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A Tale Of Two Managers – Chelsea Season Review

Chelsea Manager Tomas Tuchel
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Ever since Russian oligarch Roman Abramovic bought Chelsea in 2003, there has been little room for sentiment at the West London club. Success is the only option and the margin for error is almost non-existent. You might say this style of business is ruthless and unsustainable, but as Chelsea lifted the Champions League trophy in Porto for the 2nd time, Roman Abramovic once again had the last laugh.


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It was a difficult decision to move on from Lampard but as Tuchel later proved, it was ultimately the right one. The German completely changed the atmosphere around Stamford Bridge and within only four months of his arrival, the Blues have gone from being top four contenders to the Kings of Europe. 

What went right?


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While the defensive metrics were still good in Lampard’s tenure, Tuchel’s introduction of the back three completely changed Chelsea’s fortunes defensively. Tuchel’s Chelsea are unquestionably the best defensive side in Europe and their organisation and proactive nature while defending has strangled most of the top sides across the continent. Aside from the freak game against West Brom – where they were down to 10-men – Chelsea have only conceded 11 goals in 29 games under Tuchel and it is this solidity that has been the framework for their success. 

What went wrong?

The telling statistic that sums up Chelsea’s woes this season is the fact that their top scorer in the league is Jorginho with 7 goals, all of which came from the penalty spot. While Chelsea have been incredible defensively, all the gears haven’t clicked when it comes to the attacking half. Although the likes of Werner have struggled with their finishing this season, the fact is that despite all of Chelsea’s attacking talent, they simply fail to create enough chances to win games. 

Player of the season


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Mason Mount has reached a new level in his sophomore season with Chelsea and has won over every manager he has played under with his industry and technical ability. Mount’s influence this season doesn’t show in the numbers and what separates him from the rest is his incredible understanding of space. This ability was especially prevalent on the biggest stage of them all, where Mount drifted to the left and found an empty pocket of space before delivering the crucial assist for the goal that won Chelsea the Champions League.

Disappointment of the season

Amongst all of Chelsea’s big-money signings made in the summer of 2020, the one transfer that has failed to pay the dividends as yet is Hakim Ziyech. The Moroccan International arrived from Ajax for a fee of £36 million but 5 league goals and assists in his first season doesn’t represent a healthy return. At 28, you would expect more of a ready-made product from the midfielder compared to the likes of Havertz and Werner, but instead, it has been a year of slow adaptation plagued by injuries and spells in and out of the team.

What Next?

Chelsea’s Champions League victory in 2021 feels completely different compared to their previous triumph in 2012. That night in Munich felt like the culmination of a cycle with the likes of Terry, Lampard, Ashley Cole, Essien, Drogba, Cech and others all being on the wrong side of 30. 2021 feels different because it heralds the start of a new era. Five of Chelsea’s starting XI in Porto were 25 or younger (Mount, Werner, Chilwell, James, Havertz) and add the likes of Pulisic, Christensen, Hudson-Odoi and Billy Gilmour to that list and you have a core of fantastic players with that are still not in their prime.

Adding a number nine to this squad will be the priority for Chelsea this summer but looking at the tools available, the feeling is that Porto 2021 could just be the start of something special for this team from West London.


[Image Credit: Chelsea FC]