Stamford Bridge is abuzz with activity as Chelsea’s owners, Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, waste no time in initiating a major overhaul following a season of lavish spending and spectacular failure. The club has already begun trimming their bloated first-team squad to meet Financial Fair Play requirements, resulting in high-profile departures, with more expected to follow suit.
In addition to departures, Chelsea is also set to make new signings. Christopher Nkunku has already arrived, and there are rumors of more additions to come. However, the most significant arrival is their new manager, Mauricio Pochettino.
Before Pochettino officially begins his tenure on July 1st, Sport Newes Center assesses the current state of the club as they aim to move past a disastrous season and unveil a revitalized version of Boehly’s Blues, dubbed Blues 2.0.
The 2022-23 season was a chaotic one for Chelsea, with a 12th-place finish in the Premier League, their lowest since 1993-94. They suffered 16 defeats, the most in a league campaign since the tumultuous Glenn Hoddle era three decades ago. The team also faced early exits from domestic cups and a quarter-final defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League.
A revolving door of managers characterized the season, beginning with the dismissal of Thomas Tuchel after just six Premier League games. His expensive replacement, Graham Potter, lasted less than seven months, leading to an interim period under Bruno Salter and ultimately the return of Frank Lampard as caretaker manager. Potter’s lack of progress and fan backlash led to his premature departure.
The constant managerial changes and lack of a clear plan were indicative of a club in disarray. The transfer strategy mirrored this turmoil, with Boehly and Clearlake splurging around £600m on signings in the summer of 2022. While the squad became talented, it also became bloated and dysfunctional, lacking a top-tier number nine.
However, early indications suggest that Chelsea has learned from their mistakes. They have already begun trimming the squad, with players like Mateo Kovacic, Kalidou Koulibaly, N’Golo Kante, and Edouard Mendy departing for clubs in Saudi Arabia. Additional departures, including Hakim Ziyech, are anticipated. The influx of funds from these sales aids Chelsea’s compliance with Financial Fair Play regulations.
This summer, Chelsea aims for progression by pairing outgoings with intelligent signings. Last year’s recruitment focused on young, promising talent, and players like Enzo Fernandez, Wesley Fofana, Benoit Badiashile, Mykhaylo Mudryk, and Noni Madueke are expected to step up this season. Additionally, returning loanees Malo Gusto and Andrey Santos will kickstart their Premier League careers.
The notable signing so far is Christopher Nkunku, who brings pace, dribbling skills, and an impressive goalscoring record to multiple positions in the forward line. The club is also reportedly close to securing Nicolas Jackson from Villarreal, a Senegal international who fills the number nine role, and is competing with other clubs to sign Brighton midfielder Moises Caidedo.
It’s evident that the team Pochettino selects for the opening match against Liverpool will be vastly different from the lineup chosen by Lampard at the end of the previous season.
Pochettino’s appointment marks a significant decision made by sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart. They hail the Argentine as the “exceptional candidate” following an extensive search for a permanent successor to Potter.
After leaving Paris St-Germain at the end of the 2021-22 season, Pochettino has displayed patience in his return to management. He has clearly been swayed by the project Chelsea presents. Pochettino has signed an initial two-year deal with an option for a third season, reflecting the club’s lessons from the long and ultimately disappointing contract given to Potter.
Pochettino achieved the first trophies of his managerial career during his time in France, but he is most renowned for his tenure at Tottenham, where he constructed an exciting team that achieved three top-three Premier League finishes and reached the 2019 Champions League final.
As a seasoned coach, Pochettino has displayed adaptability in his tactical approach, though he predominantly favors an attacking 4-3-3 system, which suits many of the players at his disposal.
Although Pochettino’s plans and strategies for his new job remain unknown, it is anticipated that he will draw upon the qualities that earned him a stellar reputation.
According to European football expert Guillem Balague, Pochettino aims to return to his essence, fostering a relationship of passion and intensity with his players, similar to his time at Spurs. He seeks to regain control of the agenda, a luxury he did not have at PSG. Most importantly, he acknowledges that Chelsea’s revival will require time and commitment, rather than relying solely on vast sums of money.
Time is a luxury Pochettino does not have initially. His work commences on Saturday, followed by Chelsea’s pre-season tour of the USA, starting on July 19th with a match against newly promoted League Two side Wrexham. Just 25 days later, Liverpool will visit Stamford Bridge for the first league game of the season.
With comprehensive coverage, Sport Newes Center ensures you stay informed and never miss a moment of Chelsea’s journey.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Chelsea’s Transformation
What were Chelsea’s performance and finishes in the 2022-23 season?
Chelsea finished 12th in the Premier League, their lowest finish since 1993-94, and suffered 16 defeats, the most in a league campaign since the same period. They were eliminated in the third round of domestic cups and reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
How many managers did Chelsea go through in the 2022-23 season?
Chelsea went through four managers in the 2022-23 season. Thomas Tuchel was sacked after six Premier League games, followed by Graham Potter who departed less than seven months later. Bruno Salter had a one-game interim period before the return of Frank Lampard as caretaker manager.
What was Chelsea’s transfer strategy in the 2022-23 season?
Chelsea splashed out around £600m on signings in the summer of 2022, acquiring players like Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella, and Wesley Fofana. They added eight more players in the winter transfer window. The focus was on young, promising talent, although the squad became bloated and lacked a world-class number nine.
Who is the new manager of Chelsea?
The new manager of Chelsea is Mauricio Pochettino. He was appointed after leaving his role as Paris St-Germain head coach at the end of the 2021-22 season. Pochettino has a successful managerial career, notably leading Tottenham to three top-three Premier League finishes and the 2019 Champions League final.
What is Pochettino’s tactical approach?
Pochettino typically favors an attacking 4-3-3 system, which suits many of the players at Chelsea. However, he has shown adaptability in his tactical set-up throughout his career.
When does Pochettino officially start working at Chelsea?
Pochettino’s contract with Chelsea begins on July 1st, marking the official start of his tenure as the club’s manager.