A Contribution Post via Waleed Ibrahim.
After the departure of Chelsea’s star player Eden Hazard, an important question has risen. A question that many have opted to ignore until it eventually becomes glaringly obvious. Why have Chelsea not dominated Europe after acquiring one of the best players in the world for 7 years? Why has a club that is known to spend big not been able to build a formidable squad?
The simple answer is, we were not able to support Eden with good quality players. However, it is much more than that. The reason for this fault lies deep within the Chelsea hire and fire philosophy. Although it has been undeniably successful bringing in 9 major pieces of silverware, it has had its unsaid repercussions. These repercussions can clearly be shown in the complexity of our current squad.
Players that were hired to fit a certain system under a certain manager are unable to cope with the new form of football Sarri is presenting. The constant array of managers and their big money signings have left this squad full of pieces belonging to a now non existent machine. Recent examples include Morata, who was primarily brought in for Conte to use for his heading ability, however this became redundant once Sarri asked him to play more directly. Another is Alonso, who was one of the best left wing backs during Conte’s reign, but is now unable to play as a modern left back that Sarri requires.
It has also left Chelsea with misplaced role models. There is no doubt that players such as David Luiz, Azpilicueta and Cahill are natural leaders but they are just as much part of the new learning processes of a new coach than a 17 year old academy player. This does not allow them to be composed and lead by example, two things every great captain has. Both of these factors discredit a club’s progress of building a unbeatable squad.
Along with both these reasons, we were also unable to build a squad around players like Eden Hazard. If theoretically we had stuck by one manager and continued to trust and put faith in them, we would have gotten a much balanced squad than what we have now. We also could have potentially missed out on losing key players like Kevin De Bruyne, Mohammed Salah, Juan Cuadrado, Felipe Luis, Diego Costa and Juan Mata. Naturally this could have also meant that we attracted better players as we had better results.
Football is full of hypotheticals. It is possible we could have stuck by one manager for too long and hurt ourselves too. However, we must look at recent examples like Klopp and Pep who were able to build a squad with backing and had consistent trust from their hierarchy. Klopp finished 8th in his first season and despite fan anger the club stuck by him. A few years later Liverpool won the UCL. If Liverpool fired him and did what Chelsea do, Liverpool would also be fighting for top 4. In fact, we already seem to be considering parting with Sarri.
We as a fanbase and board let our emotions take control and made irrational decisions, leading to consequences that we are paying for now. It may have earned us many trophies in the last decade, but it also plays a vital role in how Chelsea could end up on missing even Europa League next season given the myriad of problems surrounding the club.