Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo has rejected suggestions that unsuccessful close-season dealings in the transfer market are the cause of the club’s woeful Premier League title defence.
Last season Jose Mourinho eased to his third Premier League crown, the first of his second spell at Stamford Bridge, but it has been a different story this time around.
A 1-0 defeat at Stoke City before the international break was Chelsea’s seventh in 12 league games in 2015-16 and they head into Saturday’s match against Norwich City a point behind their opponents in 16th and only three points above the relegation zone.
Prior to their latest title triumph, Chelsea secured the showpiece signings of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa – both of whom proved to be influential figures during 2014-15.
Major targets, such as Everton’s highly rated England defender John Stones, did not come to fruition this time around, but Emenalo accepts such failures as an occupational hazard in his role helping to oversee the club’s recruitment strategy.
“We understand as a club this is football and you don’t always get what you want – and that is not to suggest that we didn’t get what we want,” he said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.
“We understand that as long as we have done things right and made the right effort there is no need to have regrets.”
Emenalo offered the example of Chelsea’s failed attempt to secure then-unsettled Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney in 2013 and their subsequent close tilt at the title to illustrate his point.
“A couple of years it was well documented we tried to get [Wayne] Rooney,” he added. “We didn’t get Rooney and we still finished second [third] and started strongly, so there is no correlation between whether we had a big transfer window or not.
“What is important to understand is that as a club we work as a unit to try to get things done and get it done the right way. We didn’t get Stones, not because we didn’t want him but because Everton didn’t want to sell Stones.”