In a move that has shocked the football establishment to their very core, even more so than his suggestion of an All-Star Game, Chelsea chairman and co-owner Todd Boehly has today sacked all the Chelsea players and has given manager Graham Potter the opportunity to draft a brand new team of replacements in his own image. (You just select which specific attributes you want on a scale of 0-20 and hit search, right?)
While that’s a bit of an overstatement, that’s the general idea put forth by the club by way of Matt Law in the Telegraph, who writes that “while previous owner Roman Abramovich repeatedly backed Chelsea’s players over his managers, the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership are desperate for head coach Graham Potter to turn around the alarming slump and succeed” ... and are thus backing the manager with the worst winning percentage at the club in the last 25 years.
Goodbye Player Power; hello Potter Power!
(If “player power” was the idea of players going to Roman and complaining, can “player power” exist without Roman actually here? Answers on a postcard please.)
Chelsea’s expensively assembled squad — already hundreds of which millions have come out of the Clearlake-Boehly ownership group’s and their investors’ own proverbial pockets, even — will now take a complete backseat to a head coach who has shown little ability to handle the job since his appointment. What could possibly go wrong?
(This was already a bad idea when they tried it with Tuchel, mind you.)
As far as what that actually means, the report doesn’t really reveal anything too outrageous, certainly nothing on the level that its narrative would support.
Potential outgoing players, either now or at the end of the season could include Jorginho (out of contract), César Azpilicueta (out of legs), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (out of everything), with the likes of Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz being shopped around — though only Ziyech has any chance of leaving this month, and even that isn’t seen as too great.
Don’t worry, N’Golo Kanté and Mason Mount, the latter of whom could be the one and only player in the squad with any hope of having any actual “player power” these days, aren’t going anywhere. We can only hope Thiago Silva leaves with some dignity. Stay strong, Belle!
I just think that going back or looking for solutions when you take a hasty and totally wrong attitude is not wrong. #goblues— Belle Silva (@bellesilva) January 8, 2023
If there was a @tsilva3 in attack and one in midfield, with what we already have in defense...— Belle Silva (@bellesilva) January 12, 2023
The report does pay lip service to the idea that this isn’t a video game and you can’t just get rid of players by adding that “Chelsea’s biggest issue will be finding buyers and interested clubs for the highly-paid stars they are willing to sell and loan out”. Maybe we can start by getting Tiémoué Bakayoko off our books first. You know, baby steps.
Oh, and as far as the replacements themselves, they’ll have to agree to “similar basic wages with the possibility of earning lucrative bonuses for meeting personal and team goals”. So say goodbye to any top talent, baby!
I guess what I’m saying is that we better enjoy these heady heights of the Midtable. They may not last.