top of page
  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Stamford Bridge

What now for Chelsea? A look at what Euro exit at hands of Real Madrid means to Boehly regime

Chelsea are out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage and who knows when they will revisit these pastures again.

Two second-half goals from Rodrygo spelt the end for the Blues - a 2-0 defeat at the Bridge mirroring last week's scoreline at the Bernabeu.

A 4-0 aggregate may be a bit cruel on Chelsea, who played well for an hour and had chances to score the goal that would have got them back into the tie. But they were made to pay for those familiar forward frailties in the opposition penalty box and the final tally does not lie. Madrid possess the greater clinical powers.

So what conclusions can we draw from a such a loss, which has virtually ended 11th-placed Chelsea's interest in a season of constant mediocrity.

Frank Lampard's third coming has been the flop many feared it would be:

The owners' belief that the Blues could be revived by a 'Hall of Famer' loved by the fans always seemed fanciful. Lampard the player is not the same as Lampard the manager and his dugout CV has not hinted at greatness.

He was by no means an unmitigated disaster as boss last time around and had to work around a transfer ban imposed on the club. But his team did not carry the Chelsea stamp of his predecessors and were easy to score against.

He inherited a mess this time around, for which he cannot be blamed, but could not even inspire a bounce. He becomes the first Blues boss to lose his opening four games in charge. That record is unthinkable in the modern era - certainly in the 20 years since Ken Bates sold up to Roman Abramovich. He has been a very odd stop-gap.

Boehly's 'embarrassment' is self-inflicted

Boehly famously gave the players a dressing room dressing down after their weekend defeat to Brighton, but the attempt to shame his hugely expensive squad into giving the performance of a lifetime, by suggesting their display against Albion and others had been nothing short of embarrassing, did not quite work out.

The new owners have to heed the vital lesson that they need to place their trust in football people who know what they are doing when it comes to assembling a cohesive unit. Having no elite striker in a bloated squad costing millions has shown that simply throwing money at the problem is not the right strategy. Teams need structure and vision and not a clumsy businessman's hand on the tiller.

Ancelotti in the opposition ranks is a reminder of what Chelsea miss

It will be hard to attract an A-lister head coach for next season when there is no carrot of elite European football to dangle before them. It feels like the Blues have been too reckless with shedding the men who might have been leading them on to even greater glories in the post-Russian years.

Carlo Ancelotti has won a record four Champions League titles and has guided Real to another semi-final and a shot at a fifth winners' medal to add to his cabinet. What wouldn't Chelsea fans give to have the popular Italian still leading them?

Every managerial appointment this season has felt like a downgrade. Chelsea would surely have been no worse off had they persevered with Thomas Tuchel. Graham Potter was always a strange choice but he did oversee one great night at the Bridge - the defeat of Borusssia Dortmund which briefly seemed to herald the start of something better. But opposing teams in this campaign have sensed this is a team they need not fear and that could be taken on.

The rebuild has to start immediately

If Julian Nagelsmann is the man identified as the new boss for next season, the club needs to consult with him now about the type of players and style of play he wants. Just as important as identifying who might be recruited in the summer is a need to establish who needs to be let go. This season has been a shambles in terms of structure and that can't be allowed to happen again..

Jose Mourinho built his strongest teams around small squads - he always said they are more manageable and better for creating the sort of cadre spirit which galvanises a team when the chips are down. The current set-up makes that impossible and there must be a large proportion of the current group who feel demotivated and unsure of their futures because of limited opportunities to play.

This season has been abject but there is no reason why next term can't see a return to more familiar levels of consistency under a tactically astute and organised figurehead. There are still many good players in the ranks and it might even be a blessing in disguise to regroup without the distractions of European football.


Join our mailing list

bottom of page