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Chelsea Co-Owner Todd Boehly Rips Blues As 'Embarrassing' in Post-Game Speech
The tongue-lashing came after the boys at Stamford Bridge logged their third consecutive defeat.
After another disappointing Premier League result over the weekend, Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly tried to find the words to right the ship that, lately, has been barely staying afloat. By all accounts, he vented his frustrations with the players, ripping into them for a string of listless performances that have alarmingly become the norm at Stamford Bridge.
What did Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly say to the team?
Following Chelsea’s drubbing on Saturday by Brighton – the Blues third loss in a row, though that streak hit four after being eliminated from the UEFA Champions League by Real Madrid Tuesday – Boehly and his fellow board members Behdad Eghbali and Hansjörg Wyss waited until interim Chelsea boss Frank Lampard finished talking to the team in the locker room before engaging with the players. The American billionaire made sure to convey to the frustrated squad that he and his deep-pocketed cohorts expected much more from the perennial Premier League heavyweights after spending a jaw-dropping £600 million on signings since purchasing the Blues last summer. While it’s not uncommon for ownership to step into the players’ inner sanctum, Boehly took it a step further as he lambasted Chelsea’s season, calling it “embarrassing.”
How did Chelsea players and team insiders react to Todd Boehly’s words?
Once insider cited by The Guardian, said “the whole thing was weird,” including the point in Boehly’s speech where he singled out a specific senior player who was recently signed in the last 12 months to a significant contract. After receiving heavy performance-related criticism from Boehly, that specific player, whose identity has not been disclosed at this point, was said to be so disillusioned by the situation that his displeasure was clearly evident in team training in the aftermath.
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Still, others like Blues keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga defended Boehly entering the locker room to address players.
“Todd comes to the changing room in every game,” revealed Chelsea’s sentinel between the sticks, according to the Guardian. “He had different chats with us after different games. I am not going to say what he said. It is normal when he came.”
Arrizabalaga would appear to agree with Boehly, but he’s still hopeful all is not lost.
“It is not a good season for us,” the 28-year-old Spaniard emphatically declared. “What we have to do is believe until the end. This stadium, remontadas [comebacks] can happen. It happened before. We have to deliver. We need a big performance – not of our lives maybe, but a big performance.”
What did Chelsea’s new manager Frank Lampard have to say about Todd Boehly addressing the team?
Interim head coach Frank Lampard who’s one of the Blues’ most revered legendary figures also did not find what Boehly said to be too problematic.
“There may have been some criticism of our old owner for not coming to games, not being around, and that wasn’t always true to be fair,” Lampard stated, according to the Guardian. “But when an owner is invested in their interest in the team and wants to help and improve, it’s their prerogative to have the input they want. I remember the moments as a player of owners first coming into the dressing room.”
“It first happened at Chelsea,” continued the Blues’ interim head coach. “I remember being really happy that they were there. You could touch them, you could high five them and listen to them and feel them. That’s not a bad thing in terms of the identity of the club and where you want to get to. There is no problem with it. I had my things to say after the game. If the owner comes in and wants to be positive and speak to the players, then I think it is his part to do that.”
Speaking about the supporters protesting Chelsea’s lackluster play with Boehly during the club’s defeat to Brighton, Lampard chalked up what he saw in the stands to passion.
“With regard to the ownership and fans, passion goes both ways,” noted Lampard. “The fans show passion, and I don’t think the owners or anybody who comes to Chelsea and expect anything else. We have been fortunate enough that the club has been successful over the last 20 years or so. That means you want more of it.”
“The word passion is coming from both sides,” he added. “These are passionate owners who want to bring a real vision to the club, and we are probably the early stage of the process in those terms. We can all be passionate together and work in the same direction.”
How has Chelsea fared since Todd Boehly and his partners purchased the Blues?
At the risk of infuriating those in denial, let’s just say sub-par. Since Boehly and Clearlake Capital ponied up beaucoup d’argent for the perennial Premier League heavyweights, Chelsea’s failed to produce any substantial gains out on the pitch. In fact, it’s been carousel of turmoil. The sacking of former manager Thomas Tuchel in September for Graham Potter was supposed to yield stellar results, but if anything, the Blues look more incongruous as a unit than ever – an indicator of why Potter lasted just seven months before he too was ousted, and Lampard re-entered the Thunderdome.
Further upheaval is in the cards for Chelsea: following a massive influx of new talent over the last 12 months, players will inevitably be shipped out over the upcoming summer transfer window, possibly including Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic. The drama at Stamford Bridge doesn't look like it'll dissipate any time soon.
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