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Chelsea leave Benayoun and Malouda behind for Monaco expedition

Giant manager or tiny cup?
Giant manager or tiny cup?

Defending European Cup holders Chelsea* are in Monaco ahead of tomorrow's Super Cup match against Europa League winners Atletico Madrid. There're lots of interesting storylines here, which I am mostly going to ignore (although you should check out Sid Lowe's interview with Thibaut Courtois, because it's quite good). I'm more interested in how the squad will look on Saturday than the Super Cup, and Roberto di Matteo's dropping some hints.

*Yep, that's still fun to write.

Benayoun was ill for the last two days and Malouda was just a technical decision from my point of view. The rest [except for Marko Marin] are all here.


We already know that Yossi Benayoun's trying to sort out a loan move -- don't expect to see him in a Chelsea shirt again, and this is a big hint that Florent Malouda's also on his way out. I have no idea where the winger might be going, but you'd have to imagine that if di Matteo had any use for him whatsoever he wouldn't be left out for 'technical decisions'. Hopefully we can find a move that suits both the club and the player, because Malouda deserves a good send-off rather than to sit on the sidelines until his contract expires.

I would also guess that Michael Essien's inclusion in the squad (not to mention our weakness in central midfield) would suggest that the Bison has a very good chance of sticking around. I'd be surprised if he went anywhere tomorrow.

Oh, and Marko Marin is still hurt. Surprise!

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