Saturday, 21 May 2011

What cost us this season?

We all look towards November and December to try and find an answer for what went wrong with our season. What happened at Cobham that saw us go on a streak where we dropped from 5 points clear at the top to 5th.

Few will blame the departure of Ray Wilkins who reportedly insulted Roman Abrahmovich at his face. Some will blame simply poor tactics of choosing not to play with the 4-3-3 consistently. There are many reasons, but in my opinion there is one factor which we ignore.

The season started with the demolition of West Brom, from there we went on a winning streak of 6 games. Things looked good and pundits said that Chelsea were going to race away with the title having scored 25 goals in those first 6 games of the season.

However, if we go back to the games before the opening day fixture against West Brom we find the possible reason for our season. Pre-Season. With 1 win in 4 pre-season games that is not the type of form that any team wants to carry into the start of a new season. Especially, not when you are defending champions. Yet, somehow the team managed to put aside those worries and did not tackle the issues at hand. Carlo was able to focus his team to go on a winning run.

However, if we look back to those losses we see those losses had reflected a lack of depth in the squad. With key players recovering from the World Cup in South Africa, our second string of players were unable to step up with the given opportunity. This should have been the first hint that the lack of depth in the squad would have cost us. This was proven when Frank Lampard was out injured and this coincided with our bad run in form, and his return came with our return to form.

Pre-season was the first sign that things were going to go wrong and showed the club that there were problems in the squad. This cost us the title because if realized then the signings could have been made, young players could have been trained to be starters. There might be a few other factors to blame but pre-season was the earliest factor that should have showed us the squads weakness.