It seems a mere month or so since we were talking about Chelsea winning the Champions League and removing the behemoth of a monkey off of the team’s back. Fast forward a short time and we find Chelsea on their second manager of a relatively young season, a team with serious deficiency at certain positions, and a team that has hired a manager that is largely unpopular. The recent trip to the Club World Cup may be seen as a negative to some fans, but to others it may seem like a positive removal from a Premier League season of woes and issues.
It has largely been a formality in recent years for the European Champion to encounter little resistance en route to the Club World Cup title, and the only real reason people entertained the competition the last time around was because of the meeting between Messi and Neymar. The trend seems ready to repeat itself this year as Chelsea has progressed, relatively unchallenged, to the final of the competition. Will a victory in the final provide the boost to get Rafael Benitez a few more months in charge of the blues? Or, if Chelsea did find a way to stumble, would it create an atmosphere of foreboding doom?
The Champions League repeat is already lost. The EPL, despite seeming relatively young, seems to already be on its way back to Manchester. Factor in that the Chelsea “way” will probably dictate buying a high-dollar striker in January (and the subsequent few weeks of the new striker attempting to acclimate to the EPL) and it seems that Chelsea will have bit of an uphill battle to truly salvage anything for their trophy cabinet (anything of note).
It seems unlikely that Chelsea will fall outside the top four (or that Abramovich will allow his prized possession to do that) this season or that they will ever actually get Fernando Torres to get back to Liverpool form, but the Club World Cup may allow Benitez the potential for seeing the next season. However, Chelsea must take advantage of every other opportunity to snag a trophy or else this season may go down in infamy. The era of Benitez demands silverware, and the recent capture of the Champions League will do nothing but add fuel to the fire…we here at SP wish the Spaniard luck in a job that seems to almost be offered as a “temp” position instead of a permanent job.
Written by: Andrew McCole, writer, soccerprose.com
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