Season Review: Chelsea scores a D after a turbulent campaign.

Evaluating Chelsea's 2023-2024 season: injury struggles, standout players, and high hopes under new manager Enzo Maresca. Season rating: B.

Season Review: Chelsea scores a D after a turbulent campaign.
Chelsea player celebrate a goal during the 2023/2024 season. (Photo credit: Chelsea FC)


After Chelsea announced former Leicester City boss Enzo Maresca as their new manager, it became important to evaluate their 2023–2024 season while looking forward to what the Italian will bring to the table.

After Leicester City's relegation last season, Maresca led the team to the Championship trophy and instant promotion back to the Premier League, but the impending financial breach case could complicate the Foxes' return to the big stage.

How did the Blues perform in the 2023/2024 season? While comparing them to their previous season may lead to erroneous conclusions, their improved performance should instill optimism. However, it should be noted that their expectations were higher than their actual performance.

Mauricio Pochettino spent hundreds of millions on new player signings at the start of the season, but only one of them proved to be a good deal. Pochettino will not be grateful for the unsolicited signings, but Maresca must avoid making the same mistakes.

Chelsea season started slowly; a 1-1 draw at home to Liverpool wasn’t a bad start, but things soon fell apart with the Blues struggling to find an identity. An occasional strong display didn’t change lots of things, but the game against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge entertained everyone.

Truth be told, injury derailed Chelsea’s season. Wesley Fofana didn’t feature throughout the season, Romeo Lavia played only half an hour of football all season, and Christopher Nkunku didn’t enjoy fitness for back-to-back games.

The likes of Carney Chukwuemeka, Noni Madueke, Mykhailo Mudryk, Levi Colwill, Raheem Sterling, and Enzo Fernandes all had spells on the sidelines, joining long-term absentees like Reece James and Ben Chilwell, both club captains. No one can survive with such injuries.

Cole Palmer was a standout, scoring freely and consistently, leaving you to wonder where the club would be without him; when Manchester City signed him for 40m, few anticipated the kind of influence he would eventually have.

The style of play wasn’t defined for a long period of time during the season. Chelsea didn't impress anyone until the tail end of the season; losing the Carabao Cup final to a badly depleted Liverpool side also damaged their confidence and reputation; it became a mental block problem from then on.

Surrounding teams faltered, and after moving between the 10th and 12th positions for most of the season, Chelsea found themselves in 6th position after game week 38. However, Manchester United’s FA Cup success snatched Europa League football from them and handed them the Conference League ticket.

At his first press conference, Maresca was full of promise; he said he is here to challenge Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta; he said he wants to win titles; and, having won one in the championship, you can't blame him for believing.

He will hope the owners won’t go on a signing spree like last season; he must have a defined preseason, which will help him get off to a strong start. The standard will be a top-four finish and a domestic cup success; with the Conference League a little less competitive, Chelsea will be the favorite.

The strong finish won't do a lot to Chelsea's season rating, their best player has to be Cole Palmer, anyone else will be a distant second. The expensively assembled DM of Enzo Fernandes and, Moises Caicedo are no doubt the flop of the season. Levy Colwill is one to watch out for next season.

Season rating: B

Name

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Footballnus | Stay updated on the latest football news, analysis and betting predictions: Season Review: Chelsea scores a D after a turbulent campaign.
Season Review: Chelsea scores a D after a turbulent campaign.
Evaluating Chelsea's 2023-2024 season: injury struggles, standout players, and high hopes under new manager Enzo Maresca. Season rating: B.
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