It’s Monday lunchtime, the initial pain of Saturday’s FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal has somewhat subsided.
It’s still incredibly frustrating, we didn’t really show up did we? Had a good opening 25 minutes, but our failure to do anything to counter Arsenal’s rotating defence and midfield left us hamstrung (if you pardon the pun).
Yes you can’t ignore the pathetic performance of Anthony Taylor, another cup final defeat to Arsenal in which he’s played a huge part, but Arsenal deserved it overall, if we’re being honest.
However, the defeat might yet prove to be a blessing in disguise, as our short falls have been well highlighted and the areas to improve clear as day.
It’s been a long season, and Saturday showed that, as our patched up team suffered two hamstring injuries, N’Golo Kante was on the bench but not fit enough to even play a small part and Willian watched from the stands.
Then Pedro, a magnificent servant to the club and a player who really has won it all, suffered a nasty looking injury in stoppage time (after Taylor should have already called a free kick).
Hopefully Pedro recovers soon and we wish him all the best at Roma next season.
There was no hiding place for Frank Lampard and his Chelsea team as they watched their London rivals pick up a record 14th FA Cup.
Yet they still can’t rest, Bayern Munich away next weekend. Already 3-0 down, multiple injuries and Jorginho suspended.
It’s almost unethical to make us play, but then again when have UEFA worries about ethics?
Yet still, when we sit and take stock of the 2019/20 season next week, there’s a lot to be positive about and a lot to work on.
Nobody, despite their recent revisionism, expected us to get in the top four, yet we finished below a Manchester United side on just goal difference despite them spending some £200m this season alone.
Several academy products have made their mark. Mason Mount has played in all but two games, Reece James gives us huge hope for live after Cesar Azpilicueta, Tammy Abraham was our top scorer and Fikayo Tomori showed in glimpses why he was Derby County’s player of the season last year.
They’ve still got a long way to go in their development, but you can only be positive about their seasons.
Then we’ve got our new signings, Hakim Ziyech, who can hopefully show the same creativity for us as he did for Ajax and Timo Werner who can not only play out wide but also as a central striker when needed providing further competition for places.
We don’t yet know who else will be joining, Kai Havertz seems a case of when not if, which is exciting, but it’s the other end of the pitch that really needs our attention.
Kepa Arrizabalaga needs replacing, a top quality centre half and a decent left back are all required if we are going to start clawing back the gap between us and Manchester City and Liverpool.
There’s no trophies this year to paper over the cracks or for the board to use an excuse for not properly strengthening the squad.
The early activity in the transfer market indicates they’re willing to get things right this year, but as with all transfers it’s a case of wait and see.
Unless your Simon Phillips, in which case just make it up anyway. He doesn’t want to be ITK which is lucky because he quite clearly isn’t.
Defeat to Arsenal, and hopefully not an embarrassment against Bayern will make our inadequacies as clear as day and that could be our blessing and we go back into the transfer market.
While the season seems to be ending on a bit of a whimper, remember our greatest ever player is our manager, he gets our fan base and what it means to play for this club and things are looking positive for the future.
Frank Lampard’s show time Blues will be back at the top table very soon!