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Seeing top players leave


Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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It's a painful business. You can't imagine them not seeing them play for us again, and dread the thought of them turning out for anyone else. You worry about the effect their departure will have on the team, and the effect their absence from the training ground and dressing room will have on the spirit and character of the club.

We've been very lucky in the Abramovich era to have hung onto our stars for so long and to have seen them spend their best years with us. Hardly any significant players have left us with several years left at the top - Robben, Mata and Luiz spring to mind. This is down to the great atmosphere (and great success) that we have had at the club for all this time. Managers have come and gone (and come back!) but a core of players have kept the spirit and atmosphere going, to ensure it has remained a place where so many top players have been so happy to spend the best years of their careers.

Frank Lampard has been absolutely vital to Chelsea for far more than his contribution on the field, and I worry about the hole his departure will leave in the heart of the club. It's not that the timing is bad. He's 36 and we do not really want to see him fade into a pale shadow of his former self. It's just that his presence, character, inspiration, leadership and influence will be so sorely missed.

We've seen Drogba leave and not be replaced. We've just seen Ashley Cole leave. We've seen Essien leave. We've seen Ferreira leave. We've seen two fantastic characters in Luiz and Mata leave. We might see Cech and Mikel leave. It certainly feels like a huge watershed.

It's a huge consolation knowing that we saw these players at their absolute peak and achieve undreamt-of success. It's reassuring that we still have great characters like JT, Ivan, Cech and Cahill at the club. The amazing success of the u-21s and youth team suggest the future is very promising. But losing so many key figures in a short time is giving me a lot of concern.

Edited by Backbiter
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I agree, at one point the team virtually managed itself with the likes of Terry, Lampard and Drogba as senior players. I'm thinking of when Grant took over, Steve Clarke guided the players through to the end if the season but those players almost did not need a manager. Incidentally, I would love to see Clarke come back.

We only really have JT left, think Cahill can step up but I also think the next generation is right behind the first team and will step up to take over in the next couple of years.

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It certainly does seem like something of a watershed period and widespread changes are no doubt in the pipeline.

 

It has that inevitable feeling of  the ' Chelsea Rollercoaster Ride ' that us old un's are so familiar with, but we are blessed with some very good backing this time around and I'm confident we can weather the changes and come out fighting on all fronts.

 

If I have one complaint, it's the fact the fans weren't given the opportunity to give Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole a proper send off after all they have done and achieved with our Club.

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Everyones been talking about the club being in transition since AVB came in, 3 years later it's finally happened and the team is virtually completely different, it had to happen eventually and it's premature being worried until we see who is coming in. Costa and Fabregas would bring a lot of grit and experience with them, and together with JT and Cahill and Iva as you said, there will still be plenty of backbone in the squad, probably even more than last season.

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I am dealing with Frank leaving absolutely fine.

Of course I will miss the bloke massively but he wasn't at his level last season and its better for him to go when he's lost it than to go too early, that would be much harder to take. Look at all the memories we have from his performances. Enough to keep you going a lifetime!

I will keep track of his next venture, I am sure he will make a success of it. Top bloke, this is football.

Edited by Zola
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There hasn't been a lot of players I've been really sad to see go, Frank is one of them but Dennis Wise going was the first I was really gutted to see go.

 

I was sad to see Tore Andre Flo leave because he was a fave of mine when I was growing up and Eidur Gudjohnson going gutting as well because I thought he was such a talented player, brilliant with both feet. 

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Yeh over the years, seeing all those players come and go, does fill me with a certain sadness come the Summer, even though we have the excitement and trepidation of prospective new signings at the same time

 

Unfortunately, some years we seem to let certain favourites move on, yet hold onto others we would rather see the back of.

 

Agree that Cole and Lamps should have had a proper send off, maybe a charity match with Vitesse, or put out two sides from all the pros on our books, that could have filled the Bridge.

 

Ah well, onwards and upwards me hopes..........

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It's always disappointing to see much-loved players leave, but that's football. They have to go at some point and now we're in a position to cope without them is the best time to do it. I think that's preferable to them ending up like Giggs, looking ancient and out of their depth and basically being wheeled out for token cameo appearances. We have the right manager, our newer players are more settled and we still have Cech and JT in the spine of the team.

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There hasn't been a lot of players I've been really sad to see go, Frank is one of them but Dennis Wise going was the first I was really gutted to see go.

 

I was sad to see Tore Andre Flo leave because he was a fave of mine when I was growing up and Eidur Gudjohnson going gutting as well because I thought he was such a talented player, brilliant with both feet. 

 

I was gutted when Eidur left.

 

In all my years of supporting Chelsea, the only players I have been truly gutted to see leave have been:

 

Nevin

Eidur

Joey Cole

Mata

 

As for other players, although it's sad to see club legends move on, when they are well into their 30's and are on that downhill slope it takes away the hurt.

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It's been a while since so many big characters have left the dressing room in such a short space of time, and this does concern me. Ever since Jose came to the club for the first time the most important attribute the team was able to develop was its character, and I worry whether the younger generation have that same determination and resilience as the Old Guard did. When you look at how we limped into third position last year, it’s clear that we need others in the squad to come out of their shells and assume leadership roles. The likes of Cahill, Ivanovic and Matic come immediately to mind. I’m confident that they can do this, but whether any of them are natural leaders in the way that JT, Drogba, Frank and Cech were remains to be seen. It may be that we find the required personalities through the transfer window.

 

If Cech moves on as well, which is possible, then JT would be the last one left of what was once an unbreakable spine. That would be a big hit to our dressing room, but perhaps it what we need for the youth to emerge and form their own spine for the coming years.

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I remember being gutted when Hasslebaink left.

 

The important thing for us now is to get a few big characters in. Ash, Frank and David Luiz were 3 big characters in the dressage room and we don't want to end up like United or Arsenal who had no real characters last season

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