This morning I pondered the situation that Leicester City FC find themselves in, and I touched upon their remarkable season. Tonight, I’m looking at the other big story of the 2015/16 Premier League season – Chelsea.
It’s not unheard of for reigning champions to experience a downturn in fortunes, but the scale of Chelsea’s decline is unlike anything that I can think of in in, especially in the modern Premier League era. When David Moyes oversaw the collapse of Manchester United from champions to 7th, it was seen as a shock, but one with extenuating circumstances – Sir Alex Ferguson’s sabotage of Moyes (and yes, I consider that to be the case), and Moyes’ own ineptitude, led to that particular failure. With Chelsea, the circumstances are quite different.
Jose Mourinho, who has led teams to success across three countries and who had under his command a strong squad of well-drilled players, was somehow unable to motivate his team this season, losing his job after a dismal run of 9 defeats in 16 games. For a side as wealthy as Chelsea, with the same, talented manager who had won them several titles (and indeed, the previous season’s title) and the same squad of strong players, to collapse so completely, is remarkable – it is unprecedented.
Since Mourinho was dismissed and Gus Hiddink stepped in as caretaker, Chelsea’s results have gradually improved but not significantly so. Their chances of European football next season are now gone, and if I am honest, Chelsea’s miserable season is a source of great comedy to almost every neutral fan up and down the country.
This is certainly a season of incredible contrasts!