Trimming and Revitalising Chelsea
Many of us have rambled on throughout the 2012/13 season about the lack of depth in our beloved Chelsea squad – yes, I’ve been one of them. we are well aware of the fact that our squad has problems but one of those problems is arguably down to what we already have, too many players.
Any club who can afford to have 20+ players out on loan definitely has more than enough players and Chelsea are no exception. The club employ a large number of players and in the summer the club need to ensure that the squad is trimmed as finely as Rafa Benitez’s beard – enough there but not too much to overcrowd things. Luckily for us, the summer window should see this happen, with many players set to be shown the exit door more commonly known for shipping managers out of without leaving a blotch on their prestigious CV.
Firstly a look at players whose contracts expire this July.
– Paulo Ferreira
– Henrique Hilario
– Florent Malouda
– Ross Turnbull
– Yossi Benayoun
– Frank Lampard
Now, many of you I’m sure are happy about the impending departures of everyone on that list bar Lampard. None of the other players on that list are really adding anything to the club at this time. Whilst cases can be made for affections towards Paulo Ferreira and Florent Malouda for being key players for us in the past, but you can’t really make a case for them staying at the club when neither contribute to the first team anymore. You can’t keep players – who are on high wages – for purely sentimental reasons. The players were brilliant for us, but their time is up and it’s time to leave.
Frank Lampard is a subject that causes many conflicting opinions, with many believing that he should be kept and others thinking he should leave. Many are pointing to his incredible goal scoring record and his leadership qualities as reasons for him to sign a new deal whilst others argue that there is more to being a good midfielder than just goals, such as assists of which Frank has none in the league. His experience is invaluable and his goals and performances in really big games have been truly world class but I am on the side of thinking it’s time for him to leave.
This isn’t an article about the Lampard situation and the debates that the situation is causing, its about what is best for the squad and I believe that the older high earners need to be ushered out. Andre Villas-Boas lost his job for doing this, and now many are thinking that the Portuguese tactician was right all along.
As well as these players mentioned above, there could well be a few more departures out of the door in the summer.
Jeffery Bruma is reported to be set to move to Hamburg for as little as £1m in the summer and Michael Essien looks set to not return after his loan to Real Madrid. Other players who look well on their way out are Gael Kakuta (especially after his attack on the club recently) and also Sam Hutchinson who has unfortunately not really got his career going after a few horrible injuries in his relatively short career. I doubt that these players departures are going to be a great cost to Chelsea as I doubt Kakuta is good enough for the squad (his career hasn’t really pushed on last 2 years) and Bruma and Hutchinson arguably aren’t good enough to be starting games for us. Essien is the debatable one but I think he’s losing his ability and ask Real Madrid fans how he’s been this season and I doubt they’d give him glittering praise.
The thing is though, we can want all of the players we want – Reus, Lewandowski, Fellaini etc – but the fact of the matter is that room for these players needs to be accomodated. With FFP and other wage regulations, the club can’t afford to have 30 big name players with big money wages. You can’t just add players and then add more players to the squad, players need to leave.
In my last article, I wrote about Marko Marin. I included a poll about what we should do with him and about 80% were keen on keeping him at the club either in the first team or on loan at another Premier League squad. That all seems fair enough but I know many Chelsea fans who want Marin to stay in one way or another but want us to buy players like Isco and Marko Reus. You can’t have them all! If you want players like that at the club, and the board want players like that at the club, then players need to be sold. Isco adds nothing to the squad if he is sat on the bench with the 10 other attacking midfielders we’ve accumulated from around the globe for many millions of pounds.
This is why we need to trim the team. I’m a pessimistic fan, I’ll be the first to admit that. I also see many players as not good enough for Chelsea, the deadwood in the team and I’m sure we all have a list of Chelsea players who we all want to have sold – be sure to comment your list. The squad needs changes, not drastic ones, but a few. We all want a squad where all of the players when seen on the teamsheet make us excited or confident, whilst I realise that this is unlikely, I’d like to feel a little more confident in the squad when we need to rotate players and shuffle the team around. I leave it to you to decide who we need to get rid of, but i think we all realise there are players who are only there for the wages or aren’t good enough for the shirt. Getting rid of these players is key. This is the trimming and revitalising, get rid of the players who are either past it or contribute nothing and add a few replacements who are hungrier and better. Simple, isn’t it?