By Abdullahi Okunubi
Chelsea’s terrible run continues this season as they were defeated by Manchester City 4-0 in the 3rd round of the FA Cup.
For the first time in 25 years, Chelsea have been knocked out in the 3rd round of the FA Cup and things don’t seem to be getting any better for Chelsea.
Ever since the completion of the Takeover by Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali, the Chelsea situation seems to be deteriorating faster than expected.
The first upset in the Todd Boehly era was the sacking of Chelsea’s former head coach, Thomas Tuchel who won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and also, Chelsea’s very first FIFA Club World Cup win. The Blues also came second in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup losing to Liverpool on penalties on both occasions.
Following the abrupt sacking of Thomas Tuchel, Brighton’s head coach, Graham Potter was appointed as Chelsea’s new Head Coach.
Since joining Chelsea in September 2022, Potter has been in charge of ten premier league games with the blues and has only picked up 15 points out of a possible 30, Potter has led the blues to four wins, three draws, and three defeats.To put things in perspective, mid-table Crystal Palace and Leicester City have 16 points out of their last 10 games.
This horror form has seen them lose to Brighton, Newcastle, Arsenal, and most recently, Manchester City. Only Ian Porterfield and Glenn Hoddle have had worse starts to life as Chelsea boss in the Premier League era.
Since October 19th, No side has won fewer Premier League games than Chelsea, with Potter’s side are as close to the relegation zone (10 pts) as they are to the top four(10 pts).
Their situation doesn’t seem to be getting any better as they now have a high number of injured first-team players, including Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Christian Pulisic, and Raheem Sterling who were recently injured in the league game against Manchester City. Alongside Armando Borja, Wesley Fofana, N’golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Edouard Mendy.
Before Graham Potter took over at Chelsea the last time they had gone unbeaten in four matches was in March. The last time they won three in a row was in March. The last time they did that in successive league games was in March. The last time they kept back-to-back clean sheets was in February. The last time they did that at home was in October 2021.
Chelsea were decent, comfortably third on the league table, Champions League quarter-finalists, and Carabao Cup finalists, things were bubbling. And things are not getting any better at the moment, a back-to-back fixture against Manchester City was always going to provide a humbling reminder of how far Chelsea has fallen out of contention at the most rarefied levels in the top flight.
If anything, the close nature of the scoreline at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Thursday, when Chelsea were beaten 1-0, was more surprising than the FA Cup rout that followed. But the limp nature of the team’s disintegration is something that doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon.
This time they also achieved history, for the first time in 25 years, Chelsea have been dumped out of the FA Cup at the third round stage since the 1997-98 season. It was a remarkable streak, preserved throughout a trophy-laden Abramovich era in which supporters came to expect disappointing league campaigns to be redeemed by cup glory.
Meanwhile, Graham Potter believes he has the support of the club owners while fans are chanting for him to be sacked and replaced by Thomas Tuchel. But going back to the past might not be so much of the best solution for Chelsea. Chelsea isn’t the same club it used to be anymore, Todd Boehly and the Clearlake Capital brought him in for a long-term project and he needs time to turn the squad around.
Chelsea needs time to re-adjust to this new Todd Boehly Era, the fans need to accept that the Roman Abrahimovich Era is gone. Graham Potter did not sanction Abrahimovich nor did he sack Thomas Tuchel.
Graham Potter needs more time to turn this squad around and that is definitely not going to be done in just a day, or a week. With the right spirit and support, he should be able to make a breakthrough with Chelsea.