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surely not...ballack offered new deal again

The Brit
Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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To say they were shocked when they were offered a one-year deal on less money than they get at the moment is an understatement.

WOW, WAT A SCOOP!!!111 What the f**k would they know about it?

If Ballack would gladly trade wages for years because he likes London, I say do it. If he isnt playing in the latter stages of that contract, he will be easy to offload, even on loan. In the meantime, his minutes can be slowly reduced so he doesnt lose effectiveness, and he can offer alot to the squad in the big games.

Even at 33, the clout of being the German captain and one of the faces of Adidas is a huge marketing boon. If he plans to play internationally until 2012 all the better

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Noo! If we was just the poster guy I'd have no problem with him getting a new contract. But as long as he's here, he'd keep getting selected over others.

That's the crunch for me.

When will our clubs policy change? When are some of our very decent youngsters going to start being given a chance? Or are we happy to become a team of geriatrics?

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Looking beyond the Ballack arguement, the article raises an interesting issue.

It is hard to argue against a policy of looking to move away from ridiculous and ever increasing contracts.

I think that for the older players and for those who haven't proved their worth, that the idea of giving them shorter contracts with extra money based on appearances and with an option to extend makes a lot of sense.

The difficulty is that if it is someone we really, really, need or want to keep then we will still have to offer mega bucks otherwise we will lose them abroad.

In this case I don't think any of the players mentioned are indispensable or irreplaceable.

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Absolutely, ethical strategy. I've been thinking about the contract policy quite a bit lately and was going to post on this, especially as there are reports we are offering Nico a new deal until 2013. And I have reservations about even that, despite his performance this last year (to say nothing of Herr Ballack).

I think most of us would agree the aging squad is something that needs to be addressed, and that means thinking about our contract renewal process. L'Arse have the "one year rolling renewals" for over-thirties, which has cost them in terms of experience (and may cost them Gallas in the summer), but also has its own logic.

Here's some contract information, with player, current age, and length of contract:

Ballack 33 (deal ends 2010, at age 33)

Deco 33 (deal ends 2011, at age 34)

Lampard 31 (deal ends 2013, at age 35)

Drogba 31 (deal ends 2012, at age 34)

Carvalho 31 looks 40 (deal ends 2012, at age 34)

Ferreira 31 (deal ends2013, at age 34)

Anelka 30 (deal ends 2011, at age 32)

Malouda 29 (deal ends 2013, at age 33)

Terry 29 (deal ends 2014, at age 33)

Juliano Belletti 34 (deal ends 2010, at age 34)

Ashley Cole 28 (deal ends 2013, age 32)

Joe Cole 28 (deal ends 2010, age 28)

Fitness and physicality is a bit more important to some players over others, but I think we're faced with some tough decisions. At some point, the performance of players like Lamps and Drogs will be affected. This in addition to the massive wages we pay to the likes of Deco/Ballack, who were always going to decline in value at this stage of their career.

Using veterans helps us at times, but I worry that in addition than the financial and performance consequences, we're also discouraging prospective young players.

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