I’ll take a look at where this season’s biggest mistakes happened and use it to explain Chelsea’s rough season.
1) Sale of Meireles
2) Manchester United (C1C and PL)
4) Sacking Di Matteo, hiring Benitez
1) Sale of Meireles –
Raul Meireles was linking up with Mikel. It was the best midfield combination we’d had since 10/11 Ancelotti season. Him and Mikel were absolutely beautiful together. Rarely made mistakes and were crucial in our biggest matches. Meireles had a rocket shot and was a good passer combined with his composure on the ball… he was simply great to watch. Chelsea had bought him for a good price, as well, but unfortunately he was sold. That decision has cost us to this date where we lack a proper holding midfielder since Mikel is away at AFCON.
2) Manchester United –
Roberto Di Matteo was going into the match on good form having beaten Tottenham 4-2 at White Hart Line and1st place by a number of points. United came into town and blow us out in the first 20 minutes. They were up 2-0, but a rejuvenated Chelsea comeback was tainted by 2 controversial red cards and a clearly offside goal. United won 3-2. The following Wednesday, United came back to Chelsea… this time for the Capital One Cup. Di Matteo had fielded a strong Chelsea side against a young United side.. United were winning until a 90th minute Hazard penalty secured Extra Time. Chelsea went on to score 2 goals and United scored a late consolation goal – it finished 5-4 to Chelsea. Di Matteo had sacrificed our League form for the s****y Capital One Cup.
3) Juventus –
A 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Juventus in Turin had put all the pressure on Chelsea to qualify in the Champions League Knockout Stages. We fielded the “False 9” and it bit back harder than ever on any club, ever. It was a horrible decision and our defense was ripped to shreds while we wasted many chances ourselves. What would come of this match…. something that you felt coming, but not at that time of the season. It was the last straw for Roman Abrahmovich and Di Matteo had put Chelsea in a horrible slump.
4) Sacking Di Matteo, hiring Benitez –
Sacking RDM was a good decision (tactically), but not actually. He wasn’t a master tactician, he couldn’t manage a side, he was showing why he wasn’t supposed to be our full-time manager in the first place. However, hiring Benitez made everything worse. Chelsea fans weer outraged that the club’s legend had been replaced with a Liverpool coach (former). Benitez had some very bad things to say about Chelsea while at Liverpool, but that didn’t bother the Board. They stood by their decision and it still haunts us till today. A good decision managerially, but not actually (due to the ruckus and problems it caused).
5) January –
January : the month were the transfer window re-opens and when Chelsea fans rejoice. We were decent under Benitez as a start, but suddenly the lack of transfers and the inconsistency had caught up to us. We had lost control. Losing to Swansea at home, falling out of the League Cup, losing to QPR at home, blowing leads to Southampton and Reading. It was disaster. Chelsea didn’t buy anyone, but Demba Ba (who is injured) and he hasn’t solved our problems in the attack. The lack of transfers and recalls of loanees has left us with serious problems if injury strikes our best players. We should of bought a holding midfielder and a defender instead of only buying Ba and resigning Cole (which is a decent decision).