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2010/11 Review of the Season: Chelsea

June 7, 2011

After a double winning season last term, Carlo Ancelotti paid the price for following it up with a second place finish to Manchester United. You have to feel for the Italian. He saw his assistant manager Ray Wilkins unceremoniously sacked in November and replaced with Michael Emenalo, a confidant of Roman Abramovich and had the out-of-sorts Fernando Torres, signed for a British record transfer fee from Liverpool, forced upon him.

Chelsea had started the season so well. If they had of been able to keep their performances of the first few weeks up throughout the year or even somewhere around 80 percent, they’d have strolled to every title going. Unfortunately, his side went through a miserable run that apparently just happened to ‘coincide’ with Wilkins’ departure. Even though the Stamford Bridge club recovered from their poor run, they found themselves behind in the league and always facing an uphill battle towards the title.

Manchester United were beaten thanks to a spirited second half performance in the league but Sir Alex Ferguson masterminded a comprehensive win for his men in the Champions League quarter-final to dump their rivals out of Europe. Chelsea’s hopes of silverware rested on the return clash with United at Old Trafford but they were unable to recover from a quick start by the eventual Champions.

Second in the Premier League and the last eight of the Champions League season. To every other owner, it’d go down as a competitive season that can be improved upon with a smart summer. For Abramovich, it doesn’t come close to good enough.

Regular Starting Eleven

Game of the season Chelsea 6-0 West Brom It started so well. On the very first day of the season, Chelsea brushed West Brom aside like they weren’t even there. Didier Drogba scored a hat-trick. The midfield looked cohesive and composed and left their opponents chasing shadows for the entire game. Chelsea signalled their intent on the first day but failed to maintain any consistency.

Player of the season Ashley Cole No matter how the rest of his side plays, Ashley Cole seems to have an ability to maintain his own personal levels. The full-back was the only English player to have a good World Cup and throughout the 2010/11 season, he produced the goods for Chelsea. Whether he was nullifying the threat of a right-winger or getting forward to give the narrow Chelsea midfield a much-needed boost of width, the left-back had a fine year and was named in the Premier League Team of the Year. He remained accomplished throughout the season.

Season in a tweet

Biggest disappointment Fernando Torres Following a £50 million switch from Liverpool, Fernando Torres was supposed to provide the extra fire power that helped Chelsea towards the league title but he could only produce one goal in his first five months. Where David Luiz, the other January signing made by Chelsea, looked suited to their system and style; Torres looked like a player forced upon Carlo Ancelotti. The Spanish striker has looked uncomfortable and out-of-form for nearly two seasons now and with so much pressure and so many eyes on him, he wasn’t given a chance to settle.

Changes needed for next season? Depending on how quickly Chelsea recruit a new management team, they could be in for a busy summer. A lot of the squad appear to be coming towards the end of their careers with the London club and with all the constant changing of managers, few youth players have been able to make their mark on the first team. That fact hasn’t been helped by Chelsea’s former head scout Frank Arnesen doing what he can to lure the best of the youth ranks to his new club Hamburg.

Of course even without a manager, Chelsea have been linked with a string of targets; most notably Neymar. And within the club, much of the talk has been focused on where Didier Drogba will move to now that Fernando Torres has inherited the role of lead striker. Of course, nothing can be effectively speculated until a new manager has been employed. The odds are that it will be busy a couple of months at Stamford Bridge.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2011 9:14 am

    Agree with much of that. However you suggest that Chelsea were playing well before Wilkins left, but this is not the case. Aside fromt eh opening day thrashing of an appalling WBA on the day after this we were not actually playing that well. It is only a subtle difference that a chelsea fan would noticebut we were not looking massively fluid. In fact even in our double winning season we were very poo at times, and inconsistent.

    Also I am not sure where the idea that Ancelotti didnt want Torres came from, do have any source or poitn of reference for this other than media speculation? Any manager would have taken Torres, and it just happened that him and Drog didnt click, in fact the opposite, so then Carlo had a problem, and it was at this point everyong jumped on the bandwagon saying he didnt want him in the first place.

    • June 7, 2011 2:40 pm

      Okay, playing well was probably a very generous term for the start of Chelsea’s season but they were winning. They were steamrolling teams into defeat and things looked pretty omnious for the rest of the league. After Wilkins left, they lost it. You can call it a conicidence or you can blame Drogba’s illness like Wilkins himself tried to do when he was interviewed in the wake of his sacking. Whatever it was, Chelsea lost an edge and fell into a slump that proved costly.

      As for Torres; again I’ve probably used the wrong wording. I agree that there isn’t a manager in the world that wouldn’t like their owner to go and get them a £50 million striker. I think Ancelotti’s problem was that he was leaned on to start Torres almost immediately and often. If he wanted to play Drogba, he had to accomodate Torres alongside him and completely disrupt his usual system of a single man leading the line. Much like the situation that Mourinho had when Shevchenko was signed, I think Ancelotti was strongly encouraged to play Torres when he may have otherwise tried to integrate him slowly.

  2. June 8, 2011 3:40 pm

    Fernando Torres has been a big dissapointment with only ONE goal in 16 games?. I’ve a feeling he will end up going ot Barcelona or Real Madrid? within the next year, if not months. Chelsea are an aging side with John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didie Drogba all in their 30’s. Abramovich said he wants to win that elusive Champions League. He’s been at Chelsea for 8 years and still hasn’t won it. The manager situation needs to be sorted out. I would like to see Mark Hughes become their new manager. He did a great job for Fulham last season, finishing 8th, Fulham’s second highest finish. CHELSEA have had SIX different managerssince 2004 including Jose Mourinho, who turned Chelsea inyo a very hard side to beat. He rejected Abramoich’s request to go back to the bridge but snubbed him. I listen to the Chelsea Football fancast and Chidge and the guys are propper.Chels!!!./ I love Chelsea Football Club and will do till I die. Lets get this manager thing sorted and then look forward to the new season in August. Up The Chels!!!!!

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