A good Chelsea pre-season can be the launchpad to an excellent season, but a lack of preparation can give teams a hangover that can take month’s to clear. Chelsea will be looking to learn the lessons of last season and use pre-season as a base to create a positive start to the season.
Last season, one of the contributory factors to Chelsea’s horrific start was a disjointed pre-season. They arrived at Cobham for the start of pre-season already into mid-July and jetted off for a North American tour the next day. The team never really got time to settle in before the treadmill of a high publicity tour kicked off, and the lack of cohesion was clear on the pitch.
The result was a slow start that fuelled tensions that bubbled to the surface creating a vicious circle of negativity. Key players were not at peak fitness and resulted suffered.
Chelsea pre-season schedule – http://www.chelseafc.com/matches/fixtures—results.html
This season Chelsea have a new manager in Antonio Conte, one that is renowned for his tactical prowess and commitment to training. The players arrived back slightly earlier than last season despite the Euros and will have a few days to get acclimatised to the new working dynamic before setting off on another North American tour.
Ideally, the Blues would stay in the United Kingdom to focus on building for the season ahead. There is a commercial pressure that necessitates these tours to drive a new wave of overseas support.Chelsea are well supported in the United States and have active supporters groups across the country that proudly display their flags at Stamford Bridge.
The team will play three matches in the United States before heading back to the UK, ten days before the new season starts. Blues fans will be hoping they continue the tradition of a low-key friendly at Stamford Bridge before the season starts.