Chelsea have been no strangers to a so-called ‘blip’ in the modern era, with a trophy-laden 20 years punctuated by off-seasons - infamously finishing 10th in 2015-16 and fifth in Antonio Conte’s ill-fated second campaign in 2017-18. But this feels different; off the back of their worst campaign in decades under the shared tutelage of Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Frank Lampard, there are not the shoots of recovery many had hoped would spring when Mauricio Pochettino was appointed in the summer, charged with ushering in a new era.
Having tumbled to 12th by the end of 2022-23, the Blues find themselves down in 11th amid a dire run of results and overall form that has seemingly plunged the club back into the malaise that had engulfed it before the Argentine tactician’s arrival.
While those previous blips prefaced yet more success as Chelsea remarkably recovered to claim silverware as early as the following season, in 2024 it feels as though they may have passed the point of no return; the club is wallowing in mid-table again and facing the prospect of another season without European football, the players are reportedly still disillusioned despite a summer clear-out that was supposed to raise their low morale, there is a toxic atmosphere at Stamford Bridge as the fans spit blood from the stands, and faith in the big-spending Boehly-Clearlake ownership is withering.
So, with all of that in mind, how the hell do you fix Chelsea and arrest the slide towards mid-table obscurity?!