Emma Hayes, the teaching thoughts behind the Chelsea girls’s dynasty, sat down for her postmatch information convention on Sunday, having fun with the sensation of a win like few others. The primary query requested what was going via her head. “I am very f—ing blissful,” she stated, a phrase she would repeat twice extra. You would perceive why: Chelsea had simply clinched the Girls’s FA Cup with an exciting extra-time victory over Manchester City, and that win got here only a week after they twice got here from behind to beat Manchester United, which noticed them safe the Girls’s Tremendous League title for the third straight season.

The questions stored coming, her information convention equal components joyous and emotional. She described the aspect as the perfect she had ever coached, and that she’d by no means had extra enjoyable than watching the group grind to Sunday’s win.

It was additionally revealing and unfiltered, because it’s an attention-grabbing time to take inventory at Chelsea. The boys’s aspect are in limbo, ready for the club’s sale to a consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly. In the meantime, the ladies’s group has achieved astounding success, however they might want to keep their funding to remain ahead of an more and more aggressive area within the WSL, all whereas preserving the core squad collectively.

Amid all Hayes’ solutions got here the crux of all of it: What comes subsequent?

What impression will the brand new homeowners have on Chelsea girls?

As the ultimate whistle sounded on Sunday, Hayes pounded the Chelsea badge on her go well with jacket. It was a unconscious message of because of the club’s hierarchy, director Marina Granovskaia and chairman Bruce Buck.

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“It is an enormous win for Marina and Bruce,” Hayes stated. “I wish to put that on report for the work they’ve finished, not only for me however the group over a time frame. They’ve epitomised the whole lot Chelsea is about.”

The pair, below the funding of former proprietor Roman Abramovich, have seen Chelsea assemble a WSL-winning squad like no different. The aspect had been nonetheless of their infancy in 2014 when midfielder Ji So-Yun joined, together with her arrival ushering in a number of extra stars. The club constantly spent cash to bolster the group: in 2015, Chelsea paid a then-British-record transfer price for Fran Kirby, who went on to change into the club’s all-time prime scorer and a vital fixed of their success. Extra just lately, they spent much more: they maintain the world-record transfer price for a girls’s participant (Pernille More durable, £250,000), in addition to reportedly holding the report for the best transfer price paid between WSL golf equipment (Lauren James from Man United, roughly £200,000).

The funding has been good and efficient, leading to squad depth no different WSL aspect can but match. Coupled with Hayes’ teaching strategies and forward-thinking coaching strategies, Chelsea have ensured that depth is one among their greatest belongings. But there have been questions whether or not that may proceed after Abramovich put the club up on the market, having been sanctioned by the British authorities following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Talking in March, days after the Chelsea information broke, Hayes stated she had “no doubts” over the significance of the ladies’s aspect at Chelsea. The limbo triggered tangible points for the lads’s aspect, with Thomas Tuchel admitting it impacted the club’s skill to maintain maintain of defenders Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger — each are leaving on the finish of their contracts in June.

Boehly met the lads’s and girls’s gamers individually at their Cobham coaching base on Friday and launched himself. The gamers had been excited to fulfill the club’s new proprietor, however the consideration was on the current problem of profitable final weekend’s FA Cup finals.

Who will go away Kingsmeadow?

When City boss Gareth Taylor described shedding gamers on a free transfer as “surgical procedure,” he was not being dramatic. With transfers and contracts extra short-term and extra unstable within the girls’s sport, Chelsea’s skill to retain is one among their greatest belongings. This summer season is a first-rate instance.

City face the prospect of shedding stars Lucy Bronze and Caroline Weir, whose contracts are set to run out. Midfielder Georgia Stanway, in the meantime, has joined Bayern Munich. Even Arsenal, the opposite title-chasing group in London, should concentrate on re-signing club-record scorer Vivianne Miedema after she was linked with a transfer to Barcelona.

Chelsea usually are not in the identical boat.

Ji stands to be Chelsea’s greatest loss this summer season as she departs the club after eight years, returning to her native South Korea. Defender Jonna Andersson and midfielder Drew Spence have additionally been confirmed to depart. Their departures might be felt, however it will likely be manageable.

“We misplaced [captain] Magda Eriksson for 3 months, Pernille More durable for giant chunks, the women on the Asia Cup for giant chunks, Melanie Leupolz (being pregnant), Maren Mjelde,” Hayes stated within the build-up to the WSL title decider earlier this month, itemizing her group’s notable absences over the course of the season. “My query is what number of prime groups would have coped with that and nonetheless be there?

“We’re in a wholesome place. I believe we had an ageing squad — we have needed to try to deal with that stability and to compete whilst you’re transitioning, that is actually powerful. As a coach, it is why I am happy we’re within the place to compete as a result of that is the toughest factor to do, belief me, while you’re transitioning, squads age.”

Is Hayes staying? Is she nonetheless hungry for achievement?

Hayes fielded a query on Sunday concerning her motivation and her drive, and what may probably preserve her going. The reply was counterintuitive: Ask a coach about their job and so they’ll level you to their successes, but simply minutes after lifting the FA Cup, Hayes was speaking about shedding.

“I am unable to bear the considered it, I do not wish to give it some thought,” she stated. “The minute I really feel any of [the other teams] coming shut I simply wish to get higher.”

Chelsea have hardly ever misplaced over the previous few seasons. As an alternative, their kind has been inevitable and assured. Hayes answered questions concerning her future with an identical vitality. “I really feel like [the media] ask me this query each time we win,” she stated. “It isn’t like I am coming in right here, disrespecting the query, however I believe it must be concerning the three gamers which can be departing, moderately than my future.”

It’s, in reality, a non-story. Hayes is staying, not but prepared to depart west London regardless of what number of instances she is linked with a job within the males’s sport or with a nationwide aspect.

“Everybody is aware of I’ve received a contract at Chelsea, so what is the hypothesis about?” Hayes requested. “Is there a job that you simply guys are telling me I am going for that I do not find out about?

“So far as I am involved I haven’t got to kill any hypothesis. I am below contract at Chelsea and there is nothing to speak about.”

What’s left to win?

What Hayes has constructed at Chelsea is a dynasty, there will be little doubt about that, however they continue to be an unfinished mission. They’ve received seven of the previous 9 home trophies on supply, and at a time when City and Arsenal have been nipping at their heels, however they can not but be thought of the dominant group of their technology. That title belonged to Lyon and now to Barcelona, a aspect that simply accomplished an ideal 30-win season in Spain and can defend their Champions League crown on Saturday. Barca head into that towards Lyon — a aspect looking for to return to former glories — as clear favourites.

Barca received that first European title final season towards Chelsea in a crushing 4-0 win, a sport during which Hayes’ aspect had been barely aggressive. Arsenal, in 2007, stay the only English aspect to have received a European title, though the competitors was in a distinct format then. Chelsea supposed to show they may end the job this season, however Hayes’ aspect completed third in Group A — behind Wolfsburg and Juventus — which despatched them crashing out. Their last match noticed the squad battling a COVID-19 outbreak and a number of other gamers scuffling with fatigue. A marketing campaign that promised a lot ebbed away from them.

The duty ahead, then, appears clear. To take this club to the subsequent degree, and set up a continent-wide dominance, they should win the Champions League. That will ship a message to the remainder of Europe: they’re right here to remain and to evolve, with the identical squad, regardless of their homeowners, and with Hayes on the helm.

“We have now a bunch of individuals that won’t be on the shedding group,” Hayes stated. “They will discover a manner.”

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