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From a Chelsea fan's perspective: Why this season has been the most disinteresting one

Ayushman Basu
836   //    19 Apr 2018, 00:57 IST

Brighton and Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League
Antonio Conte

Last season, we got ourselves a new manager - young, highly motivated, energetic and who had the makings of a champion. Quite rightly, Chelsea were the title winners last year. So obviously the next season should be even better right? Antonio Conte’s ideas would imprint itself more on the team and his aura would surround the Stamford Bridge faithful. 

However, as the current season comes to an end, I find myself disinterested as I have never been in my 11 years of supporting the Blues. Don’t think I am questioning my loyalty. I won’t wear the light shade of blue.

Anyway, when I think about as to why I am so unconcerned about my club this year, I understand that this is a feeling of deja vu which is making me very frustrated and tired. 

Let’s see Conte’s current situation in some keywords: disconnect with board members, tactically stagnant, a bad transfer season and a general feeling of anxiety around the Bridge about his position next season. Does this seem familiar? 

Chelsea has always been a club where managerial changes were part and parcel of the club culture. We do talk about a manager creating a legacy at the club but after a bad season, a large proportion of the fanbase starts calling for his resignation (like many are doing now with Conte!)

There's nothing wrong with that. It is something which the fans and club are used to. But changing a manager some seasons before did not affect the team as much as it is now. 

Because of the old guard some seasons back, even if the club were changing the manager, the team still had some personalities on the pitch who could rally them in times of jeopardy.

As of this moment, the trend of changing managers is still the same but we don't have the same personalities anymore. And see where we are. A good football team is not only about the manager but at times more about the 11 on the pitch. We might have a better 11 in terms of quality, not in terms of mentality.

After winning the league in his second homecoming, Jose Mourinho’s third season at the club - the title defence season - was shambolic. The keywords which I used to describe Conte’s current predicament are the same keywords which can be used to describe Mourinho’s third season when he was sacked for the second time by Chelsea.

In all honesty, after Conte won the league last season, I was dreading this. And exactly that happened.

The board not opening their finances to get the top players, a manager who is trying to defend a title against highly consolidated teams with almost the same set of players as last season and failing, and a manager who went from being positive and calm last season in press conferences to a figure who is not even celebrating a goal on the sidelines this season.

At times we could see the tired and disinterested face of Conte when Chelsea were on the back foot in matches and as a fan I am equally disinterested.

I am always an optimist but I am just feeling very tired of this deja vu “Title Defence Syndrome” which we are going through for sometime now.

I just want this season to get over so that I have something to look forward to next season, although with the way things are going, I am scared that this feeling might just creep back in. 

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Ayushman Basu
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