Since the takeover by Todd Boehly and the Clearlake Capital consortium at Chelsea FC, the club has had growing pains that are perhaps more extreme than originally expected by its fanbase and new ownership.
With their 22/23 season being a sure fall from grace from their usual finish in the Champions League places, a 12th place finish ensured that Chelsea would not compete in Europe during the current 23/24 season. Multiple managerial appointments and a transfer strategy that saw over $1B USD spent on transfer fees alone during the first 18 months of the new ownership have overshadowed any good moments for the team.. Despite enough money to overhaul the entire squad, somehow while staying within financial fair play requirements, the team has not played up to the standard that their rather demanding fanbase expects.
With all their struggles, reasons for celebration have been few and faw in between. With manager Mauricio Pochettino being brought in at the beginning of the season and touted as the manager to oversee the Chelsea project, their underwhelming league standing elevates the importance of potential silverware with their appearance against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final.
With Chelsea fresh off a disappointing 4-1 defeat to Liverpool in the Premier League, it’ll admittedly be an uphill battle to secure the victory if the Merseyside team remains in form. While the prior six meetings between these clubs ended in draws, including two cup finals decided on penalties, Chelsea are not currently performing to that same level. With an average squad age on the low end, the team lacks veterans that can stabilize them, even as its individual parts have flashes of brilliance.
What the Blues need right now is time under their current manager for the team to gel fully and the youth to get up to the Premier League standard. Winning the Carabao Cup will go a long way towards securing some good faith for Pochettino with board the Chelsea board and fanbase.
The Carabao Cup final will be played at Wembley Stadium in London on February 26, 2024.
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