After the disappointment that was yesterday, I've taken a little time to reflect on what was an entertaining season if nothing else. Most of my thoughts have turned towards the summer window and the changes I'd like to see made, but with two games to go there's still a few things I'd like to see from this Chelsea squad. So Carlo, if you're reading this please take the following requests into consideration:
- Start Josh McEachran in both remaining fixtures. One of the most exciting things to come out of this season was the moments of brilliance provided by the 17 year old, who's now the youngest player to ever appear in the Champions League. With absolutely nothing riding on these last two games there doesn't seem to be any reason to run out Essien and Lampard again. Josh has barely seen the pitch in the second half with us fighting for the CL and then (shockingly) the title.
- Rest Ashley Cole. Patrick Van Aanholt just returned from an impressive loan spell in the Championship, Ben Gordon returned from loan as well, and Ryan Bertrand has now dressed for the first team. Cole is on the wrong side of 30 and has made 46 starts this season...give him the rest of the season off and play the kids for the last two games. I don't care which kids play, just play them.
- Start Fernando Torres. I don't really care who you put around him in attack, but give Torres some nice low pressure minutes (and not substitute length minutes) to close the season on a strong note. He's going to be a major key to the club for the next several seasons...don't bench him in favor of the old guard for the few meaningless contests we get.
- Start Yossi Benayoun. I hated this signing last summer and I'm still not a huge fan today, but the guy is going to factor into the team next year and Essien and Lampard deserve an early vacation. He's worked well with Torres before, so why not let him show the fans what he can do.
- Get Jeffrey Bruma a start in any capacity. I know with Alex returning that center back is very crowded, but there is no reason to keep running John Terry or Branislav Ivanovic out there at this point. Both have made over 45 appearances, so go with Luiz, Alex, and Bruma for the final three games. If we insist on running out the top four in defense, try Bruma in a holding role. His one game in Leichester in that role resulted in a brace, and that role may better fit his skillset going forward anyway. I'd also be interested to see Luiz in that role for a bit, but feel free to wait until summer friendlies to play with that one.
- Paulo Ferriera...180+ minutes worth. The guy is a shell of what he used to be at this point, and he's likely not going to be around next season. He was a consummate professional for us though, and he really was a tremendously important part in helping us become one of the world's elite clubs. I know many newer fans won't ever think of him in the same train of thought as Drogba, Essien, and Carvalho, but he really was just as important a part of this club for a long time. He's one of the few players that has been a part of the entire run of trophies since 2004...give him the send off he deserves.
What are your thoughts? Any big things you'd like to see that I missed? We'll have plenty of time to discuss who we want to have coaching the squad going forward and who we want to see signed in the coming months, but today I'd like to focus on the two weeks leading up to that point.