Todd Boehly’s reign as Chelsea owner can only be characterized as chaotic. A literal fortune spent on players with little to no real plan on the future of the club. The return of Frank Lampard as manager shows just how out of their depths Chelsea’s ownership is.
The way that Chelsea has operated this season is more similar to a FIFA manager mode save. Buy all the best players and figure out the rest later.
Operating by throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks is essentially how the Blues have managed this season. Canning Tuchel for Potter despite the latter’s lack of experience with elite sides just to fire him less than half a season into his tenure. Spending the equivalent to some country’s GDPs on players that don’t fit and finishing midtable is inexcusable.
Lampard is Chelsea through and through, a club icon who defined his role and pushed the club back to relevance. However, he is a truly bad manager. None of his previous managerial spells have yielded anything which makes this hire baffling.
Chelsea’s season has been a roller coaster ride that fans are begging for its end. While the club may have all the money in the world, they are collapsing under their own hubris.
Any club, no matter the level they’re playing at, has to have a plan in place. Abramovich had one for his version of Chelsea, but Boehly has not shown what his true version of the club is.
Under new ownership, the Blues have continued to spend, rivaling City and PSG. Unlike those two clubs, have any of Chelsea’s recent signings borne positive developments for the club?
A big part of the new ownership’s changes in transfers comes down to securing some of the best young talents at any price and locking them up for years to come. In theory, this is a smart move for the club, allowing them to see the player develop and spend their prime in London. But this hinges on giving time for the players to develop, if they aren’t given that room, it’s a lack of return on investment.
Can anyone argue against the notion that Mudryk would have been better at Arsenal where he wouldn’t have to be the star? It’s why having a good mix of veterans to lead is so invaluable, to take the pressure off those younger players. However, by diving headfirst into this quasi rebuild, there needed to be a change of expectations.
On the managerial side, Tuchel’s firing has set the club back greatly. It’s true that the German doesn’t exactly play the sexiest soccer, but he’s a winner. In hindsight, it was the first sign of an ownership that operated on impulse.
In theory, Potter should have been a great move with the Englishman’s time with Brighton reinvigorating the club. So it was a no-brainer for the club to bring him and give him control of the side. It became clear that he couldn’ deal with the task as more and more players got added to the bloated squad.
Eventually, due in part to the club’s transfers, Potter would see the door. All this strife and pain for the fans can only be traced back to Boehly’s mismanagement.
Lampard is not a Premier League caliber manager. Given his disasters at Chelsea and Everton, why would any club return to him?
While Everton’s position in the league table is not totally his fault, Lampard failed to understand how to get a side to play Prem level football. Just look at the turnaround the club has seen under Dyche. Everton are not the most talented side, but as Dyche has shown, there is enough quality there to be a midtable side.
It’ll be fascinating to watch how the glutton of players Chelsea has will fit into Lampard’s limited tactics. His sides are usually built around a goalscorer, but this team lacks an out and out striker. With a team not built for his limited tactics, it’s hard to see how this will turn out well for the club.
With the team in a pretty dire situation, a manager who could have stabilized things was needed. Even if that manager was only temporary, this side needs an “adult” in the room.
The current managerial landscape did have some intriguing options available for the Blues. Dyche, before he had been poached by Everton, could have guided the club to some stability. Conte is still available given how Chelsea loves to do remakes and this current team fits the Italian like a glove.
However, the best option seems to be Julian Nagelsmann, but it seems like Chelsea may wait for the summer to bring on a manager like him. While he did somewhat flop at Bayern, Nagelsmann has shown an ability to develop younger sides and play exciting football. Chelsea would offer him a chance to take over a side full of elite young talent and take them to the next level.
Given the options available, it’s shocking that the Blues would go back to a manager with such a damaged reputation. It’s another indictment of the Boehly regime and one that desperately needs attention.
Boehly is willing to spend and does seem to want to see Chelsea return to the top of Europe. However, he has to put the right people in place to shape the club and develop a coherent vision. Otherwise, fans will be stuck with an ownership that’s free spending can only tank the club.