On Saturday, at the Wembley Stadium, Chelsea Ladies confirmed their dominance on the local stage by beating Arsenal Ladies 3-1 in the Women’s FA Cup final – their second FA Cup in three years.
Hours earlier, the under-18 side trounced Manchester United U-18s 3-0 in the U18 Premier League Final. Last Thursday, Chelsea’s U-18 team thrashed Arsenal U-18s 4-0 in the second leg of the Youth FA Cup. They thus won 7-1 on aggregate, lifting the title for the fifth consecutive season.
Chelsea’s youth team confirmed their dominance of England by completing an unprecedented quadruple of trophies – the FA Youth Cup, the southern section of the U18 Premier League, the U18 Premier League Cup and the U18 Premier League National Final.
The U-18s were beaten finalists in the UEFA Youth League – they lost 3-0 to Barcelona in the final, which they had previously won twice in the four-year history of that competition.
All these achievements are good and worthy but when Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, he expected the men’s senior team to become dominant in England and in Europe but that has not panned out as expected.
Though the Blues have won 16 major titles since that purchase nearly 15 years ago, it has not been as smooth sailing as the supporters would have thought, even though they are not complaining.
On Sunday, Chelsea [the main team] hosted Liverpool in a chase for Champions League – a season after they surprisingly won the title. In what is becoming a pattern, an underwhelming campaign has quickly followed a title-winning one.
After another rollercoaster of a season, Antonio Conte is expected to be fired or be forced to step down after the completion of the season. That means Chelsea will be hiring a 13th manager since the Russian billionaire took over in 2003.
Abramovich must now be thinking how his main team can become as consistent as the U-18s and the Ladies because he came to England to win with the main Chelsea team and not the appendages – no pun intended.