Chelsea

Three things that could happen to Chelsea following Pep Guardiolas Man City contract decision

Football.London

Back when Pep Guardiola first became Manchester City boss, the current Premier League champions were fresh off of finishing fourth in the league while Chelsea ended the 2015/16 season in 10th. Just 12 months later it was the Blues who were lifting the domestic trophy, 15 points ahead of the Citizens who could only manage third in Guardiola’s debut season in England.

That has not been the status quo in the following five seasons. The former Barcelona boss has helped his team to 11 trophies including four Premier League titles, and essentially created a dynasty at the Etihad Stadium with Liverpool proving to be the club’s only consistent challenger.

On Wednesday morning, Guardiola committed himself to City until 2025, a relatively short-term deal in modern footballing standards but a contract that could see the coach near his tenth year with the club. A rare thing for a Premier League coach. In the period Guardiola has called Manchester home, Chelsea have been led by Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri, Frank Lampard, Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter.

READ MORE : Josko Gvardiol matches Chelsea star’s record as ace proves part in Todd Boehly transfer vision

Man City Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said of the deal: “I am delighted that Pep’s journey with Manchester City Football Club will continue. He has already contributed so much to the success and fabric of this organisation, and it’s exciting to think what might be possible given the energy, hunger and ambition that he clearly still has.

“Under his very special leadership our first team has accomplished so much, whilst continuously playing, and constantly evolving, a City style of football that is admired the world over. Like every City fan, I am looking forward to what lies ahead.”

Constant evolution is where Chelsea’s own ambition now lies, as head coach Potter looks to establish his own philosophy within the ownership philosophy Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali. It’s been a tumultuous time for the Blues over the last six months with upheaval in the squad and behind the scenes.

More than £200million was spent in the summer transfer window by the Blues, while the recruitment set-up is being overhauled with the likes of Laurence Steward, Paul Winstanley and Joe Shields taking roles after Todd Boehly took the duties of interim sporting director in the immediate aftermath of the takeover.

Upon the announcement of his deal, Guardiola reflected on the stability of Manchester City being the club’s strength. He said: “I know the next chapter of this club will be amazing for the next decade. It happened over the last ten years, and it will happen in the next ten years because this club is so stable.”

His commitment cements that stability and ensures Chelsea will have a primary adversary to overcome. When other long-serving coaches have stepped down, club’s have often suffered. Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger’s departures from Manchester United and Arsenal respectively, saw a fallow period and drop in results, which City will not be guaranteed to go through when Guardiola does wave goodbye, but it will be a vulnerability given his influence.

Chelsea will attempt to find stability of there own under Potter and the early indication was that the 47-year-old’s position will be safe even if the Blues fail to land a Champions League space. That has not stopped the pressure that has started to build on the former Brighton boss as the Blues struggled for form immediately ahead of the World Cup. Finishing in the top four will make everything easier for the Blues.

But, Chelsea are the start of project and that will include forming a team that can challenge now but also in the future. Manchester City’s place in football hierarchy has a significant pull, but that is only enhanced due to Guardiola.

Chelsea have looked at Josko Gvardiol, but could face stern competition from City, they perhaps could for Jude Bellingham and City’s strength of position could have influenced the Blues being unwilling to wait a year to activate Erling Haaland’s release clause and opting for Romelu Lukaku.

Instead Boehly and co will have to work smarter. Signing young talents such as Carney Chukwuemeka, Cesare Casadei and Omari Hutchinson could be part of that, as well has continuing to develop stars in the academy. Chelsea looking to find a base to launch from is also why the club were willing to spend so much in the summer, after allowing free transfers for key players like Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. They will likely consider doing the same if Jorginho and N’Golo Kante end up departing the club with Bellingham and Declan Rice potential replacements.

Chelsea’s task to place themselves among the league’s best once again was always going to bring difficulties, Guardiola’s extended stay will only provide more of a challenge.

Read more – Football.London

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