Really great piece here. Mourinho comes off a bit crazy but I guess that’s not really new.
What was he supposed to leave behind as the interim manager? He was just brought in to stabilize what was becoming a toxic situation. He did that. The results do lend strength to those who argue Mourinho should have been left in charge and there’s not much argument against that. If he knew he was vying for a full-time job maybe things would’ve been approached differently. As least he played youngsters, probably still even more than Mourinho did.
Really good piece here. Next season will be really interesting and at first glance one would think the incoming high-profile managers will be key and basically restore order. We’ve already seen what Jurgen Klopp can do without a full preseason. Mauricio Pochettino is setting himself apart as well while Wenger is declining at Arsenal. There are other good managers and teams throughout the league but with the resources they have the big clubs look likely to return to the top.
The recent dominance of the Chelsea youth sides is definitely something the club should look at. Conte did play Paul Pogba quite a lot but one can’t really say he’s a coach who is constantly willing to give youth a chance. Maybe that changes at Chelsea. If he doesn’t then the next manager in line should really be charged with doing that. Chelsea probably the only big club yet to have youth come through the ranks in recent seasons.
Very interesting question. I think Chelsea’s hierarchy felt Jose Mourinho’s relationship with his players deteriorated to the point that things would’ve gotten worse even if they had tried to push through. Not so bad that Chelsea would’ve been relegated but bad enough that progress recovery and eventual progress was unlikely. Maybe things could have been different but there’s no way to tell now.
Really can’t fathom what the point of that move was for Chelsea. I was hoping Pato would get another crack at Europe but I guess that’s not to be.
It’s a tough decision. Does one season, a very horrible one it must be said, warrant selling the player who drove you towards a title last season? Yes, Chelsea need to rebuild but Eden Hazard has yet to hit his prime and it would be better to keep him than Diego Costa. He, along with Willian and Oscar give Chelsea an attacking midfield trio that many would envy when they are fit and on form. It’s up to the new coach to use that trio, of course, but they would have to be among the first to start. It’s obvious now, more obvious than before at least, that Costa, despite his talent, does mroe harm than good.
The issue with selling Hazard, even if the price is right, is what to do next? What player within a similar level of talent will want to go to a club with no European competition at all next season? Okay, yes, it’s Chelsea but there’s no telling what will happen in their bid for a return to the Champions League in 2017/18. It will be interesting to see what happens. I think Hazard stays though.
Chelsea’s FA Cup loss to Everton yesterday pretty much confirmed no Europe next season. I think the title is all bit dramatic. Chelsea is still among the European elite. They are the last winners of the Champions League outside of the almost irrepressible Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona after all. I think they will rebuild well over the summer though it will be interesting to see how Antonio Conte, if he is chosen, does.
I can’t say I’m not smirking at what’s going on at Chelsea but it’s really is crazy to watch. Every third of the pitch needs to get better and Mourinho has to make some tough personnel decisions. Not that he will be bothered by that. Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if they struggle through their Champions League game then go on to smash Arsenal. Wouldn’t be surprised at all.
My Piece on the reaction to Chelsea’s Deadline Transfer Activity
Chelsea finally addressed their defensive issues on deadline day, though not in the form many expected.
The London club signed two players who were particularly out of left field considering the club’s previous targets. The failure to lure John Stones from Everton meant other high-profile names were linked with the club. Those expecting Ezequiel Garay or Aymen Abdennour instead saw Nantes FC‘s Papy Djilobodji and Reading FC‘s Michael Hector sign the dotted line. Cue the snickers from rival supporters and incredulity from Chelsea fans.
Chelsea, a club that signed Fernando Torres for £50 million, was shopping in the bargain bin.
Adding insult to that injury was the supposed consensus, again from fans, that neither player were of the requisite level to play for such a club. Those feelings may have echoed in some corners of the media as well. The knee-jerk reaction in world football was on full display where that situation was concerned.
While it’s certainly valid to question transfers, both small and big, the reaction to Chelsea’s activity skipped that stage and went straight to ridicule. With what cause?
Djilobodji is, understandably, not a familiar figure throughout many corners in Britain. Hector should be considering he plays for a Championship club. Before going to assess the signings’ actual footballing ability, the masses decided they weren’t good enough. A low transfer fee, lower tier clubs and the status of their future employers were no doubt the prime factors considered by the judges in question.
While there are realistic question marks about both transfers, a proper evaluation of each move should leave Chelsea supporters relatively pleased.
Djilobodji will take time to acclimatize from Ligue 1 but has the physical traits to excel in the Premier League. He will add depth, both to central defense and midfield. The Senegalese defender should improve with likes of John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic to learn from. For Chelsea to get a player who plays in arguably the most tactical league in Europe, with international experience, at a low fee is common sense. Djilobodji will just be a squad player and is good enough to do a job in that role. He may even surprise some with his qualities.
Hector’s situation is, admittedly, a bit more confusing but interesting nonetheless.
The Jamaican international has just one full season of Championship football under his belt along with a mere six caps. Hector impressed during that season though and did well on the international stage. For those who watched the 2015 Copa America and 2015 Gold Cup — and few in Europe do — they would have seen a strong, physical defender with decent pace. Hector was also solid in possession and at 23, he has raw skills that a manager like Jose Mourinho could develop. His return to Reading on loan is evidence that fine-tuning is necessary, but if he continues to progress he can also prove himself a solid player for the Blues.
No one has a glimpse into the future to see how these transfers will pan out. Both players could be thrust aside next summer, or January even, should Chelsea feel the need to splash the cash as they normally do. Both were extremely inexpensive signings as far as Chelsea goes and any potential loss won’t be sniffed at.
Still, this is Chelsea. One would find it hard to label them panic-buyers with Mourinho in charge, and if they were trying to placate the support it certainly hasn’t gone over well. Djilobodji and Hector aren’t the signings we’re used to seeing in Chelsea blue but that doesn’t mean they’re worthy of ridicule.