Fresh from a rather absymal game against Brentford in the FA Cup, Rafa Benitez confirmed that there will be no more incoming transfers for the rest of this window. News like this really topped off a bad performance and the only joy really came from seeing Spurs and Liverpool falter in their matches.
This news will be a shock and a disappointment to many of us – especially just days after Benitez was moaning about the lack of depth we currently have in our squad. However, just a few comments on this I’d like to make.
1. Whilst Benitez has no real control over who we buy, you may wonder why he is speaking out about our transfer plans. Despite this, the news tells us either of two things: Emenalo and Benitez are in good communication about the club and transfers or in fact that they aren’t. For now, I’d probably side with the first of those two as – whilst the board are made out to sign whoever they want – the managers do actually tend to have a good line to the director of football and so communication between the two is likely. Because of this, I’d have to believe Rafa is telling the truth.
2. However, last time we said we weren’t buying anymore players was in the Ancelotti era and 2 days after he said this, we bought Fernando Torres and David Luiz. Despite what some are lead to believe, these two were very much Ancelotti signings, Roman was just the man who signed the deal off.
3. Why are we not strengthening our squad? Any football writer with even half a brain *cough Neil Ashton Daily Mail cough* can tell that the Chelsea squad is weak in areas and need reinforcements. The double pivot would be the prime example, with Mikel in Africa and Romeu in the Eva Carneiro Medical Centre, we aren’t left with a great deal of defensive options in such an important part of our team. Whilst Sideshow Bob does a good job in there, he’s not a midfielder that will hold his deeper position. However, due to the lack of options we are forced to attempt playing Luiz as the deep sitting midfielder or rely on either Lampard or Ramires to fill the hole. Let’s be honest though, I love Frank Lampard and I really do like Ramires as well but the two of them aren’t holding midfielders and we struggle when these two line up in the deep midfield positions. The Essien loan is starting to look rather ridiculous now isn’t it..
Another position where more depth is perhaps needed is the attacking midfield slots. Hazard set to be out for x number of games for kicking a ball(boy), Moses in Africa, Benayoun and Malouda probably leaving, we are left with Marin, Oscar and Juan. Injury to any of these though and we are in trouble, Bertrand or Ramires would be drafted in to play out of position on the wings meaning less creativity. Yet again, we decided that all possible options we already have should be loaned out (Piazon) and suddenly we seem to lack depth.
As I’m sure you can tell, I wanted Chelsea to strengthen in January. Yes Demba Ba is amazing and signing Ashley Cole to a new deal is a brilliant deal as well but I can’t help but feel we needed more in Janaury.New signings are great. Nothing beats a the excitement of buying players like Eden Hazard or Demba Ba and I feel it freshens up the team. The team suddenly have new options and for effective squad rotation Chelsea need better options in the squad. Squad depth coupled with fatigue has had a big effect on our team this season and if we really consider ourselves title contenders, then a greater strength in depth is needed for success on any front.
Prepare for the rumour mill to ignore Rafa’s words and continue to link us with everyone as we are bound to get plenty of rumours over the next few days. January is a very important month in the season and if you spend wisely in January, it can change the season. The window isn’t over yet, but if what Rafa said is true, there is bound to be some disappointment.
How do you feel about this topic? Do we need greater depth or is our squad good enough? Please let us know your views on the 360 Twitter, the comments section below or my Twitter (check author info) and I will try and respond to all comments! Keep The Blue Flag Flying High!