It is a season that Chelsea will want to forget in a hurry, as they saw their defence of the Premier League title fail to lift off from the beginning, whilst a number of problems continue to swirl around Stamford Bridge heading into next year’s campaign.
Antonio Conte’s future in west London has been talked about for a number of months already. Whilst there does not appear to be any movement on his current position, it still remains hugely unlikely that he will still be there on the opening day of the season.
We take a look at how Chelsea’s 2017/18 season went, with a look at the best and worst moments of the footballing year and what next season could hold for the blue side of London.
Best moments of the season
In a year that did not provide much joy for the Chelsea faithful, it was at least capped off with a trophy win at Wembley Stadium. Conte’s side defeated former boss Jose Mourinho and Manchester United in the FA Cup final last month to put some closure to their miserable season.
The Blues, who failed to pick up a number of results in the league, started to turn things around when they beat Southampton in April. The Londoners travelled to the south coast, where they found themselves 2-0 down with 30 minutes to go. However, a quick-fire 10 minutes that saw Olivier Giroud, who could be considered the Blues’ signing of the season, and Eden Hazard find the net allowed Chelsea to take all three points and gave them an outside chance of making the Champions League.
Ironically, one of Chelsea’s shining stars this season was a man who spent the entire term away from Stamford Bridge. Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s exceptional displays on loan at Crystal Palace earned him a call-up to England’s World Cup squad, where he will look to boost the Three Lions’ odds of glory for those placing their World Cup bets.
Worst moments of the season
The ultimate failure to qualify for the European competition must be thought of as the biggest failure of the campaign, never mind the fact that Chelsea never came close to challenging Manchester City as they sought to retain their Premier League title. The Blues finished the season in fifth, with many questioning the manager’s decisions and the way the club performed during the majority of the year.
The uncertainty of Conte’s future has been a problem for many, with the doubts looking to cause issues across the whole of the club. The Italian, whose future is still up in the air, has been critical of a number of things during his time at Stamford Bridge and the board have not been happy with his public displays.
The signings of Alvaro Morata and Tiemoue Bakayoko also failed to live up to expectations, with both not being able to make a real impact. Morata, who arrived for a record fee from Real Madrid of £70 million, started life as a Blue well, having a hand in the first ten games of the season. However, he stagnated after an injury problem. Frenchman Bakayoko, meanwhile, started life poorly at Stamford Bridge, but started to come into his own towards the end of the campaign and will look to start next year in the same form.
Prospects for next season
So what does next season hold for Chelsea? Well, a new manager is looking likely, with the club holding a number of talks with a number of different men, whilst some of their players will be looking to kick on from a disappointing year.
Morata and Bakayoko will look to prove that they have what it takes to be Blues, whilst there could be some high-profile departures, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian and Thiabut Courtois all linked with possible exits.
Chelsea will also look to bring in a number of new additions to help get them back within the Champions League and challenge for the Premier League title, while they could also start to use the youth in their Europa League campaign as they look to build for the future.