If you want out of Chelsea Football Club this summer, then congratulations Thiago Silva, you just punched your ticket. The Brazilian central defender said what we’re all thinking, out loud, in regard to Chelsea FC’s severe and rapid decline.
The team will not win a trophy this season, and is likely to finish on the second page of the standings. This just two years after winning the UEFA Champions League. That’s on new owner Todd Boehly, and his partners Clearlake Capital.
In the two transfer windows that Boehly has been in charge, Chelsea expenditures on new players have been north of 500 million GBP. That converts to $615,000,000.
In the January transfer window, Boehly allocated more than €300 million for the acquisition eight new players, led by the record-breaking signing of Enzo Fernandez for €121 million.
The squad is so big now that it is physically impossible for many players to get major minutes, and that has inevitably made a lot of players unhappy, to the point that they want out.
Despite all that massive investment in the roster, the team has gotten much worse, as the results indicate, and they have sacked the manager twice this season. Silva pointed out that it is not the manager who should always be blamed.
He said the players themselves need to take responsibility, as does the club leadership who are in charge of the transfer strategy.
“I think the first step has been made, an incorrect step, but it has been made,” Thiago Silva said to a group of reporters last night, after Chelsea were eliminated from the UCL by Real Madrid.
“We can’t be blaming the managers if we don’t take responsibility. It’s a hard period for the club, with a lot of indecision.
“Change of ownership, new players arriving — we had to increase the size of the changing room because it didn’t fit the size of the squad.
“A positive point is that there are amazing players in the squad, but on the other hand, there are always players that are going to be unhappy. There is always going to be someone upset because not everyone can play. The manager can only pick 11 from a squad of 30-something — that’s tough.
“Some can’t make the squad, we signed eight in January, we need to stop and put a strategy in place, otherwise next season we could make the same mistakes.”
The team just simply cannot score, no matter who plays in the attack, and which manager is in charge. The west London club keeps throwing money at the problems in the winger, attacking midfielder and striker positions, but nothing changes.
Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter couldn’t fix it, and now it appears, neither does interim manager Frank Lampard. The team has lost all four of the games where he has been in charge.
Silva says the team itself needs to take accountability.
“Everybody talks too much about replacing managers. I think we, as players, must also take responsibility,” Silva continued.
“We have had three managers this season, plus a fourth with Bruno where we failed to win. We have lost today, and with Lampard, we have failed to win. Everybody is talking about the manager, but we must look at what has been done wrong and try to change.”
Expect a major clear out this summer, and most of those who are leaving will be happy to make an exit. This club has seriously become the place where careers of forwards go to die.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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