After Chelsea finished in the second half of the Premier League table last season, there was a general acknowledgement that things needed to change.
In came Mauricio Pochettino to handle the team this season, but things have not gone to plan.
The Blues are 14th in the Premier League, accruing only five points from six games played. They have lost their last two home games, leading to boos around the stadium.
Chelsea have failed to score in their last three outings. They have struggled in front of goal all season despite creating a decent amount of big chances.
It is difficult to pinpoint where exactly things have gone wrong for the Blues, but the Telegraph gave a few key insights into the problems plaguing the club.
They cleared out several players on their books and signed a host of new ones. They set a target to reduce the squad’s average age to 22 and succeeded.
However, this meant they signed several players still in their formative years, and they lack the killer edge needed to take Chelsea to the upper echelons of the table.
Chelsea’s inexperience rears its head mostly in the final third when they try to score goals. The young players keep making poor decisions on the ball, meaning attacks constantly break down.
Discipline is also an issue. Nicolas Jackson received a fifth yellow card in six games, meaning he will miss their next league game through suspension.
Most of the cards were for talking back at the referee, but the most recent one against Aston Villa was silly. He stood too close to Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez as the Argentine shot-stopper attempted to take a free-kick.
The World Cup winner fired the ball into him, prompting the referee to give him a card for obstructing the keeper. He could have avoided this card.
Midfielder Enzo Fernandez is also close to a suspension, while Malo Gusto received a red card for a challenge on Lucas Digne. Chelsea’s young squad needs to grow up and read the game better.
No clear messages
Chelsea’s summer plans never looked definitive at any point. They ended up making several players in their squad unsure about their situation.
The Blues wanted to pawn off academy graduates Trevoh Chalobah, Ian Maatsen and Conor Gallagher.
However, Chalobah’s proposed move to Bayern Munich fell through. Gallagher stayed and has captained the club this season, while Maatsen remains part of the squad despite Chelsea accepting a bid from Burnley for his services.
These self-inflicted uncertainties have certainly not helped a club fighting for stability.
The changes need to stop
Chelsea have been constantly chopping and changing since the arrival of the Todd Boehly- Clearlake Consortium as new owners last year.
They have changed coaches, directors, staff and players at will, further unbalancing the club.
Christopher Vivell joined the club as the technical director and left barely a year after getting the job.
Chelsea have hired Graham Potter, Frank Lampard and Pochettino, with Bruno Saltor acting as the interim manager in between.
Speaking of the Spaniard, he has left the club four months after joining Pochettino’s staff.
Chelsea hired a mental skills coach, Gilbert Enoka, to help create a winning culture, but he has since left his position.
It has been difficult to establish consistency at the club due to frequent changes. The changes need to stop, as they have affected the team.
It is impossible to overstate how much injuries have affected the Blues this season.
At one point, they had 12 injured stars, but that number is down to eight this morning.
The most prominent of them has been the injury to new signing Christopher Nkunku in pre-season. The Frenchman was in terrific form, and they were hoping he’d be their catalyst in attack, but he is out until January.
Reece James, Benoit Badiashile, Carney Chukwuemeka, Marcus Bettinelli, Wesley Fofana and Romeo Lavia are among the players on the treatment table.
These injuries have severely hampered Chelsea’s campaign, and they will be hoping for some luck to navigate these setbacks.
There is hope
It is not all doom and gloom for Pochettino’s side despite the pressure to start picking up points and results.
Chelsea have looked fairly solid defensively and have controlled most of their games this season.
They have found their way into the final third to create big chances, ranking sixth in the league for big chances created and number one for big chances missed.
The Blues only need to find their clinical edge and shooting boots to start picking up results.
While Chelsea’s current predicament may seem grim, there are rays of hope breaking through the clouds.
Under Pochettino, the team has shown defensive resilience and a consistent ability to create scoring opportunities.
The path to success lies in harnessing their youthful talent, fostering stability and overcoming the injury setbacks that have plagued them.
Adding another striker in January may be a piece of the puzzle, but the larger picture calls for clarity, stability and a clear sense of direction.
The Blues have weathered storms before and emerged stronger. There’s every reason to believe that Chelsea can climb the Premier League table and rekindle their winning ways shortly.
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