Football is a sport of concentration and peace. If you lack these things, train all you want, buy all you want, your play on the pitch wouldn’t reflect them.
Let’s go back to last season when we ran away with the league. Chelsea put its house in order. A new coach was hired, transfer business was done swiftly, and there was no distraction whatsoever. Compare that to the season before that when we finished 10th, and the reverse was the case at that time.
Transfer business was not done in time. There was disagreement between Jose and the club’s management over who to sell and who not to. Selling Petr Cech abroad or in England was a problem at that time. Then manager, Jose Mourinho wanted him to stay or sold abroad if necessary, but Cech and the management wanted a move to Arsenal, which created some sort of friction between all parties. There was also the issue of delayed transfers. Certain players that should have come didn’t, and the eventual acquisitions were done late.
There was then, the biggest scandal that rocked our club; the Eva Carneiro vs Jose case which shed unnecessary spotlight on the players and staff. It was unhealthy, and it caused a lot of distraction for us on-field. Jose was fired eventually, but then, not before leaving damage on the team.
Fast forward to this season, and off-field issues seem to be threatening our progress on-field. Diego Costa’s unresolved future has definitely rocked the club. The delayed contract renewal of Conte was a distraction of its own, and then, there are the transfer confusions that seem to be going on from the opening of the summer window.
What these issues seem to have done is create an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear and confusion at the club. The coach is making suggestive comments, the club is involved in a legal battle with Costa, and it’s all telling. There’s a lack of peace at Chelsea presently, and it’s rattling the players.
Initially, I thought this was just a phase that regular people face all the time, but recent losses and worsening situations are opening my eyes to the reality — off-field problems.
Honestly, I can’t seem to come up with an immediate solution to the current crisis we’re facing, but I do know that it has to be resolved quickly to avert further disgrace and disappointments. Football isn’t just a physical game; it’s also a mind game. You cannot perform well without being in a strong state of mind.