The 2018/19 football season is one that sees Chelsea tread the highly fatiguing and immensely tiring path of the Europa League where they’d have to travel long distance trips to unfamiliar territories, play games on Thursday, with an eye on a Premier League game on Saturday or Sunday, engage in midweek league and cup games, whilst striving to keep up with their formidable rivals in the race for the Premier League trophy.
Chelsea ran away with the Premier League title last two seasons, and a good number of football pundits attributed Chelsea’s flawless domestic triumph at the time to lesser engagements with their eyes only on the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup, in comparison to their rivals who had tough and draining European club tournaments to contend with.
The assertion didn’t go down well with Chelsea fans as many thought that the team had been drilled for efficiency in games by Conte’s training methods. Well, fast-forward to the next season where Chelsea had commitments in Europe, and it was immediately obvious that the squad was thin. One can recall how Conte was fuming over the club’s lack of activity in the transfer market. We all saw the result afterwards.
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This is one challenge the Chelsea board must take into cognizance before they loan out some of the club’s youthful best legs. The stars at Chelsea won’t be able to cope with the rigours of Europa League football, combined with their participation in other domestic competitions in the long run. Therefore, the club must endeavour to make more quality legs available to prosecute these Europa League games as success in the competition may not be a priority for the club who would want to secure a place in the Champions League by finishing amongst the top 4.
The club must beware of who they loan out as there will be many games to play, and more legs will be needed to help out, to ensure that the club’s best performers maintain freshness, consistency and fitness, and not get fatigued even before the second half of the season. This will ensure that a worse season than what Chelsea fans experienced in the 2017/18 season doesn’t pan out. Regardless of whether it’s Conte or Sarri, Marina Granovskaia and co must be wary of the quality they loan out, considering that the club might eventually need these players to help prosecute some ties this season.