You get the sense that a ninth FA Cup triumph for Chelsea is just not meant to be, with sporting fates seemingly conspiring against Premier League heavyweights on an annual basis. Three successive final appearances have been made in English football’s grandest knockout competition, but silver medals are all that the men from Stamford Bridge have to show for their efforts. Having cleared plenty of hurdles en route to Wembley Stadium, the last one remains infuriatingly difficult to clear.
Arsenal, Leicester City, and Liverpool have all gotten the better of Chelsea when more major silverware is put on the line, with Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel unable to come up with a match-winning plan while calling the shots as head coach.
The Blues will be back for more in 2023, of that there is no doubt, and football betting tips should side with them given that a useful habit has been picked up of steering a course through waters that others can find a little treacherous.
To a man, we gave it everything.
We are Chelsea, we’ll be back. 💛 pic.twitter.com/27JWDFXV1Z
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 14, 2022
One man that will be more determined than most to right a few FA Cup wrongs next season is United States international Christian Pulisic, with ‘Captain America’ seeing supposed superpowers desert him when it matters most.
The USMNT star is a UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup winner, with history books rewritten during his time in England, but he has no FA Cup medal to show for his efforts. That is despite figuring in three finals and scoring in one.
Fourth time lucky?
Pulisic could be forgiven for fearing that his day will never come. Back in 2020, after opening the scoring under a famous arch in North London, his afternoon against Arsenal was cut unfortunately short. In 2021, he only made the bench against Leicester and in 2022 spent 105 minutes toiling against Liverpool before being withdrawn and denied an opportunity to step up in an epic penalty shootout.
Much may have been made of Mason Mount’s unfortunate record at Wembley, with the England international suffering defeat in six finals there, but his American colleague has hardly been faring better. The hope for all concerned at Stamford Bridge is that another opportunity to get over the line is not too far away.
Christian Pulisic. Back to his best. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/Si0qLFW0OZ
— GOAL (@goal) February 22, 2022
Disappointment and frustration may be the order of the day, at present, but plenty of positives can be taken from constantly being in contention for the grandest of prizes. If you give yourself enough shots at securing ultimate glory, eventually your day will come.
Pulisic has been swinging wildly at the FA Cup pitches being aimed in his direction, with his strike count already up to three, but he is not out yet. He will be back in 2022-23, providing no drastic decisions are made on his future over the summer and will have no reason to alter his approach.
For all of the shots that have been thrown by Chelsea over the course of the last 24 months, Pulisic and Co know that they are only ever one away from connecting sweetly and sending the ball sailing out of the park.