Since the start of the 2022/23 season, Chelsea has accumulated 18 wins in all competitions. Eleven came from their 22/23 Premier League campaign and 5 from their run in the 22/23 UEFA Champions League. As of this season, they have 1 from the 23/24 Carabao Cup and 1 from the 23/24 Premier League season. This is not even close to good enough.
Todd Boehly In, Roman Abramovich Out
The Todd Boehly-led consortium, BlueCo, purchased Chelsea in May 2022, and it has been a slow start to their reign. The Roman Abramovich era saw Chelsea lift 21 trophies including five Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues. Not surprisingly, the football world was quick to make comparisons between Abramovich’s 19-year ownership of the club and Todd Boehly’s takeover.
Abramovich Sells Chelsea
On March 2nd, a week after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale. The Russian-Israeli billionaire was sanctioned. As a result, Chelsea was unable to sell or sign players or even offer new contracts. It was a relief for all stakeholders when Chelsea was finally purchased in May 2022. When Todd Boehly took over, it meant that the club was no longer subject to the sanctions that were imposed on Roman Abramovich.
New Owners and Pochettino Call For Time
Since their takeover, the new owners have made it clear that they are fully invested in making sure Chelsea succeeds, but that their ‘project’ would take time. It will require club supporters to be patient. The first effects of the ownership were rolled into full effect at the start of the 2022/23 season. Understandably, there were hopes, and there were doubts about whether the new ownership was taking the right direction.
🔵 Pochettino: "We should win every game because we are Chelsea? Yes but we are not the Chelsea that won the Champions League or Premier League".
"We need to accept that it’s a project. An idea, but that we are going to build something for the future with time". pic.twitter.com/LXS0y6L3Dd
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 24, 2023
The Search for the Perfect Chelsea Manager
Chelsea’s 2022/23 season saw the club shuffle through managers after Thomas Tuchel’s shocking dismissal last September. Former Brighton coach Graham Potter was then appointed at Chelsea on a 5-year deal. Thomas Tuchel had won three trophies in his 17 months at Stamford Bridge – the UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup – leaving Graham Potter with some big shoes to fill.
Graham Potter won 5 of his first 6 games as Chelsea’s manager. However, the glory was cut short as in his next 26 games, the Englishman managed only 7 wins, 7 draws and 12 losses. Under the Abramovich era, Chelsea had a history of quickly letting go of managers who underperformed, but in this new era, Potter was given more time than expected.
Potter’s time did eventually come to an end when he was sacked on April 2nd 2023, with Bruno Saltor being appointed as interim head coach. Bruno was in charge for one fixture – against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge – with the game ending in a goalless draw.
On the 6th of April, Frank Lampard was announced as caretaker manager, with the club saying that they were in search of a long-term manager to be appointed ahead of the 2023/24 season. Chelsea played 11 games under Lampard, with 8 ending as losses, 2 as draws and only 1 was a win.
How Mauricio Pochettino has faired so far
On July 1st, Mauricio Pochettino officially began his role as head coach of Chelsea. He had a successful pre-season run with 3 wins and 2 draws, and his new squad looking promising. Coming into the 2023/24 Premier League season, Chelsea are struggling immensely. In the span of 6 games, the Blues have 2 draws and 3 losses, with their 1 win coming from newly promoted Luton Town. Pochettino’s side has also managed a win in their first Carabao Cup game against AFC Wimbledon.
It’s another slow start to the season for Chelsea, but it’s their worst since 1978. There’s plenty of blame to go around in the media, with a lot of it seemingly being pointed at the new manager, Mauricio Pochettino. A good amount of the blame is also being pointed to the squad, especially after the massive business that Chelsea participated in in both 2023 transfer windows.
Chelsea's Nicolas Jackson picked up his 5th PL yellow card of the season against Aston Villa and will now serve a one-match ban 🟨
It was only the striker's 6th league game of the season 😳 pic.twitter.com/Ppu3XrNFdU
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) September 25, 2023
The squad that Pochettino is working with is relatively young, with some with little to no experience playing in a first-team prior to joining Chelsea. In the Aregentinian’s words after Nicolas Jackson’s recent suspension in the game lost to Aston Villa;
“We need to grow up as a team, not only in an individual way. A player like Nicolas is so young and is feeling his way into the Premier League and learning.
“He needs time, and in this type of game we are competing and want to win. But the players, when they are young, need to learn with experience and when they make a mistake.
“It’s about learning, it is all a process. We are a young team that is in a process, they need to learn altogether. It’s difficult to talk about positives when you lose but I think we need to talk about positive things.
“No doubt in time, the team is going to perform, but we cannot hide the situation that disappoints all of the fans, the club as well as us and the players.”
Chelsea have been dominating in terms of possession, but similarly to last season, struggle the most in the final third. The Blues are the Premier League’s worst underperformers when it comes to their expected goals tally. So far, they have been unable to score against Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and now Aston Villa.
Last season, Chelsea scored only 38 goals in all their 38 games. This season, they’ve scored 5 goals in 6 matches. Only Burnley and Luton have scored fewer Premier League goals than Chelsea this season.
With the situation having been the same since the start of last season, Mauricio Pochettino was seen as the man to put an end to the goalless woes at Chelsea. Only, he’s suffering the same fate.
“The performance is good, I’m not going to say it’s excellent, but we are missing being clinical in front of goal.”
A squad that is mostly new, needs time for the players to gel together. However, the injury crisis that has plagued Chelsea recently plays a big role in the young squad’s slow development, with some players having to be played out of position and key players missing. Stamford Bridge and patience never really go hand in hand. Supporters are running out of patience, but patience is what the owners and Pochettino ask of them.