Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo says that there won’t be any ‘radical changes’ at Stamford Bridge this summer.
There was expected to be a mass exodus of players from the club and a host of new arrivals.
However, the Italian says there won’t be wholesale changes at the club.
Di Matteo feels evolution is the best policy, not revolution. The Chelsea boss told Sky Sports: “I don’t think it will be an overnight thing. I wouldn’t expect radical changes.
“I would like us to be a good team that can compete and always in the frame for the targets this club has. I don’t think there’ll be a big overhaul of how we approach the games, new players will be integrated into the team and we will try and get the best out of them.”
Di Matteo continued: “I don’t see any reason to change. I am the way I am – this is me. The way I operate is me and that’s not going to change in the future. I have my way to communicate with the players and I will continue with that.
“My job is too make them feel confident and to put their talent for the service of the team and try to win games. We certainly have to make up ground [in the Premier League] because we finished 25 points behind the leaders so that’s going to be a big job.”
After winning the Champions League last season expectations have risen and much will be expected from the Blues next season. The Champions League was achieved with a slice of luck but without Di Matteo’s tactical nous Chelsea probably wouldn’t be European champions.
The former-West Brom boss will know that last seasons sixth place finish in the Premier League was unacceptable for a club the size of Chelsea and I’m sure he is expecting a far better performance from his team this time around.
A lot of Chelsea fans may be expecting a title challenge in the new campaign but that may just be a season too early for Di Matteo and his players.
Chelsea will have to deal with the departures of the likes of Didier Drogba, Jose Bosingwa and Salomon Kalou, all three played vital roles in securing the European Cup for the club. Drogba has led the teams attack for the last eight years and always been one of the Blues outstanding players.
Drogba’s will be big boots to fill, and it remains to be seen if Fernando Torres is the man to do it. The Spaniard started to hit form towards the end of last season and Chelsea fans will be hoping he can hit top form in the new season. He will be boosted by winning the golden boot at Euro 2012.
Bosingwa and Kalou have had less glorious Chelsea careers than Drogba. Bosingwa has been plagued by injury during his stay at Stamford Bridge, after arriving as one of the most exciting full-backs in Europe. He couldn’t recapture his top form in his time at Stamford Bridge.
Kalou was at times infuriating and at times brilliant. His inconsistency saw him confined to an almost permanent place on the Blues bench. The Ivorian is skilful but his inability to perform on a regular basis has stopped him becoming a top player.
Chelsea have already been busy securing talent ahead of the new campaign. The Blues have already snapped up highly-rated Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard from Lille and German attacking midfielder Marko Marin from Werder Bremen.
Both players are regarded as exciting attacking players. Roberto Di Matteo will have to look at strengthening other areas though, as his squad will look very thread bare if he doesn’t sign new players ahead of the new campaign.
It seems a new striker may be on the Italian wish list. The Blues have been heavily linked with Porto’s Brazilian star Hulk but haven’t yet made a concrete bid for the striker. According to Sky Sports he could cost the Blues £40million should they pursue their interest in the player.
Another player being strongly linked with Chelsea is Everton’s midfielder Marouane Fellaini. The Belgian international hit top form towards the end of last season. The Merseysider’s are likely to ask for a fee in the region of £25million, as Toffee’s boss David Moyes looks to reinforce his squad ahead of the new campaign.
Di Matteo will also need to look at finding a replacement for Bosingwa, as compatriot and fellow full-back Paulo Ferreira has also left Stamford Bridge.
The new campaign looks promising for the Blues. They look like they currently have the right man in charge of the team and are a more united group than under previous boss Andre Villas-Boas. I can’t see them finishing outside the top four in the new campaign.
However, unless they make some major additions to the squad this summer I can’t see the Blues challenging the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United for the Premier League title. It may just be a step too far in Di Matteo’s first full season in charge.
Where do Chelsea need to strengthen their squad most?