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Matchday squad for next season (hypothetical)


Snedger

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I was thinking about a scenario where if AVB was to be terminated before the start of next season and due to the cost of doing that and FFP constraints, our transfer budget was diddly squat, plus, the club wants to forge ahead with the clear-out of most of the senior players and reduce the wage bill.

So a new manager/coach would have to work with players already at the club and accept that a good swathe of the senior players have to be moved on. So this could be roughly the matchday squad in that scenario.

Mata – Sturridge – Piazon

Ramires – McEachren – Oriol

Bertrand – Terry – Luiz - Ivanovic

Curtois

Cech

Cole

Cahill

Hutchinson

De Bryne

Kakuta

Lukaku

(Btw, 'Ive not worried here about the exact line-up or formation)

And this would also move other players such as Bruma, Davila, Kalas, Van Aanholt, Clifford etc closer to the first team.

So, the big question is; would a largely talented but very young and unproven squad like this next season be lambs to the slaughter? Or would the quality and nature of the coach be a factor in that?

My fantasy would be that the players listed above would be the squad for the season and that a coach with huge enthusiasm, confidence, tonnes of charisma and a strong belief in attacking football would guide them to a top four finish and a decent cup run or two. But the reality could be 12th.

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That's probably true. But a few might be pretty riled if they did finish mid table or lower. But could that squad finish in the top 6? Or could it even finish 12th next season but learn a lot and improve and with one or two careful additions go on to be Europes finest ever team in the seasons that follow?

I'd love to see a Chelsea team surpass even Jose's team but with players that are mainly homegrown or near as damn it homegrown. It'd be like a dream!

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Depends entirely on the tactics and how the manager sets everything up really. The squad we have now should be finishing in the top 3, but we're not because we play a ludicrous system. But that squad you posted is probably good enough for top 5 or 6 I would have said, and with maybe 1 or 2 quality additions, like a Hazard or 2, could easily be top 3 or 4 or higher..but again..depends on how they are set up to play.

Edited by Zeta Orionis
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So there is plenty of top quality talent there and in that case you might say that the most important thing is the coach and his team.

A good coach could probably produce something very special with those players given a little time. Just imagine the team spirit amongst players who have known each other and trained together since they were teenagers. Puts me in mind of the Ajax side of the early/mid nineties. Terry would be like Danny Blind and the youth brigade would be like the Kluiverts, Reiziger, Seedorf, Davids etc and Mata could be the Litmanen

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How many players have been moved on in this team? Ten or more?

It's not really a realistic approach.

Secondly if we were to consider that squad, there isn't a lot of depth there. Or many strong personalities to drive the team on during our usual slump in November/December.

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How many players have been moved on in this team? Ten or more?

It's not really a realistic approach.

Secondly if we were to consider that squad, there isn't a lot of depth there. Or many strong personalities to drive the team on during our usual slump in November/December.

Erm, well, Drogba, Kalou, Malouda, Lampard, Torres, Meireles, Ferreira, Bosingwa, Hilario, Turnball and Mikel. Yeah, 11. Well between expired contracts and nominal transfer fees I reckon we could shed most of them.

As regards the depth, I think that there are plenty of players to call on even if inexperienced. The whole point of the exercise would really be to move on those 'strong influences', the ties with past regimes and gravy-trainers who show little passion as long as the pay cheques come in. It is a bit of a fantasy but I actually believe that it would be very exciting and return a sense of the real Chelsea back to the club and its supporters.

ps. this fresh squad might be free from the hereditary mid season bad moment.

Edited by Snedger
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Meireles as well and Essien I can see that makes 13.

I'm a bit concerned by the last comment Snedger. I presume you are from the early 80's generation, but what has happened to us has been the dream for every football club in the world.

I can't see why this idea of the 'real' Chelsea, struggling financially, not really in with a great shout of winning trophies is more attractive. The situation in terms of the relationship between the club and fans isn't going to change. They still won't let you throw celery, the stewards will still kick you out for standing up, beer will still cost a fortune. The only difference will be we won't be winning anything.

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You're right, I was raised on the 80's fayre and my days of following the team as much as I possibly could were in the late eighties and nineties. I appreciate that football will never return to how it was and that it is now a comercial affair run by business men and media types. But there must be a way that we can at least find a halfway house between todays extension of the entertainment industry and a football club.

Anyway, it is extreme to cut 12 players and it was only a hypothetical exercise but you must admit that a largely homegrown team going on to be successful in style would be amazing? And I dare say that it would prove more comercially beneficial to the club as a whole as I think that it would be better received than us winning trophies more directly as a result of the owner spending millions on players from other clubs. City could have the buying it mantle all to themselves.

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If we played with a squad like that and f**ked up, I don't think people would be nearly as annoyed as they are playing with the likes of Malouda, Kalou, Mikel, Merieles, Torres, etc... and f**king up.

Basically the whole of it. With their reputations go expectations (and wages).

Without many of the fatter wages on our squad, FFP problems and 5th place (or worse) would not be the death sentence everyone seems to expect.

Only problem is if we took a few years "off" as a top contender, I think a couple of things would likely happen.

