2022/23 was undoubtedly a season Chelsea fans will want to forget. Despite some lavish spending and lots of hope, results were poor. However, should you actually want to relive the rather dire campaign, or at the very least check out any particular results or see just how bad the Blues really were, our season review should have all the information you want.
Chelsea in the Premier League
You can see a full list of all of the Blues’ games below but if you want an overview rather than a granular analysis: they were rubbish! Chelsea are Premier League ever-presents, having been in the top flight continuously since the inception of the rebranded league in 1992/93. Only once, in all those years, have they finished lower down the league than they did in 2022/23.
Back in 1994 they finished 14th, though they did at least make the FA Cup final that year. In 2023, however, they ended the campaign 12th and, as we shall see, could hardly have done worse in the cups! They finished with 44 points, nine places and 30 points worse off than they had in the season before. By any standards that is a shocking decline and that 44-point tally is their worse return since they were relegated from the old Division One in 1987/88, with 42 points.
Only once before since 1996 had the Blues finished outside the top six in the PL and they lost five more games than they won (16 to 11). They scored just 38 goals too, precisely half their tally of the season before. These are incredibly bad numbers but when we consider Chelsea’s transfer dealings too they look even worse.
Chelsea’s Transfers in 2022/23
For some time now Chelsea’s transfer dealings have been a complex web of multiple signings and numerous loan deals out of, and then back into, the club. Under the new ownership, this model was put on steroids and the club’s business in the transfer market has been chaotic, to say the least.
They spent around £600m and recouped around a tenth of that in fees received. They signed far too many players to list them all, including nine players for €30m or more. Among the big transfers fans will be familiar with are Enzo Fernandez (£107m), Wesley Fofana (£75m), Mykhailo Mudryk (£88m) and Marc Cucurella (£63m). However, some fans of other clubs may have barely heard of others, such as Benoit Badiashile (£35m), Noni Madueke (£29m) or Malo Gusto (£31m).
Not a single one of those players can be deemed a success thus far. They may well prove to be great guys but for now many Chelsea fans, and indeed all supporters, are wondering how exactly the club have spent so much with such little impact.
Chelsea in Europe
After finishing third in 2021/22, Chelsea qualified to play in the Champions League. Considering how poor they were in the other competitions it has to be said they did rather well to make the last eight in the most prestigious contest of them all. They even managed to win more games than they lost!
Overall in the CL they played 10 fixtures, winning five and losing four. They topped Group E ahead of Milan despite picking up just one point from their opening two games. In the Round of 16 they overturned a 1-0 loss in Germany to beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 at the Bridge, which set up a quarter-final meeting with Real Madrid. Unsurprisingly, the Spanish giants swept them aside, winning both games 2-0, both scores that flattered the west London outfit.
Chelsea have long been trigger-happy with their managers and new boss Todd Boehly appears to have adopted the Roman Abramovich model. Thomas Tuchel brought the club the Champions League in 2021 but was sacked in September 2022. Graham Potter replaced him but didn’t last the season, despite being heavily backed in the January window. Bruno Saltor technically took charge as interim boss for four days in April before Frank Lampard (himself previously sacked as manager by the club) took over for the final nine games, overseeing one win and six defeats!
The best thing that can be said about Chelsea’s time in the FA Cup is that they were beaten by the eventual winners. An alternative spin is that they were knocked out at the first hurdle and were battered 4-0. Man City put them to the sword in the third round at the Etihad, leaving the Blues to, err, concentrate on the league.
It was more of the same in the EFL Cup for the club as another tough draw away at City saw them fall at the first hurdle, the third round. The 2-0 loss was less chastening but this being the one competition City didn’t win, Chelsea can’t even cling to the consolation of going out to the eventual champions.
It was, undeniably, a season to forget with few (if any) highs. The win against Borussia Dortmund gave supporters some hope that an against-the-odds Champions League triumph was on the cards but that was soon dashed. In terms of individuals, unsurprisingly there were few bright sparks.
There was a lack of continuity and no real plan, something illustrated by the fact that only two players made 30+ PL appearances. One of those, Kai Havertz, has been sold to a key rival (Arsenal) and the other, Conor Gallagher, has been linked with a departure. Not good omens.
In more bad news, Havertz was Chelsea’s leading scorer, both overall and in the league. The German bagged seven PL goals and nine in total. That was one more and the same as Raheem Sterling respectively but alarmingly the club’s third-top scorer in all competitions managed just four goals all season. That was Joao Felix, a loanee no longer with the club!