Can Chelsea make a turnaround, or is their season looking like it may be close to over? How is this season going for Chelsea? Currently sitting 12th in the Barclays Premier League, the Blues have had their worst start to a season in over 20 years; with 8 losses already this year, more than they had all season last year. 6 of those losses are in the Barclays Premier league. They have 2 losses outside of the Premier League, one suffered from FC Porto and the other suffered today from Stoke City. The Stoke City loss was an elimination game in the Capital One Cup, which Chelsea won last season. If Chelsea loses their next Champions League game they are eliminated from the tournament, not even making it out of the group stages. Chelsea, by the way, won the Capital One Cup last season and was tied for first place at the end of the regular season.
A lot of turmoil is going on during this season for Chelsea that may be a reason to why the season has not been going the way it is supposed to. Thibaut Courtois, the starting goalkeeper for Chelsea, suffered an injury to his knee that would take at least 3 to 4 months to heal. Pedro, the newly acquired midfielder from Barcelona, has suffered a recent injury keeping him from playing in the past three games. Hazard, Diego-Costa, Oscar, and Gary Cahill have been on and off this season with injuries too. Frequent injuries are never good for a player or team because it causes frequent changes in lineups and player form. Chemistry on the field may also be decreased because players that do not normally play in some positions may be set to play in them.
It is not just injuries holding the team back; the team’s form just does not seem to be there. The entire team during the games may not be playing bad but certain players have not been stepping up. Branislav Ivanovic has not been playing well the entire season, getting beat on the wing and abused for his lack of speed. He’s recently been taken out of the lineup. Eden Hazard, the Barclays Premier League’s player of the year, has yet to score a goal this season and is on the longest goal drought of his career. Many of the routine goal scorers simply cannot score this season. Chelsea has also allowed more in this beginning part of the season than they did in the beginning of last season. The defense has stepped up bit the past couple games but it is not good enough to hold off the onslaught of goals being scored on them this season. Some might say it is Begovic’s fault; he is the replacement goalie playing for the injured Thibaut Courtois.
With all the losses and ties in Chelsea’s record so far, speculation is now being taken into Jose Mourinho’s ability to coach the team this season. Rumors have been spreading on whether he is going to be sacked and removed has the manager of the team. Chelsea was one of the top teams in the world last season under Jose and it would seem foolish to get rid of him but with the way the season is going Chelsea may just fall short of the relegation line. Chelsea needs a new spark or piece to send them back into their championship form; a new manager may just give them that.
There has been some upside to this season for the Chelsea Lions. A lot of young talent is being utilized on the field. 21 year old Kurt Zouma, 19 year old Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and 19 year old Kenedy have been receiving a lot paying time. They have been proving to fans and the staff that they are very capable of defending, running with, and scoring against the long time pros and veterans, signs of their impending large talent and ability.
Chelsea has also been showing sparks of life in many of their games and has been very close to winning or tying the games but have just fallen short due to small mishaps and blunders by the defense. If these sparks can be maintained and controlled and turned into large flames, Chelsea can go back to the top shape it usually sits in. The team just has to come together and play together. Maybe Jose, or the new coach, can use a different formation and lineup to give them the spark and fire they need.
Do I believe that Chelsea can turn the season around? Yes. Why? Because there are still two-thirds of the season left in the Premier League. The Champions League is still in the group stages. If they can make it out of the group stages they can go far into the Champions League. Yeah, their season has been going relatively terrible compared to other seasons but there is still a long way to go. They just need to find that spark and turn it into a fire like they did last season and they can go far again.