Potentially finishing 3rd in the table and reaching a European Final would normally be a good season. The true story is inconsistency and frustration saved by three fierce rivals imploding.
In the last few months, it has appeared that no one has wanted to qualify for the Champions League. Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United fell off a cliff in the last month.
Chelsea were the club to cobble just enough together to stay afloat as others sank.
So How Did We Get Here?
It has been an odd season for Chelsea fans with the negative morale of fans who booed at half time against Watford contrasting starkly with where the club has ended up.
It all started so differently…….
Sarri came in with a heralded style and his own midfield engine in the form of Jorginho. We even had Gianfranco Zola back at the Bridge as part of the coaching staff.
Initially, it garnered some good results with the club going 18 games unbeaten. The early signs suggested something could be built around the possession and short passing the Italian loves and the media call Sarriball.
The problem was that teams up and down the league worked out his style after a couple of months and adapted to blunt Chelsea as an attacking force.
Sarri had no such plans and continued to pick the same team in the same formation and ever decreasing returns.
Teams defended resolutely letting the ball be played to the wings where a cross would be met by 8 well-positioned defenders. Who had plenty of time to get in position and box out the lone player we would have in the box.
Jorginho went from superstar to donkey.
A symbol of our slow and uninspiring attack, earning huge pass completion numbers but failing to get things moving. He was vilified as the player that moved Kante out of his natural position. Something that still makes no sense to fans.
Somehow we have stumbled along and got the odd result here or there and kept in with a shout for the top four. It has only been the horrific form of Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United that have masked poor performances and inconsistent results.
Take the weekend, all three managed to drop points against teams in the bottom half of the table effectively gifting a top four place in what should have been a dramatic final day.
It does not feel like we have played well enough to gain the top four this season. Few Blues fans will complain though.
This situation clouds the future of our management. A few months ago I thought Sarri had limited time left and would leave at the end of the season, if not before.
Without much tangible improvement in style or quality, the situation has improved and he has achieved his objectives.
The Future Of Sarri?
Sarri is still not popular with fans who mock his tactical inflexibility and love of Jorginho. Few want him to stay and fans rightly see our final league position as luck rather than judgment.
Yet, with a transfer ban incoming and Champions League football secured the board may feel otherwise.
If he does go on to lift the Europa League then that may be the final thing he needs to convince the board. It would also help with the fans as it would deprive Arsenal of Champions League football.