Chelsea: Core exposed!
As we all know, over the last eight years, Chelsea have had immense success, and it really has become a golden age at Stamford Bridge. A huge part of the reason for that has been the fact that Chelsea have had a strong, experienced and established core of players that the team had been built around. That core has disappeared for one reason or another, and we are suffering.
Petr Cech, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba formed the base and spine of our side. It’s been that way ever since Roman Abramovich took over the club, and the players in that spine became part and parcel of every single manager that has worked under Abramovich. AVB was the first to try and replace them, and that never worked. RDM brought them back into the fold for the home game against Napoli last season and the team kicked on from there.
This season, we have no Drogba, and due to injuries and suspension, we have had no John Terry and Frank Lampard, and as a team, we look like we have no identity. The base that formed our identity is missing and the team is suffering.
In any successful side, you must have core strength. Look at City last season and this season for example. Their core is built around Hart, Kompany, Yaya Toure and Aguero. That’s the spine of their side and the core the rest of the team is built around.
Look at United this season. Their spine is De Gea, Ferdinand/Vidic, Carrick, Rooney and now Van Persie. You know these guys will be playing week in, week out for the most part, and players would be rotated around them.
Looking at Chelsea without Terry, Lampard and Drogba, you see Cech, Luiz, Mikel, Ramires and Torres; and it’s nowhere near as strong. The players are also rotated. If anything, only Cech and Ramires have played consistently well out of these players.
Chelsea lack inner strength through the spine of the team, and have been left exposed over the past few weeks. Maybe from the start of the season, we had got away with it as our attacking players were doing the business with flair, but now that they have started to falter, the defensive instability in the side has become apparent, and our second half showing against West Ham has literally left it out on the table for all to see.
It makes me laugh, thinking back to last season and the season before that, thinking about the stick Chelsea’s “old guard” had taken. They were too old, past it, and should have been replaced, if we were to take the club forward. Without them this season, we look like the mere shadow of a Roman Abramovich team.
We have left ourselves exposed to the fact that we have never replaced the likes of Terry, Lampard and Drogba, or brought in players to take over the mantle after they’re gone.
Saturday afternoon for me was a real turning point and a massive wake up call. Questions need to be asked, and answers need to be found, before we have any hope of being successful under Abramovich again.