It seems that Chelsea’s struggle against Sparta to qualify for the next stage of the Europa League was not a just a poor performance. The Blues lost against rivals Manchester City and are now starting to worry about their ability to qualify for next season’s Champions League. With Arsenal and Tottenham showing good form over the past Premier League matches, Benitez has some serious issues to deal with. Even though he is most likely to leave at the end of this season, he still wants to make the most of his time at Stamford Bridge and must still hold out hope for getting the job on a permanent basis.
Over the past few years Chelsea have undergone many changes and this is starting to show. Even with massive investments, the team seems a little disjointed and only manages to pull off victories because of individual moments of brilliance from top notch players who keep scoring some amazing goals.
One of the most important factors contributing to Chelsea’s fluctuating performances is managerial uncertainty. Ancelotti, Villas-Boas, Di Matteo and now Benitez are part of the post Mourinho era and have had a tough time finding that much needed respect and confidence every coach has to have from the owner in order to run a big club like Chelsea.
The fact that players like John Terry and Frank Lampard have had problems both on and off the pitch is also an important factor that has in part led to the Blues’ disappointing 2012-2013 season. Terry was involved in several scandals last year which spilled over into this year and when combined with injury problems have effected his performance levels. Lampard has had injury problems of his own and while his form of late has been excellent, the constant speculation regarding his contract and whether Abramovich will offer him an extension has been a distraction to the rest of the club.
Another important factor that has contributed to the Blues’ unrest this season has been the constant negativity surrounding Fernando Torres and the sense that he will never return to the form that made Abramovich sign him for a ridiculous £50miilion transfer fee.
These are all important elements that when combined have made this such a disappointing season. Chelsea missed out on the Champions League knockout phase offering a pretty weak defense of their trophy in so doing; have failed to win any domestic competitions; are struggling to finish in the top 4 and all they have left is the Europa League which is probably not what many would have predicted at the start of the season.