Former Chelsea defender Graeme Le Saux believes the Blues’ disappointing season is due to a shift in balance that has upset the squad.Manager Carlo Ancelotti may soon find himself departing Stamford Bridge after failing to lead Chelsea to back-to-back English Premier League titles and disappointing owner Roman Abramovich in failing to live his well-publicised dream of winning in Europe.
But Le Saux, who made 140 appearances with Chelsea and was capped 36 times for England, insists the Italian boss cannot be blamed alone.
Instead, a number of human elements have conspired to prevent Chelsea from reaching their 2009-10 heights.
“I think with football it doesn’t take a lot to shift the balance from that performance where things are going well to then suddenly coming off the boil slightly and losing your momentum,” Le Saux said.
“I think with Chelsea there are lots of reasons for that and they are going through an unsettled period.”
“It has been a difficult season in terms of the injuries, the form of key players and with Fernando Torres and David Luiz coming into the squad there has obviously been a shift in the balance within the dressing room.”
“Now that Chelsea are out of the Champions League that immediately raises obvious questions of whether Carlo Ancelotti will still be there or what is Roman Abramovich thinking.”
“Again, that doesn’t serve to help the atmosphere and the consistency that the players are striving for.”
“It is disappointing but it proves that there is a human element to the sport and that you can’t always have it your own way just because you have a good team.”
After the disappointment of seeing Chelsea bundled out of the Champions League by Manchester United, Le Saux is hoping the Red Devils overcome Schalke in the semi-finals and represent England against Real Madrid or Barcelona at Wembley on May 28.
“I’m hopeful that Manchester United will get to the final,” he said.
“Clearly my agenda would have wanted Chelsea to get there but I would still feel that it is significant to have an English club and a club that, on how they have played within the Champions League this year, deserve to get to the final.”
“And with the other semi-final – I don’t think anybody really cares who gets through in the sense that they will make a magnificent competitor in the final and set up an occasion we will really remember for a long time.”