Chelsea fans have experienced a lot of ups and a whole lot of downs throughout the course of their season, and it’s all led them to this point. They’re currently situated in fourth place in the Premier League, and in the Europa League, they’re just ninety minutes away from a place in the final.
You could certainly say that sounds like a successful campaign, but you could also say that it’s far from being over yet. In fact, that’s exactly what we’d say. You’ve got places like Football.London talking about how far the Blues are going to be travelling during their pre-season games next season, and it just makes you wonder why they aren’t focusing on the here and now.
As reported by BBC Sport they’ve got a big game coming up against Watford at the weekend, and in the same vein, it feels like there’s been barely any build up to it. One of the primary reasons for all this, in our mind, is due to the expected changes at the club in the next few months. It’s not exactly a secret that manager Maurizio Sarri is expected to leave Stamford Bridge in the not so distant future, and in equal measure, it seems like Real Madrid are getting closer and closer towards securing the signing of Eden Hazard. You could argue that these are nothing more than anecdotes that fans & media members are blowing out of proportion, but the bottom line is this: a decision needs to be made by the club when it comes to what their priority is going to be for their remaining few games.
There are a few different ways this could go: the Blues could win the Europa League and finish 4th, they could finish 4th and not win the Europa League, they could finish outside the top four but still win the Europa League, or they could end up with nothing.
In only one of those scenarios will they wind up with no Champions League football next season, and yet, it still seems like a pretty realistic prospect. We’ve already seen them falter in a cup final this season, so what is to say the same thing won’t happen again?
Leave nothing to chance
They looked okay against Eintracht Frankfurt in their semi final last night, but to be perfectly honest, it feels like they might live to regret some of their missed chances.
We’d argue that they need to throw absolutely everything they’ve got into their final two Premier League games against Watford and Leicester, because if they win those two encounters, they’re guaranteed to be playing Champions League football in the 2019/20 campaign. In the Europa League, they’ve still got to get past Frankfurt in the second leg and then a very hungry Arsenal side in the final (unless Valencia pull off the comeback).
It’s a fascinating predicament for them to be in as a club, but to people who say they can balance both competitions, we’d simply reply by saying that you should probably go back and watch some of their games from this season.
They don’t do things the easy way.