The Blues find themselves 10 points off the top four and with few positive signs
LONDON -- What do we know about Chelsea as they enter the first full year of this new era? How do they intend to build a squad, what is their playing identity, which players are in it for the long haul? In the space of 90 minutes on the pitch or 24 hours off it, this club can throw you ever deeper into confusion just by trying to track its progress.
In many respects, Thursday proved to be a crash course in Todd Boehly's Chelsea. In their attempts to strengthen Graham Potter's squad there was high drama and an approach to recruitment that is at best radical, at worse a sign of an organization that has not grasped what is required to be successful in English football. In their attempts to scrabble up the Premier League table, they found themselves undermanned, short on guile and long on injuries.
Their 1-0 defeat to Manchester City was a tough lesson in that, even in the many impressive moments they delivered in the first half, this crocked version of the Blues only ever looked like they could go the distance with the champions, not that they could inflict the decisive blow. Three times in their last five games they have faced the Premier League's top three. In each they have looked by some distance the inferior team; this defeat to Pep Guardiola's side might actually have been the most impressive of all but once City unwound the knots they had tied themselves in during the second half there was only ever one winner.