Jose Mourinho’s claim that Chelsea have now finished their summer spending may just leave some fans concerned there is still not enough frontline depth at Stamford Bridge ahead of the new season. Diego Costa was always Mourinho’s top forward target and his arrival from Atletico Madrid was wrapped up weeks ago after a near six-month long pursuit. Some predicted the deal would include Fernando Torres heading back to his old club but the fact he has stayed at Chelsea means Torres is likely to be given at least one more season to rediscover his best form in Blue. Fans will hope he can find it because Mourinho does not, at the minute at least, have many more options.
The title is on its way to Stamford Bridge again in 2015 – that’s if the betting market is anything to go by. As things stand, Chelsea are marginal favourites ahead of title holders Man City. But thereisn’t much in it. Chelsea are currently somewhere around 15/8, just edging out Man City at around 2/1. There’s then a gap to Man United who, the market clearly thinks, may be resurgent under the stewardship of Louis van Gaal, followed by Arsenal and Liverpool.
When the World Cup began, many Chelsea fans were hoping that a Blue would become one of the tournament’s heroes. Some were confident that it would be Oscar that shined, others thought it would be Eden Hazard. A few over- optimistic England fans even considered it might be Gary Cahill. But very few would have put their money on Andre Schurrle.
The World Cup may be nearly over but its effect on Chelsea hasn’t even begun. As the players begin to return for pre-season training, there are fears that the pressure of playing in the tournament may affect the Blues more than any of their Premier League rivals.
Much of the post-match debate about how exactly Brazil contrived to lose so badly to Germany has centred on the role of one man – former Chelsea favourite David Luiz. It seems that his performance–come–walkabout at the centre of the Brazilian defence (well, theoretically at the centre, if not in practice) was the one single reason why his team crashed out of the World Cup.
But was that really the case? It’s true that he looked lost as the German strikers waltzed through the Brazilian defence for the second goal. It’s true he ambled back carelessly for the fourth, was missing for the fifth, and allowed Andre Schurrle to drift across him for the sixth. It’s true that he was supposed to be marshalling the back four, the senior defender in Thiago Silva’s absence.
After finishing in 7th place in the FA Women’s Super League 1 (FAWSL 1) last season, just one place above the relegation spot, Chelsea FC decided to invest a bit more this time in the ladies department. Emma Hayes continued as Chelsea Ladies manager but there was a mass exodus of players from the club and also, fresh arrivals of high profiled players, of course, from various corners around the world.
After winning both the FA Cup and League at youth level, it begs the question “when will Chelsea give youth a chance?” The club isn’t known for producing too many talents but it has produced a few notable players. John Terry is an example of such players but he is really the most high profiled excluding club legends like Bobby Tambling, Peter Osgood, Jimmy Greaves and Ray Wilkins to name a few.
Players like Carlton Cole, Mikael Forssell, Robert Huth also came from the academy ranks as well but haven’t exactly had quite the career we would have expected them to.
For the last few years, Chelsea have actively pursued a strategy of harvesting up talented youngsters from around the globe and trying to develop them into first-teamers of the future – or, if they don’t make the grade at Chelsea, into saleable assets that bring in a bit of profit and help ease the Financial Fair Play restrictions on the club.
Now two more talented teenagers look set to be added to the club’s stable – Croatia’s young sensation Mario Pasalic and French wonderkid Adrien Rabiot. One, in fact, has already signed – Pasalic was unveiled by the Blues today after completing a move from Croatian side Hadjuk Split.
And then there was one. Three more Chelsea players exit the World Cup, leaving just Andre Schurrle, following Brazil’s shock exit at the hands of Germany. As the host nation licks its wounds from the 7-1 defeat – the biggest and most humiliating semi-final loss in the tournament’s history – Blues fans will be wondering whether it could have been avoided if Big Phil Scolari had trusted his Chelsea players a bit more.
There is a growing feeling among Chelsea fans that RomeluLukakumay have developed an inflated idea of his own importance. Whether it’s because he’s now a World Cup player, or because he’s reportedly wanted by a handful of Champions League teams, is unclear. But what IS quite clear is that he now thinks the decision about his future is his to make.
The Belgian striker has told journalists that he will decide which club he will play for next season, just as soon as he’s finished his post-World Cup holiday. One thing he is adamant about is that he won’t go anywhere on loan – it’s a permanent move or nothing. “I am 21 and I have been loaned out for the last two seasons,” he complained, “What I don’t want is to be loaned out again.”