Veteran Chelsea defender Thiago Silva has sent a message as the Champions League gets up and running for the season. With the Blues not in the competition for the first time since 2018 it is somewhat of a reality check for the new owners.
Despite spending over £1billion on new transfers and overseeing one of the most ambitious squad overhauls in the history of the game results haven't followed and a 12th placed finish in their first full season saw Chelsea end the year in a different postcode to any European places. Although new manager Mauricio Pochettino believes it might be a blessing in disguise the club are staring down the barrel of consecutive seasons out of the top four.
It hasn't been since 2002 that Chelsea last failed to finish in the top four twice in a row but a disappointing start to life under Pochettino in terms of results has seen them stranded early on. The Argentine head coach has only been able to pick up five points from his opening five league games, leaving them 14th in the table and already eight points adrift of their rivals at the top.
There is still a long way to go though and Chelsea will soon be welcoming back a host of key stars from injury that will increase readily available quality and depth for Pochettino. The lack of midweek fixtures also poses as a chance for the former Tottenham manager to work more with his group on the training ground.
«With the circumstances, of course, I think [no Champions League] is better for us because we have 11 or 12 players injured,» he said when asked about working with more time. «And I think it shows with the squad at the moment. I think we only have 14 or 15 players. I think it's important that we can recover the players and be competitive.»
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