The Feel Chelsea Writers’ Season Verdict: Matthew Owen
We’re back with yet another Chelsea season review, courtesy of Matthew Owen. Let’s find out what he thinks of the season.
Feel Chelsea: Hello Matt, shall we begin?
Matt Owen: Sure, bring it on.
FC: First off, describe how you felt about the season and how much you would rate it out of 10.
MO: Looking back on the league campaign, you would have to say that the opening game against Burnley set the tone for how the season would pan out. There were some highs – Tottenham away, Atlético Madrid away, and obviously winning the FA Cup Final. But there were some appalling lows – Bournemouth at home & Watford away. On the European front, it was a disappointment which started off so well; in the end, we gifted Barcelona a route to the next round with three goals. Victory over Manchester United at Wembley salvaged a campaign that seemed to peter out to almost oblivion in April. Overall, I would say a 6.5/7 out of 10.
FC: Beautifully explained. Now, tell us who was your Player of the Season?
MO: Tough. A few weeks ago I would have plumped for Cesar Azpilicueta but his form hasn’t been what it was in those title-winning seasons of 2015 and 2017. But when you need a big man for the big occasion, then Eden Hazard is usually that man to step up.
FC: That he is. I hope he signs a new deal soon. Moving on, who was your Signing of the Season?
MO: It wasn’t a great summer or January window if we’re being honest, and if we still sticking to that honesty vibe then you’d say none have truly worked out. The Bakayoko bashing I don’t get. Anyone who saw him in that Monaco side will recognise that it isn’t the same player, so maybe a bit of settling is required (not a thing that modern football allows but that’s a different debate). Rudiger has been in and out and despite his MOTM performance at Wembley, the jury is still out and let’s not get started on Ross Barkley.
Morata started off okay and faded but he isn’t Diego Costa and still needs the adjustment of being a club’s main striker rather than a bit part player. Let’s stick with him.
As for the answer, Olivier Giroud gets my vote.
FC: Another vote for the bearded assassin. Next up, tell us about your Goal of the Season.
MO: Morata’s second goal away at Stoke City.
FC: Good choice, one of my favourites. Now for the bad choice. Who do you think was the Worst Player of this season?
MO: Never been one for digging out one of our own, it’s a team game and as Chelsea, we win together, lose together or draw together. Wish Morata would bury a one-on-one, if I’m honest.
FC: That’s good to hear, although not everyone might understand the sentiment. And sticking with the good stuff, what was your Favourite Moment?
MO: Saved the best till last – FA Cup victory at Wembley.
FC: Let’s flip it now. What was your Worst Moment of the season?
MO: Losing that 28-year home record to that lot from North London.
FC: Ouch. I’d forgotten that ever happened. Might need to stay away from DVD shops for a while. And now for the most contentious of them all – Conte In or Conte Out?
MO: First and foremost, I love Antonio Conte, for what he done in his first season, his passion and his personality swept us all away. But it all started unravelling after the text message to Costa. That was his ‘Eva Carneiro’ moment. The dressing room was rocked and never recovered, and his constant sniping with the board has worn thin with every passing week. If the club are wanting to integrate this all-conquering youth policy then they require a Pochettino, Jardim or someone of that ilk.
Throughout the season, more and more players were becoming alienated, maybe it says more about them than him but in a modern game in a modern world, throwing teacups and rubbing players up the wrong way may not be what is required in this day and age.
I will always have a place in my heart for Antonio and it pains me to say but Conte Out.
FC: So glad to see someone not sitting on the fence on this one. That’s it for now. Thank you for talking to us, Matt.