1. Some players who just got here, and owe very little to Chelsea as a club would want to leave. I dont question to the commitment of Ramires, Romeu, Danny or David Luiz would have many clubs after them. Mata would have nearly everyone in Europe dying to sign him. I have no doubt the youngsters and the old war horses (JT, Ivan, Cech) would probably want to stick around, but if we lose a competitive edge, the vultures will circle.

2. We might screw the clubs earning potential. That doesnt mean much to any of us, but to Roman and the board it means a lot if this club is going to become a self sustaining cash cow as they clearly want. And as the example of Liverpool has shown us, once you get pushed out of the elite, life at the top is so competitive that its very hard to get back in.

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I only wish there was a halfway point mate. I'd love to see us with some real homegrown players, and a spot where those who wanted to could stand and sing and all the things that mean football is such a strong thing for so many people.

More than either terracing or a hat full of trophies, just right now I would happily settle for a harmonious club and a team playing some entertaining football.

Edited by Snedger
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Basically the whole of it. With their reputations go expectations (and wages).

Without many of the fatter wages on our squad, FFP problems and 5th place (or worse) would not be the death sentence everyone seems to expect.

Only problem is if we took a few years "off" as a top contender, I think a couple of things would likely happen.

1. Some players who just got here, and owe very little to Chelsea as a club would want to leave. I dont question to the commitment of Ramires, Romeu, Danny or David Luiz would have many clubs after them. Mata would have nearly everyone in Europe dying to sign him. I have no doubt the youngsters and the old war horses (JT, Ivan, Cech) would probably want to stick around, but if we lose a competitive edge, the vultures will circle.

2. We might screw the clubs earning potential. That doesnt mean much to any of us, but to Roman and the board it means a lot if this club is going to become a self sustaining cash cow as they clearly want. And as the example of Liverpool has shown us, once you get pushed out of the elite, life at the top is so competitive that its very hard to get back in.

It's a catch 22 then really. We keep the ageing stars and the bagage that accompanies a few of them and sneak into 4th while seeing some soul destroying team performances and never standing a great chance of turning 4th into 1st or a European Cup or, we say farewell to the past and struggle to even finish 4th but attempt it with hungrier players playing for their futures but risk having the best talent lured away by guarenteed CL football. We do seem to have got ourselves in between a rock and a hard place.

Is there a third way?

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It's a catch 22 then really. We keep the ageing stars and the bagage that accompanies a few of them and sneak into 4th while seeing some soul destroying team performances and never standing a great chance of turning 4th into 1st or a European Cup or, we say farewell to the past and struggle to even finish 4th but attempt it with hungrier players playing for their futures but risk having the best talent lured away by guarenteed CL football. We do seem to have got ourselves in between a rock and a hard place.

Is there a third way?

There is a thrid way, which would involve a balanced approach to the moving on of some older players without the extreme approach of getting rid of 12 or 13 squad members.

Lampard doesnt look happy, so i would allow him to move on

Malouda offers little these days so can move on

Drogs provides too much drama and bad press, and his presence doesnt allow any other striker to settle or feel comfortable, so i would move him on.

Paulo doesnt get a look in these days so he can go.

Mikel, we could still get a half decent fee for mikel, so he can go as well

Bossy - Liability. please go!

Replacing these players with a mixture of home grown (Josh, Sam hutchinson) alongside Lukaku, De Bryne and two new signings would see us in a more comfortable and less risky situation than a wholesale clearout.

Realistically we could have a first team squad of

Cech, Ivan, Cahill, JT, Luiz, Ash, Bertrand, Mata, De Bryne, Josh, Rambo, Mereiles, Romeu, Essien, Danny, Lukaku, Torres + 2 or 3 new signings (Striker/wingers/creative mid)

With back up coming from Turnball, Hutch, Chalobah, PVA, Kalou, Piazon

Thats 23 players + 2 or 3 new signings. Would be happy with that, on the proviso that the youngsters play, rather than always sticking with the uncreative midfielders of mikel, meireles, bison etc.

Edited by nonotnowjim
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nonotnowjim, you have listed 6 players yourself. And I doubt many would be happy to see Meireles kept under any circumstances. After that, the only differences between your cut and my kull are a couple of reserve team keepers and more significantly Kalou and Torres. We have have plenty of keepers on the books and I think moving Torres on would be best for him and best for us for financial reasons as much as his performance problems. I'll accept that keeping Kalou is ok and will take him off my list. So that is 11 to be shifted.

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We shouldn't get rid of Meireles. He's not performing well but you can count the number of in form players in our side on one hand at the moment. He was a good asset for Liverpool and he was great for us in the first half of the season. He's a work-your-bollocks-off midfielder you bring in when you need some graft. He shouldn't be a staple of our side, but he has a place in our squad IMO.

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I would love to see that squad with that kind of managerial mentality, the quicker Chelsea's team evolve the better, let's not pretend we have had more entertaining football over the pre Roman years and ended up way bellow the top 4. I like your idea but our board are as forward thinking as a tortoise in a coma, but I like your idea

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