Chelsea's Faltering Empire: Will It Crash or Receive Rejuvenation?

Yousuf HafudaContributor IIIApril 12, 2011

COBHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 15:  Carlo Ancelotti of Chelsea talks to the media during a press conference prior to the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Chelsea and FC Copenhagen on March 15, 2011 in Cobham, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

With the current situation as it is, Chelsea could go trophy-less for the first season since 2004-2005, a full season after being acquired by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

They currently lie third place in the Premier League race and have been knocked out of both the F.A. Cup and Carling Cup respectively. Their chances have also more recently taken a hit in the quarterfinal of the Champions League with their 1-0 loss to Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

For any other club, such a season would not be deemed a failure and would in fact be widely celebrated in some dressing rooms.

However, Chelsea is a part of an elite group of European teams that expect consistent success. This list of teams is small and ever-changing, and the current danger is that Chelsea will somehow find its way back to the mediocrity that shrouded its pre-Abramovich era and slowly drift into the abyss.

Such worries have been fueled by Abramovich's seeming unwillingness to splash the cash and the aging of the older guard of Chelsea players constructed by none other than Jose Mourinho. Some of these concerns have been recently quelled by the purchases of Ramires (18m) in the summer and more recently Fernando Torres (50m) and David Luiz (21.5) in the January transfer window.

With the season coming to a close, Carlo Ancelotti must surely be looking to the summer to rejuvenate his faltering squad, given that he is not sacked. With this the question must surely be posed: What does the future hold for Chelsea?

This article will not make any prophetic predictions as to what future Chelsea has in modern-day football, but rather it will envision a negative scenario, after which it will analyze the flip side. It will then be left up to the reader to decide which scenario they think will ultimately prevail.

This season could very well end trophy-less for Chelsea unless they pull off an unlikely win at Old Trafford and go on to win the Champions League for the first time. In that case all talk of a disappointing season at Stamford Bridge would be silenced. However, this is not the most likely scenario, in which case the Chelsea fans would be facing their most disappointing season in six years.

The concerns Chelsea fans hold no longer apply to this season but are instead forward-looking, to the next generation of Chelsea players. There is no question that Chelsea are an aging side, and despite the recent acquisition of some young talent, the majority of the Chelsea squad is beyond its thirties and is approaching its twilight years.

The Chelsea squad today without a doubt does not match the colossus it once was with a number of its main contributors well past their prime. These players will soon need replacing, but the question is the length of wait and who the next generation will be.

Abramovich has recently looked like tightening his financial expenditures in the transfer market, and the danger is that this trend will continue. His thirst in world football may have been quenched, and there is the chilling possibility that he will look to sell Chelsea after most of its current squad members have retired.

This certainly would lead to the slow and painful decline of one of world football's giants with the next generation of players struggling to reach the lofty heights of their predecessors. This could possibly lead to Chelsea becoming a mid-table side and lead to the demise of the Chelsea side as we know it.

On the contrary, Chelsea may indeed find their way past a similarly shaky Manchester United side and find inspiration for the next year, or maybe even end up snatching this year's trophy. Chelsea have been hitting a rich vein of form recently and have clawed their way back from their precarious midseason low of fifth place to their current position of third place.

While a final push to win the league looks unlikely, Chelsea has gone from a side struggling for Champions League qualification to a dark horse for the Premier League title.

Many reasons can be given for this improvement, but the fact of the matter is the squad is only playing to potential. The recent dealings in the transfer market have been a reason for the new improvement as well, with David Luiz especially providing much-needed youth and vigor in the back line. Ramires has also been finding his feet, and it is only a matter of time before Torres becomes reunited with lost form.

Recent accusations that Abramovich has lost his appetite for football surely have been quelled by his trio of new signings for a combined 90 million British pounds. This trend is only likely to continue in the summer as a new generation of Chelsea players is being molded before our eyes.

This time, however, they will finally triumph in their quest for the Champions League trophy, topple rivals Manchester United once and for all and reign as the undisputed kings of England and Europe.

It is quite possible that Chelsea's future lies somewhere in between, but a stark contrast has been presented to offer the reader a choice to pick their side of the argument. Please vote in the poll and indicate in the comments below your predicted outcome.