been done and dusted weeks before the final game.

Some of the highlights of a poor season by Chelsea's high standards:

The 2-0 thumping of Arsenal at the Emirates in the League Cup

The 1-0 victory at the Etihad ( nobody saw that coming except Mou & his boys. City were just invincible at home prior to that game)

The 4-0 drubbing of Tottenham at the Bridge

The 6-0 shellacking of Arsenal at the Bridge

( Make that a 10-0 aggregate scoreline against our main London rivals at home. Who's the boss in these parts? )

The 2-0 victory against PSG at the Bridge, after losing 3-1 away, in the q/final of the CL. In qualifying for the semi final, as the only English team this year, Chelsea showed a lot of the character that have made them successful in recent times. Unfortunately, this kind of character deserted them too often this season.

Attacking ineptitude:

Chelsea's problem ths season has, unequivocally, been a lack of consistent killer instinct and hunger for goals up front.

Indeed, the Blues finished so high because they did all the hard work against the top teams, but managed to throw it all away against the bottom ones ( this is a list of the teams who claimed Chelsea's scalp this season- Everton, Sunderland, Stoke, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace) Only Everton (at home) should have been a daunting proposition in that list. Even that game should have been won by Chelsea if the attack wasn't so profligate & inept!

Ba is a solid workaday striker and probably should have got more games this season in retrospect. He is not good enough for Chelsea. Eto'o is a class act but too old for a top Premier League team. Fernando Torres is just terrible ( I say that about that last player with a pitiable smile. A lot has been said about him that I.Just.Can't.Anymore)

The trio could only manage 19 league goals between them. THAT IS JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!

This is how the top 4 faired in the EPL in terms of goals scored:

City 102

Liverpool 101

Chelsea 71

Arsenal 68

It is clear where Chelsea needs to improve. I'll leave the 4th-placed team to decide for themselves.

It is widely believed that Diego Costa is a done deal- The Spaniard notched 27 goals in 34 appearances for the newly crowned La Liga champions

With that kind of firepower leading the Chelsea line, it'll be unthinkable for Chelsea to go another Season without Trophies

Some key decisions:

Mourinho sold Mata - something no other manager would have given the slightest thought to doing, and it looked like he was 100% right to do so at the beginning of 2014-particularly with the signing of Matic

But then Oscar, who had a fantastic start to the season, faded. He never really provided the creativity that Mata was renowned for in that No 10 position.

He is still very young and, hopefully, he can become one of the best players in the world over the next few years

Mourinho also dropped Cole and put Azpilicueta (a player who every other manager had on the right) at left-back, and in the process produced the best left-back in the league this season for my money.

Mourinho bought Matic - a player Chelsea had previously sold. He was a brilliant buy. We can only imagine what might have been if he wasn't cup tied for Chelsea's campaign in the latter stages of the UCL.

Mourinho has got the best out of Hazard of any manager so far and if he has 'pissed off' that player in the process then that's a pity. I hope Hazard is sensible and humble enough to take the long view and stay with Chelsea and Mourinho

I think Salah will come good next season. He showed enough to make me believe

De Bruyne shouldn't have been bought in the first place. He was surplus to requirement and had to go( rightly)

A criticism of Mourinho

The Manager should take the blame when things don't go according to plan ( just like he'd take the plaudits when they do)

He was wrong for:

-Not letting Lukaku lead the line for Chelsea this season( despite a stellar preseason by the Belgian) This cost us dearly & aided Everton's campaign

-Playing too defensive against weaker teams and letting his team get outdone by these teams on many occasions. The attacking full back is the key to unlocking those teams who play with many behind the ball ( Zabaletta, Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman typifies how full backs should play the modern game)

Having said that, you still need your striker to put the ball in the net at the end of the day. So a potent striker is non-negotiable. Goals change games. Once the first one is scored early, there's a high chance that you'd score more 'cos the opposing team can't afford to be negative thereafter.

Chelsea's second half (in their last game against Cardiff City in the league) is an example of how I want the Blues to set up next season- Azpilicueta was supporting the attack on the right and was unlucky not to score, while Cole was doing the same on the left

Matic was a calming presence in central midfield and Oscar was influential by his side. He had more time on the ball, picked the right passes more often, and had a better game than when he was in the No 10 role

-Schurrle has to start most games next season. He is very direct, no pussyfooting around in his game.

-I really don't want to see Ivanovic in the fullback position next year ( except if this is forced by injuries) He is a central defender. Period!

-Chelsea were poor at converting set pieces and corner kicks this season. This is another area where the team needs to improve next season. ( City's Yaya Toure has added this skill to his impressive repertoire- to City's advantage this season)

-Handling of the Press: Mourinho has his ways which are not always the most endearing ( you can say the same about majority of us in life too) All I'm going to say is that we got a Manager, not the Pope. Summary: Nobody is perfect 'cos nobody is Jesus...and look at what they did to the Saviour in all his perfection! :-)

If he wins Trophies, then I'm good.

He didn't quite manage that this season, so we'd let the critics have their '12 mins of fame'

The arrival of Louis Van Gaal, at Man Utd, should (hopefully) take the spot light away from Mourinho a bit next season. They are similar in a lot of ways, including how they handle the Press sometimes

Much is expected from Van Ginkel next season. He was crocked for most of this season

Possible exits: David Luiz, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Ramires

In ( already): Kurt Zouma

Mourinho is thirsty after an underwhelming season ( by his high standards) A thirstier Mourinho should be a good thing for Chelsea next season

Blue is the colour, football is the game, Chelsea is our name. CHELSEA!!

Lastly ( I struggled with the temptation to do this, but lost! )

Congratulations to Arsenal for winning the Champions League ..*Le Aargh*.... was the FA Cup!..*Le Sigh*

Forgive me for thinking that it was the 'Holy Grail' of club football they won....what with the kind of celebration we saw everywhere ( social media, North London etc)

Did I see y'all give a collective laser side eye to that *building stadium is more important than winning Trophy* ish?

Shall we all get ready for the Apocalypse then- if they win the really big one?

The Positives: Perhaps that win (after gazillion years!! ) will make their fans less disagreeable now?

Pardon me for daring to hope!



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