It’s been a long time since I’ve written for the Fancast and since then it seems like the Chelsea landscape has changed drastically. In my last year at University coursework took precedent from writing for the all famous Chelsea Fancast Podcast but now that chapter is closed for me, writing again for Chidge and the Gang can finally return.
Not just a new chapter for me but also for the boys in blue, the last piece I wrote was celebrating a year of Thomas Tuchel at the club. We have now parted ways with Tuchel, Roman Abramovich and essentially everything that Chelsea had become since 2003, so now going forward it is a new Chelsea history starting with Todd Boehly, Graham Potter, Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Tuchel had arguably one of the most difficult ends to a Chelsea career that was totally undeserved based on what he helped this great club achieve. Beaten twice by Liverpool on penalties (one still unforgivable) with a striker who refused to give a damn and a club that essentially was being targeted by the UK government because of its previous ownership. Tuchel then had to help oversee a takeover while trying to prepare a team for a new and hard season with a jokey World Cup in Qatar that will inevitably disrupt the season. A tough start to the season which saw Chelsea lethargic and slow seemed reminiscent of how Tuchel looked on the touchline.
Being robbed against Spurs and embarrassed by Leeds the season wasn’t looking good at all. It soon became too much and a loss in the Champions League ended Tuchel’s leadership of Chelsea. A fan favourite manager whom I feel everyone was attached to in a way any Chelsea fan knows should not be done, managers don’t last in our club.
Potter in instantly and all of a sudden Chelsea have one game before an international break, giving Potter valuable time to work with his team which has huge games against Crystal Palace and AC Milan coming thick and fast. A tight game against Palace which Conor Gallagher won for us right at the end seemed like a very Tuchel-esque performance. Chelsea had spells but really didn’t look like they’d improved an awful lot, even the new manager bounce didn’t seem to have hit the players yet.
This being a worry aspect considering that the up and coming game against AC Milan was a must win to help us qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League. Certain players did seem to look like they had upped their performance however. Mason Mount looked like he’d finally found his mojo again, Ben Chilwell was back in the squad and mirroring Reece James’ marauding runs. Ruben finally seemed as if he could be the player he has always promised to be. Auba, our new number 9 from Barcelona actually made runs in behind the defence, he even got into the box for crosses. It’s crazy to see a Chelsea striker do the right thing, who’d of though that a centre forward actually doing his job would mean he’d score goals? Rom are you watching? Small positives seemed to shine through in the Palace game but it was largely still a solemn performance.
AC Milan, European heavyweights, Il Nero Rossi, a game that could be a Champions League final made their way to Stamford Bridge would be Potter’s first big test. Despite Milan having a fair few first team players out injured they still had a team full of established elite players that would put fear into many teams, Rafa Leao, Oliver Giroud and Fikayo Tomori. Chelsea needed to be on their game and needed an inspired performance from somewhere to get the vital three points they needed.
Step up Reece James, ‘one of our own’ rang true at Stamford Bridge during the game and Reece put on a performance that couldn’t even be compared to that fellow who plays right back for Liverpool. Not only did Reece have highly rated Rafa Leao in his pocket all game, but he led attacks and scored another fantastic strike against huge Italian opposition. Not only did Reece destroy Milan during the game, but Ruben Loftus-Cheek bossed the midfield while our Brazilian wall Thiago Silva kept Giroud out of the game for the full 90 minutes. 3-0 the final score genuinely surprised me, I didn’t see Chelsea shattering Milan’s confidence in the way it did. If this is what Chelsea have to come under Potter I believe it could be a very fruitful season.
Since the arrival of Potter the one thing that really hasn’t gone our way is seemingly new defender Wesley Fofana’s injury. The extent of his injury isn’t known at the time of writing but after scoring his first Chelsea goal he seemed to acquire a nasty looking injury, something that did plague his time with Leicester. All the best to Wesley as he looks the real deal and could feature large in the future of Chelsea’s success.
Up the Chels.