Chelsea suffered a disappointing defeat in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 this past Tuesday.
The Blues hosted Bayern Munich at Stamford Bridge with the chance of making a statement win, but failed miserably in doing so and suffered a 3-0 defeat. Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski both scored in the Germans’ thumping win, a match that revealed Chelsea remain quite far from going toe-to-toe with the continent’s powerhouses.
However, Chelsea must know what’s their place in Europe right now. The loss of Eden Hazard left a huge void in the club and now, it would be a stretch to say they are title contenders in either the Champions League or the Premier League. They are a strong team, yes. But they’re not a real contender. They are a few steps away from reaching that status yet.
Therefore, Chelsea fans must learn one word quickly. They need to be patient with the development of the younger players. They need to show patience when things go wrong. More importantly, they need to understand they are not going to get positive results overnight after losing their star player. Chelsea are going through a rebuilding process similar to the one the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal are going through.
If we look at some of Chelsea’s best players, most of them are quite young. Tammy Abraham is 22, Christian Pulisic is 21, and the same goes for Mason Mount. Andreas Christensen is 23, while both Kepa and Kurt Zouma are 25. Callum Hudson-Odoi is 19, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is 24, Antonio Rudiger is 26. “Veterans” would be the likes of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, whom are both 28, and Marcos Alonso who’s 29.
That should paint a picture of where Chelsea are right now. They are a talented squad, there’s no doubt about that. However, most of their players are nowhere near their prime years yet. As things stand right now, Chelsea should be European contenders in two or three more years. That’s not going to happen overnight. And especially, not with a first-year manager such as Frank Lampard.
Lampard does deserve some of the blame for Chelsea’s woes of late. But fans must have patience with him as well. He’s an authentic club legend, and someone who was willing to grab the steering wheel when nobody else wanted to. He has earned the right to learn on the fly, even if that’s not the ideal scenario.
Losing to Bayern Munich like that should hurt Chelsea fans. But there’s no reason to make a huge riot out of this, either. They are going through growing pains, as expected. And as long as they are patient, they should be fine. Their process has gone as many believed it would go. Staying patient, right now, is the best thing they can do.
The rest should settle itself out.
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