(Photo via sportsmoney.cn)
As the final whistle blew on the second leg of the round of 16 match-up between Paris St. Germain and Chelsea, it signaled not only the elimination of Chelsea from the Champions League, but the end of an era as well. The days of opponents fearing Chelsea and playing at Stamford Bridge seem to be long gone, and the future of the club is in doubt.
When Chelsea won the Premier League last year, it appeared as though Jose Mourinho had created a team that would contend for titles every year in just about every competition for the foreseeable future. But less than one year later, Mourinho has been fired, Chelsea sit 10th in the Premier League, and have been eliminated from the Champions League, which they will surely not qualify for next season. Although Guus Hiddinck has done a good job as interim manager, he is only a temporary fix, and the next permanent manager will have his work cut out for him.
Chelsea have already announced that club legend and team captain John Terry will not return next year, Eden Hazard has been constantly linked with a move away from the team, and aging players such as Nemanja Matic, Jon Obi Mikel, and even potentially Gary Cahill might be on their way out as well. Chelsea have two options, they either spend big in the summer to create a new competitive atmosphere at the club come next season, or maintain the team they have now and attempt to recreate the success that these players had in the 2014-2015 season.
In my opinion, Chelsea needs to start over. They need to sell the players who appear to have given up on this season from the very start, and bring in young hungry players who are looking to win trophies and make a name for themselves at one of the biggest clubs in the world. However, if Chelsea choose to stand pat come the summer, and look to depend on the same players again next season, then we might not see Chelsea Football Club in the Champions League again for a very long time.
– C. Homola