A new era in Chelsea football begins tomorrow. Uncle Phil, Deco, The Bos -- Jose Bosingwa if you must -- make their Blues debuts, along with the rest of the crew, in the club's first preseason match, against Guangzhou Pharmaceutical.
What a crazy club name. Anyway, it'll give us fans -- at least those with Chelsea TV -- a chance to see how the club is being shaped under the new regime. For the regime, it will give them a chance to see not only how much work they have left to do but, more importantly, who will step up amongst those on the cutting room floor.
Ben-Haim, Pizza Man, Belletti and Drogba have all been left behind. Are they gone? Most likely. Well, except Drogba who's iffy at best right now. So that leaves us with a handful of names fighting for a place with the first team. We've got our experienced squad guys: SWP, Flo, Ivanovic, Sheva. Then there's the youngstas who have travelled: Franco Di Santo, aaand who knows who. Sinclair and Cork aren't there because of U-19s and there's no definitive roster anywhere. Whatever, on with the program.
We have 26 squad players at the moment, including those who were left out of the tour and not including youth team players. Uncle Phil has stated he wants a squad of 25 and no more. With that aforementioned trio bailing, that will cut some fat. But, with potentially one or more signings still to come, even more might be heading for the exit as we've read over the summer.
So, I ask you, who will solidify themself as a member of Chelsea FC during this preseason tour. The players have three matches in Asia before closing out the preseason in Moscow (no doubt a bittersweet return there) as part of the Russian Railways tournament, which involves Sevilla and AC Milan.
Is SWP finally going to come good (riiiiiight)? Will Flo step up after a season (hope)? Is Sheva bound to net 20-plus (def)? Let the season begin my friend.