India's Premier Lifestyle Destination For Men.


Chelsea 2021-22 Premier League Season Review – No Man’s Land

Chelsea players celebrate after scoring a goal
A A A tT

Chelsea found themselves in no man’s land in the 2021/22 Premier League season. Tomas Tuchel’s side weren’t good enough to compete with the best two teams in the country – Liverpool and Manchester City – nor were they poor enough to get dragged into the top-four battle between Manchester United and the two North London Clubs.

Appropriately, the Blues finished with the third-most points in the league, scored the third-most goals and had the third-best defensive record. This feeling of close but no cigar could also be seen in their cup performances, with Chelsea losing both the Carabao and FA Cup Finals to Liverpool on penalties and falling to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League in extra time.

What went right?

Sticking with their theme from Tomas Tuchel’s first season in charge, Chelsea were defensive juggernauts in 2021/22, conceding just 33 goals in 38 league games. The system set up by Tomas Tuchel allowed the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Thiago Silva to shine in a back three, while Cobham academy graduates Reece James, Trevoh Chalobah and Mason Mount enjoyed stellar seasons for the west London club.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chelsea FC (@chelseafc)

Although they did not emerge with any silverware to show for it, the Blues also had excellent cup runs in 2022, reaching two finals and narrowly missing out on a Champions League semi-final berth due to the individual brilliance of Karim Benzema.

What went wrong?

For the last two summers, Chelsea spent nearly £150 million on two strikers to solve their attacking woes. Timo Werner joined for £47.5 million in 2020 before the Serie A champion Romelu Lukaku was added 12 months later from Inter for £100 million.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chelsea FC (@chelseafc)

However, both players have managed just 13 goals and assists in a combined 47 league appearances this season. Werner’s struggles and confidence issues in front of goal have been well documented in England, but surprisingly, the Belgian superstar has suffered the same fate. Although niggling injuries have hampered his progress throughout the campaign, Lukaku has struggled to impress on his second homecoming at Stamford Bridge. 

The Belgian has been unable to link play and connect with Chelsea’s other two attackers effectively, and his strengths – speed and directness – have largely been marginalized in Tomas Tuchel’s system, resulting in an unhappy player who might leave West London as early as this summer.

Player of the season

Mason Mount reached a new level in the 21/22 campaign, elevating his status as the chief offensive weapon in Tomas Tuchel’s side. The Englishman was one of only three players alongside Mohamed Salah and Jarrod Bowen to register double digits in both goals and assists this season, with the midfielder bagging 11 goals and ten assists in 26 starts. Although Mount’s defensive attributes and willingness to press have made him a star under three different managers, the Englishman’s incredible spatial awareness and ability to find some pockets between the lines to operate in is remarkable for someone of his age.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chelsea FC (@chelseafc)

What Next?

The huge question mark hanging over Stamford Bridge right now is the impending change of ownership at the club. Roman Abramovic has been forced out after the UK government froze his assets due to Russia’s Ukrainian invasion, and they are yet to finalize a deal with the new consortium of owners led by Todd Boehly. The ambition and investment of the new owners will play a massive role in defining Chelsea’s short and long-term future, and one of the primary issues they will have to deal with this summer is the turnover in the squad.

One of Chelsea’s most important players, Antonio Rudiger, has already departed for Real Madrid, and the expectation around Stamford Bridge is that he could be accompanied by Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta in Spain. The Blues will need to replace each of those defenders, either via dipping into the transfer market or promoting some of their talented academy stars like Levi Colwill.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chelsea FC (@chelseafc)

The bigger question mark, though, for Chelsea is in the attack. The Blues managed only 76 goals in the league last season, with Mason Mount as the top scorer with 11, and that number must increase if they wish to compete with the current duopoly in England. Mount is the only Chelsea attacker who seems to have won a consistent place in Tomas Tuchel’s first XI, while Kai Havertz has shown some glimpses of potential as a false nine. To solve their offensive woes, Chelsea must either figure out a way to get the best out of Romelu Lukaku or add some attacking pieces like Darwin Nunez to complement Mount and Havertz to cut down the 16-point gap to the top two.


[Featured Image Credit: Chelsea FC]