Chelsea 21/22 Season Review
The most unexpected season ever.
Won - 34 Drawn - 13 Lost - 12
Scored - 99 Conceded - 43 Clean Sheets - 32
Won - 41 (3 on penalties) Drawn - 12 Lost - 10 (2 on penalties)
Scored - 122 Conceded - 49 Clean Sheets - 29
The 2021-2022 season for Chelsea has been the craziest one by far. From starting the season brilliantly and one of the best teams in Europe to ending the season without an official owner. A lot has transpired over the last 10 months or so and its time like every year to take a look back at what the team has accomplished. I had set objectives for each competition and we will see whether we fulfilled those objectives and if we did better than last season.
Premier League - Third - 74 points
First up is the bread and butter which is the Premier League. At the start of the season my goal was to finish within single digits of the winners. I expected Chelsea to finish second and within five points of the winner. Its safe to say things did not work out. There is context and that is what needs to be looked at rather than just reading the stats.
Chelsea started the season brilliantly, the club had only lost one game until matchday 14 and had sat top of the Premier League since match day seven. Chilwell, and Reece James were flying high, Chelsea were scoring goals for fun, and Lukaku looked like a brilliant buy. The dreaded winter period then hit Chelsea. Over 10 games Chelsea lost two, drew five and won three. The draws really cost the team and the shock loss to West Ham was also costly. Add to that the injury to Chilwell, Covid, and the Romelu Lukaku interview to Sky Italia and the off field problems began to stack up. Chelsea had only lost three games up to January and two of those losses had come against Manchester City. By the end of matchday 24 Chelsea were firmly third in the table.
In February the unthinkable happened and Russia invaded Ukraine. The world took action and the United Kingdom decided to sanction oligarchs who had businesses in their country. Chelsea owned by Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich was an easy and visual target which the government could take action against. The club was sanctioned, the megastore was closed, fans were not allowed in the stadium bar the season ticket holders and restrictions were put in place to keep the club from functioning bar the bar essentials. Chelsea still managed to get a five game winning run and kept the noise off the pitch.
The international break in March seemed to flip a switch in the team. It seems as if the time away created doubts in players and Chelsea’s inability to take action caused several problems. Rudiger, and Christensen decided to move to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively. Chelsea were not allowed to offer any contracts or search for replacements and with both players in their final six months they were allowed to negotiate with others. The final 10 games saw Chelsea lose three games, draw three, and win four. Chelsea played six games at home winning two, drawing two, and losing two. The Brentford game also happened to be the first game that Chelsea played with only 20,000 season ticket holders in the stadium. It was a very poor atmosphere at the Bridge starting in April.
The season ended with a win against Watford and Chilwell back on the pitch for a few minutes. The prospective new owners, Todd Boehly, Hansbjorg Wyss, and the Clearlake group were all in the stadium and on the pitch after the game. The deal is still not official and they have not been handed the keys as Chelsea continue to lose ground in the transfer market as clubs begin to run after players.
Chelsea fell way short of the Premier League objective this season. On the face of it there has been improvement. Chelsea managed to get seven more points than last season, we conceded less and scored more goals and we finished third comfortably as opposed to scraping into fourth. The club still finished 19 points behind champions Manchester City and that is the gap that was not closed. The off field issues played a massive part but the Chelsea were not blameless on the pitch. The same issues of a lack of finishing and poor mistakes at the back cost Chelsea dearly. The club became the first team in Premier League history to never be behind in a game during half time. That just shows how poor we were in the latter stages and how much we conceded in the final moments of games. Chelsea need to solve the goal scoring and creation issue and have to bring in quality depth as opposed to stylistically different players. Now a cleansing of the squad is happening and it will be a process but there is positivity. Chelsea still need to bridge that gap to the top two before we can expect to win a title.
Champions League - Quarter-Finals
Chelsea finished second in the group stage having won four games, drawn one and lost one. The club were matched with Lille in the Round of 16 and Chelsea dispatched of the French club 4-1 on aggregate. In the quarter-finals Chelsea were matched up with Real Madrid. The first leg at Stamford Bridge came post the international break which caused problems for Chelsea. The team lost 1-3 at home which left a mammoth task for the club in the reverse leg. Chelsea managed to go 0-3 up at the Bernabeu with 10 minutes to go but Rodrygo scored to take the game to extra time. Benzema scored in extra time to send Real Madrid through on aggregate. Chelsea should have gone through and were the better team but individual mistakes cost us in both legs.
FA Cup - Final
Another season and another FA Cup final that was lost. This season Chelsea lost it on penalties to Liverpool. The club went toe to toe with Klopp and co for 120 minutes but could not find the goal. Chelsea were lucky for the first 20 minutes but had their fair share of chances to score goals to put the team ahead. No defensive errors but plenty of poor finishing. Penalties are a lottery and Chelsea lost.
Carabao Cup - Final
A final in the Carabao Cup and another final lost to Liverpool on penalties. In this game Chelsea were by far the better team and poor finishing really let us down. Lukaku also had a perfectly fair goal disallowed by VAR. The game went to penalties and Liverpool won.
UEFA Super Cup - Winners
Chelsea beat Villarreal on penalties to win the Super Cup. It was a great moment having missed out on the cup on the last three occasions. It came at a time when the team were high on confidence.
Club World Cup - Winners
Chelsea also won the their first Club World Cup beating Palmeiras in the final in extra time. Chelsea were not in their best form during the competition but the club got over the line with Havertz scoring a penalty to win the game. A good trophy and it happened to be the final men’s trophy of the Abramovich era. Roman Abramovich was in Qatar to see the team win and he could say the club won everything during his tenure as owner.
It’s fair to say it was another season where when the team were expected to do well they didn’t. Unlike previous seasons though there were several factors off the pitch that affected the club rather than just the on field problems. The underdog mentality is great but if Chelsea want to be the best and challenge Manchester City then they will have to also win games they are expected to win. The finishing has to improve and the silly mistakes have to be removed. It is a big summer ahead for Chelsea and only once the business is done can one gauge at what a successful season will look like next season. Two trophies, two finals lost and a Champions League quarter-final are not bad achievements in the cup’s. The league was an improvement but one that fell well short of expectations. Hopefully the owners are given the keys soon and Chelsea can begin to make moves in the market as in Tuchel’s words we rebuild this team and try to go again for next season. COME ON CHELSEA!!!