Chelsea legend Petr Cech, who will be calling time on his playing career at the end of the season, is set to be offered a role in a “new technical set-up” at Chelsea.
The exclusive report from the Telegraph’s Matt Law makes it sound like Chelsea are finally going to figure out how to replace sporting director Michael Emenalo, who left the club almost two years ago. The report claims that Chelsea are planning a backroom re-shuffle, and Cech “could be asked to take on elements of the job he left behind as part of a newly-created role”. While that sounds a bit convoluted and not quite a direct replacement for Emenalo, it does match previous reports of Chelsea redistributing the responsibilities that used to belong to Emenalo and Granovskaia, to more than just two people. The hiring of new CEO Guy Laurence, to take care of the day-to-day commercial aspects of the operation, last year already hinted at that process.
It’s unclear what qualifications, if any, Cech might have for this new technical role, but he’s well respected and highly intelligent, with plenty of professional (playing) experience (which is certainly lacking in the current backroom setup), and a pretty decent drummer, too, though that’s unlikely to help him in this position. Emenalo’s departure left the club without an obvious liaison between the coaching staff and the decision-makers in the boardroom — something that strongly contributed to Conte’s falling-out, too — and Cech’s apparently excellent relationship with Abramovich & Co could be helpful there as well. Eric Abidal at Barcelona is an excellent example of an ex-player taking over at an important position in the club and contributing to success.
Cech’s appointment could be just the first step in bringing The Old Guard back in non-playing roles. Let’s get the band back together, shall we?