Chelsea football club, what a shambles.
After winning the title at a canter, this summer provided us with an opportunity to reinforce and prepare for the busy and treacherous campaign that lies ahead.
However, after a series of bizarre decisions and inefficient negotiations, the gulf between our rivals and ourselves has grown – but not in the direction which we had hoped.
We are just days away from the our Premier League curtain raiser against Burnley, and Sean Dyche may well be licking his lips at the possibility of an opening day upset.
Eden Hazard, our best player by a country mile, remains crocked and training alone. The fault for his injury does not lie with Antonio Conte, nor the board, but it adds a truck-load of turmoil on an already precarious situation.
To begin with, the full-backs. Conte has been in the market all summer for new recruits at both left and right-wing-back. Dani Alves, Danilo, Alex Sandro, Benjamin Mendy, and I’m sure many more – have all either moved elsewhere or opted to remain with their current employers. We look set to begin the season with just Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso, which after having several months to work on securing deals for alternatives, is totally unacceptable.
In midfield, Conte revealed during an interview with the London Evening Standard that he wanted to keep hold of Nemanja Matic. Tiemoue Bakayoko was not, as first thought, Matic’s replacement – Conte wanted them both. It suggests that the club sold Matic against his will, and to a direct competitive rival. Of course, it is clear that Matic pushed to leave the club, but in selling him to United we have directly improved their side, while giving him the opportunity to be reinvigorated under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho. The Serb’s likely replacement – Danny Drinkwater. The less said about that, the better.
Conte has also revealed, and it was confirmed by the club’s head of communications Steve Atkins, that Chelsea have been aware that Costa would leave the club this summer since January. However, a replacement did not arrive until mid-to-late July, and it remains to be seen whether Morata will be in adequate shape to start against Burnley. Not to mention that Costa is STILL a Chelsea player, despite there being just three weeks remaining of the transfer window. This saga has been dealt with terribly and dragged out far too long.
The season starts on Saturday, and we still find ourselves in need of, at least, four players. I’ve had enough of urging the board to do their job properly, I shall return to rocking on a chair in the corner of a dimly lit room.
The reality is, if Conte’s concerns are not addressed soon, he will resign. He walked out of Juventus after similar disagreements with the club’s board, we cannot allow him to do the same here. If he stays and the blatant weaknesses in the squad are not solved, we will endure a difficult start to the season, and that’ll only end one way for Conte.