Chelsea’s woes in the ongoing 2022-23 campaign continued as they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester City. Last season’s finalists suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of Pep Guardiola’s team at the Etihad Stadium.
The disappointing display was a summary of Chelsea’s overall performance this season, which can be characterized as well below average.
The defeat, their second against City in a week, meant that the Blues have only picked up one win in their last eight games across all competitions.
While a number of factors could be responsible for their current crisis, this article will take a look at three of them.
#3 Awful 2022 summer recruitment
While it was evident that Chelsea needed to strengthen their squad ahead of the 2022-23 season, the way they went about it was quite awful.
The Blues signed the likes of Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana, Kalidou Koulibaly, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and others in a summer of extravagant spending.
Despite spending nearly £250 million on signings, there has been very little improvement in the team’s performances this season.
Chelsea have conceded a total of 30 goals in all competitions this season, despite spending over £160 million on defenders alone in the summer.
The attacking department hasn’t also improved this season, as the West London giants have scored just 27 goals in all competitions.
#2 Injury crisis
Another factor that has significantly hampered Chelsea’s season is their mounting injury crisis.
Prior to the FA Cup defeat to City, the West London club were without 10 first-team players due to injury and fitness-related issues.
Chelsea have lost key players in almost every department of the team this season, including the likes of N’Golo Kante, Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Edouard Mendy, Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount and others.
Fitness issues have plagued Chelsea since last season when, according to a study by Howden’s European Football Injury Index, the Blues suffered 97 injuries – 16 more than any other side across Europe’s top five leagues. (@NizaarKinsella) #CFC pic.twitter.com/sDCCuRbhPw
— Pys (@CFCPys) January 6, 2023
Also, it is worthy to mention that the Blues have suffered a combined total of 97 injuries since the start of last season. This is more than any team in Europe’s top five leagues.
#1 Sacking Thomas Tuchel
The German tactician was expected to be the man to lead the Blues during the transition phase under new ownership led by Todd Boehly. However, the American billionaire opted to part ways with Tuchel just seven games into the 2022-23 campaign.
Since his departure in September, there really hasn’t been any positive change either in terms of performance or results.
His replacement Graham Potter hasn’t exactly hit the ground running, with their recent slump in form a cause for major concern. The Blues are currently 10th in the league standings and are in contention to miss out on European qualification for next season.
The West London club have also been knocked out in the first round of both domestic cup competitions for the first time in 34 years. Notably, they reached the finals of both competitions under Tuchel last season.
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) January 8, 2023
Nevertheless, the owners seem to be very much behind Potter in a bid to turn things around at the club. However, a section of fans believe that Tuchel should have been given the same treatment earlier this season.