‘Obviously’: Jurgen Klopp rates Chelsea’s season as a whole ahead of the FA Cup final tomorrow
Jurgen Klopp rates Chelsea’s season as ‘good’ ahead of the FA Cup final on Saturday.
The Liverpool boss delivered his review of Thomas Tuchel’s team to the club website as part of a preview for tomorrow’s mouth-watering encounter at Wembley.
If Chelsea’s campaign were to be graded, it would probably earn a B-.
Winning two trophies and putting on several sterling performances certainly increases the mark, but the failed Premier League title challenge means the top score is still well out of reach.
Not to mention the defence of the Champions League, which ended in the quarter-finals.
All manner of reasonable excuses can be used to explain the lack of domestic and European success.
There hasn’t been a direct correlation between the results on the pitch and the changing of owners, but the whole atmosphere of the club shifted during the sale process.
Tuchel would probably point towards injuries as the downfall of his siege on Manchester City’s kingdom.
At pretty much every stage of the campaign, one or more key senior player has been side lined.
Arguably the most damaging period occurred during Reece James and Ben Chilwell’s simultaneous absence.
Then there’s the poor form of crucial figures, most noticeably Romelu Lukaku, who hasn’t exactly fired the Blues to glory just yet.
But he will be given the chance of redemption in the FA Cup final, arguably his and Chelsea’s most important game of the term.
Klopp rates Chelsea’s season
Tuchel’s men haven’t defeated Liverpool yet in 2021/22, having played them twice in the league and losing in the Carabao Cup final.
His group might ‘feel they’ve got a score to settle’ as proposed by the Liverpool website.
“‘A score to settle’, I’m not sure. It was the longest penalty shootout I’ve ever been part of!” replied Klopp, referencing the 21 penalties taken during the Carabao Cup showdown earlier this year.
“I know Thomas obviously and I know the players want to make a successful season out of it.
“It’s a good season – they qualified for the Champions League obviously.
“Last year they won the Champions League, this year they got knocked out by the other team who is in the final, which I think can happen.
“So, (they) played a really good season in a difficult year. Yes, they want to go for it, definitely.
“And they have quality and a lot of players.
“You don’t know how they will start, all these kind of things, different options, all these things. So, preparation will be interesting.”
Chelsea haven’t actually mathematically qualified for the Champions League just yet.
Wednesday’s win at Leeds United pushed the Blues to the periphery of qualification, and Tottenham Hotspurs’ North London derby victory also helped slightly.
But a lot could happen in the last two league fixtures, with positions in the table very possibly set to move around.
But Tuchel’s group cannot concentrate on that right now.
Lifting the FA Cup is all that matters at the moment, to ensure that B- turns into a B+.