Chelsea are enduring a dreadful campaign.
Despite being taken over by American billionaire Todd Boehly last year and seeing their new owner splash over £600m in the last two transfer windows, the Londoners are arguably the worst they have ever been.
Having made the decision to part ways with former boss Thomas Tuchel in favour of hiring then-Brighton boss Graham Potter, Boehly was determined to start his Chelsea tenure by making some big changes.
However, after winning less than 40 per cent of his games, Potter was relieved of his duties after just six months in charge, and learning that every decision will be heavily scrutinised, Boehly quickly discovered the harsh realities that come with owning a Premier League club.
Consequently, forced back to the drawing board in search of a new permanent manager, although ex-Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino appears the leading candidate to take over next season, former midfielder and club legend Frank Lampard has been tasked with seeing out the remainder of the campaign.
Not only have the team been dumped out of the Carabao and FA Cup ahead of time, but failure to reach the latter stages of the Champions League placed all emphasis on doing well in the Premier League. However, having won just 10 domestic games all season, Chelsea find themselves way down in 12th place and even though there are just five games left to play, remarkably, the Blues, although very unlikely to be, could actually be relegated. Obviously, after being unable to get the side-firing and winless in all of his matches since taking over, Lampard now faces the same kind of problems his predecessor did.
But former player Gus Poyet refuses to believe that either manager is to blame for the crisis his old club find themselves in.
In fact, Poyet, who represented the Blues on 143 occasions between 2001 and 2004, has identified striker Romelu Lukaku’s infamous ‘nuclear bomb’ interview with the Italian media at the end of 2021 as the reason for the club’s downfall.
Romelu Lukaku to @SkySport: “Physically I am fine. But I’m NOT happy with the situation at Chelsea. Tuchel has chosen to play with another system – I won’t give up, I’ll be professional. I am not happy with the situation but I am professional – and I can’t give up now”. #CFC pic.twitter.com/KGNoJ10cwp
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 30, 2021
What has Gus Poyet said about Chelsea?
“The decline of Chelsea, for me, this is a personal opinion, started with the problem with [Romelu] Lukaku, from that moment on, Chelsea was never the same. Never,” Poyet said on CaughtOffside’s DEBRIEF podcast.
“Lukaku came back [for] £97m and started the season on fire; he was scoring, the team was playing but picked up a with a little injury, went out [of the team] and didn’t come back very strong.
“Then he made an interview in Italy which is what I called a nuclear bomb because you can’t say that during the season. Then [Thomas] Tuchel didn’t take it well and started the kind of ‘you’re not playing, I am playing a different system’, and from then on Tuchel was fighting to keep his position.”
Although still on Chelsea’s payroll, Lukaku, 29, has spent this season out on loan with former club Inter Milan, and even though his long-term future remains unknown, with the summer window set to open in the coming weeks, fans will be interested to see what Boehly, and whoever the new manager is, will do with the outcasted Belgian.
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