As a Chelsea fan, I have grown accustom to supporting a very good team.
For years, we have been able to look down at Arsenal and Spurs from our open-top bus and laugh at how the other half had to live.
So why is it that this season, we have gone from top dogs to laughing stocks?
Here are five reasons why.
1 – Maurizio Sarri
‘Announce Sarri’ ‘Conte out.’ These were the top replies on Chelsea’s tweets about travel information or the U-19 results at the back end of last season.
Such was the desperation to end the shithousing 1-0 wins and turn Chelsea into the Barcelona team of 2011.
And for a while, after Sarri’s arrival, things were looking good at The Bridge.
Only three months ago, we were within four points off top and undefeated in the League.
We had knocked Liverpool out of the Carabao Cup and there were whispers of a quadrouple from Sarri’s under-educated tribal twitter following.
It is no longer three months ago.
The title race is long gone, Man United convincingly dumped us out of the FA Cup and you would get seriously good odds on us losing by less than four in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.
Sarri’s system has been found out ever since Dele Alli man-marked Jorginho in November’s Premier League clash at Wembley.
Since then, Chelsea have lost six out of their 14 League games.
Sarri has changed the square root of nothing since then.
No changes to the team or the formation, which has left us Chelsea fans calling for his head.
2 – Style
Since Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea back in 2003, we have have been the masters of winning ugly.
Ignoring Carlo Ancelotti’s high-scoring 2009/10 season, Chelsea were always about substance over style.
Antoinio Conte and Jose Mourinho personified the nasty nature of the club over the glory years.
This season, Chelsea have averaged over 62% of the ball, higher than any of the other managers during the Abramovich era.
There was always the debate between Chelsea fans – would we sacrifice some success for more stylish play?
This season has answered that question.
‘F**k Sarri-ball’ was being chanted from the Matthew Harding Stand as we got beaten by Man United.
Sarri-ball, or at least Chelsea’s interpritation, had been sussed out and exploited by rivals.
3 – N’Golo Kante/Jorginho
A debate as old as Jorginho’s time in the Premier League… Well, not really a debate, more of a mystery.
Chelsea have the best defensive midfielder in the world in N’Golo Kante.
Don’t @ me.
He was key to France’s World Cup winning campaign, along with two Premier League titles in 2016 and 2017.
So why on God’s green earth would you play him on the right side of midfield?
Jorginho is tidy, you can’t deny it – at home against Huddersfield, he looks like a peak Pirlo.
But the pair need to swap, or at least play as a two to prevent any further 6-0s.
4 – Callum Hudson-Odoi
A bright, bright light in a dark, dark season for Chelsea.
The wantaway winger has shone throughout the youth teams at Chelsea, finally breaking into the first team squad this season.
He has managed six goal contributions in his last six starts – three goals and three assists.
Pedro, one of his rivals for the right wing spot has just one goal and no assists in his last seven starts.
Willian has one goal and one assist in his last seven starts.
Chelsea are famously hopeless at bringing promising youngsters into the first team. *See: Ruben Loftus Cheek, Nathan Ake, Dominic Solanke, Ethan Ampadu and many more*
With Hudson-Odoi, they have a player that is a cut above.
Bayern Munich were happy to pay £35million for the 18-year-old which is evidence enough of the Englishman’s ability.
While the youngster isn’t to blame for this season, or its downfalls, the drama surrounding his transfer won’t have helped proceedings.
5 – Hierarchy
When Michael Emenalo left as Chelsea’s technical director in 2017, there were parties up and down the Fulham Road.
The root of all our evil had gone.
Then came Marina Granovskaia, apparently the most powerful woman in football.
She was behind the appointment of Sarri, along with the signings on Danny Drinkwater, Alvaro Morata and Davide Zappacosta.
Hardly covering herself in glory.
While Granovskaia has been busy in the wrong places, what us Chelsea fans should be really worried about is the lack of activity from Abramovich.
Our owner has not been seen at The Bridge all season as he is currently banned from working in the UK due to Visa issues.
On top of the ownership, Chelsea’s stadium revamp was also quashed this year with the club blaming an ‘unfavourable investment climate.’
I guess that sounds better than, ‘The owner can’t be arsed to fork out £500m anymore.’
So, that’s the team, the manager, the players and the hierarchy at the club all out of shape.
But surely it can’t get worse?
Sadly, fellow Chelsea fans – it can.
And it has.
Chelsea are now banned from all transfers over the next two windows, meaning they are stuck with a slightly ageing, partially unhappy squad.
Chelsea have recently been linked with Zinedine Zidane, although the Frenchman surely won’t come should we be banned from buying any players.
So where does all this mayhem leave Chelsea?
Frantically heading towards shit creek, lacking any resemblance of a paddle.
Oh well, at least we still have Eden Hazard… For now.
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