There’s a team at Chelsea who embody the club’s winning ideal and identity more than any of the others. More than the trophy-per-year men’s team of the Abramovich Era, more than the serial FA Youth Cup-winning U18s of the past decade, or any of the other age groups and development squads.
The Chelsea Women’s team have collected nine (9!) trophies since 2015, including three league-and-cup Doubles — two in the last three years alone (2018 and 2020, to go along with 2015). And we’re far from done. In fact, we’re just getting started.
Chelsea were massive favorites against Bristol City in last night’s Conti Cup (i.e. League Cup) final, and performed accordingly in a walkover 6-0 win. But as hat-trick hero Sam Kerr revealed afterwards, this is just one part of a five-part plan for 2020-21.
“[Hayes] put on the board how many trophies we can win. This is one we can tick off.”
-Sam Kerr; source: iNews
We can only guess what Hayes’ number might have been, but it’s probably a fairly safe assumption that it was a nice round, five:
- (Inaugural/revived) Women’s FA Community Shield: check
- (Defend) Women’s Super League Cup: check
- (Defend) Women’s Super League: on track
- (Reclaim) Women’s FA Cup: begins next month
- (And the biggest one) Women’s Champions League: q/finals against Wolfsburg coming up
With an international break coming up, Chelsea’s WSL and Champions League campaigns can take center stage in all our footballing lives. The season began a bit slow as Hayes had to integrate even more ridiculous talent into this team, but she’s found the right combinations and setups to take full advantage now. With superstars like Fran Kirby (just the 2 goals and 4 assists last night, no big), the aforementioned Kerr, plus the likes of Pernille Harder, Melanie Leupolz, Millie Bright, Ann-Katrin Berger, and all the rest, it’s a fun time to be a Chelsea fan.
“Today was a performance from a team that is very confident at the moment. Qualifying for the quarters of the Champions League has given us so much confidence. I thought we were unbelievable for the first 60 minutes. The pace, the intensity, the cohesiveness of the team.”
-Emma Hayes; source: BT Sport
The only concerning part of last night’s win was what looked like a very serious (knee?) injury to Maren Mjelde, one of the biggest leaders on the team (the “Mother Hen”, as Hayes said her afterwards), who thus joins the less seriously injured Sophie Ingle and Bethany England on the sidelines.
Chelsea dedicated the trophy to Mjelde. Let’s dedicate three more in the next three months!