Manchester City's 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge signalled an end to a pretty desperate season for Chelsea.
The Blues, despite Guus Hiddink turning the ship in the right direction, never recovered from Jose Mourinho's insipid start.
It's not often the champions drop so dramatically down the table, but with Antoine Conte installed as the new man at the helm, Chelsea are looking forward to the new campaign.
The Italian boss is likely going to be handed a substantial war-chest to bring his own players to the club, players that are able to bring his own philosophy and style to London.
Argentine playmaker Javier Pastore, has been linked with a move across the channel this week and there is a very good chance he could be persuaded to leave the bright lights of Paris for the hustle and bustle of London.
There's no surprise that the former Juventus coach Conte has been linked with bringing a number of Serie A stars to the club, with the likes of Radja Nainggolan from Roma rumoured, plus the likely summer return of Juventus loanee Juan Cuadrado. Conte's interest in Pastore could come from the time the Argentine spent dazzling the crowds at Palermo, but on the face of it, and with the current squad, signing "El Flaco" makes little sense.
With Eden Hazard, Willian and Oscar already at the club, it would take a lot of squad juggling to keep them all happy - not a quality that Conte has been known for. He is a stickler for regimentation and isn't one to rotate. However, the future of those three isn't guaranteed, with perhaps only Willian showing enough this campaign to keep his place at the club.
Pastore is in a similar situation in Paris. After joining the club in 2011 for a whopping €42 million, Pastore was the first signing to usher in the new era at PSG, but he was never going to be the star. Chelsea were linked with the player five years ago, but it was a show of strength from the Ligue 1 side that they managed to win the battle for his signature.
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However, as with most clubs with new money, you need the first big money signing to open the floodgates, then bigger and better names follow their lead.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, Lucas Moura and Angel Di Maria followed. Plus, Blanc began to play 4-3-3, a system that takes away the No.10 role that Pastore craves and thrives in. It's clear Blanc is still a fan, but it becomes a case of square pegs in round roles at the Parc des Princes.
"Javier, he is just ... unpredictable," Blanc said. "This boy does things that only talented players like him can do.
"At the same time, he is able to do things that can't be rationally explained.
"So I can only congratulate him but when I must tell him off, I'll do it because he is someone who needs that."
"But he is a player who wants so much of the ball that he wants the others to always give him the ball even if he is only 20 metres from our goalkeeper. I would prefer him to be 20 metres from the opposite goal.
"As dangerous as it can often be in front of the opposite goal, he can also be a real danger in front of our goal.”
The 26-year-old may be lightweight, he may not have the pace to play wide or the defensive attributes to cover for full-backs on either wing, but in a team like Chelsea, with the other eight or nine players drilled by Conte to provide support and defensive organisation, there could be space for Pastore to flourish.
He is a typical No.10 in the most eye-catching of ways. Superb balance, vision and that spark that makes magic happen when it looks like hope is lost. Flicks, tricks and some of the quickest feet Stamford Bridge would have ever seen.
Last season, some of Pastore’s best football came when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was out injured and Blanc played 4-3-1-2 with the Argentine allowed to play behind the front two. Freedom to drift and find space, he excelled, scoring five and adding 10 assists.
The arrival of Di Maria saw Blanc return to the 4-3-3 and Pastore, as well as being besieged with injury problems, has struggled to find minutes. Conte’s style in previous teams doesn’t suggest he will have space or patience for Pastore either. The Italian boss is known for disliking trequartista and whether playing with three in the middle or 3-5-2, there is not usually space for a free-thinking midfield playmaker.
They missed out on the Argentine five years ago and it doesn’t seem likely that that Pastore will end up at Stamford Bridge any time soon, unless Conte is going to surprise everyone and take his new team in a completely new direction.
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