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Has the signing of Shevchenko closed the gap ?

Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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I can't help but think the 30 million shelled out for Shevchenko has helped the opposition both at home and abroad close the gap.

It looks like Liverpool will sign Torres a young player we have pursued in the past. Whilst Spurs have signed Bent to add to a strikeforce that already boasts in Berbatov along with our own Didier Drogba as the best striker in the Premiership.

As Man Utd look for a striker to play alongside Rooney, maybe Owen and Arsenal search for a replacement for Henry we have settled for a free in Pizzaro who may well warm the bench happily as he did in Germany.

As Tevez our target should have Sheva stayed in Milan states his desire to remain in the Premiership with again Liverpool or Manure even Arsenal his likely destination.

I wonder two years down the line when Sheva and Drogba may leave what strikers will be available in Europe in comparison to what was available last summer and this.

With more and more clubs in England able to splash the cash because of foreign takeovers and others in Europe like Barca and Real Madrid looking to buy big with the top players in their firing range, are we, despite Romans billions, no longer a financial superpower and indeed feared as we were on the day Shevchenko arrived?

Have we missed the boat this summer, have the opposition closed the gap?

thoughts ...

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Love the celery on your pic Star!

It's the nature of the beast for the opposition to improve, they were always going to Sheva acquistion or no.

You can't expect everyone to stay standing whilst Chelsea move ever onwards and upwards - we raised the bar and then some and to be fair MU took up the challenge and now they're spending cash just like us too (they were never paupers in the first place).

As for the money aspect, it seems Roman has always wanted this club to be a business long term for him, the idea he was going to pour money down some bottomless pit is unrealistic. We spent big at the beginning of his project but gradually year by year the funds will reduce to a more stable level. Although I'm sure if a player came up that the club was interested in they would still be able to compete with anyone out there. However, I don't feel the club will play silly money for a player, the days of Chelsea being screwed over in that way are gone I sense.

I do agree that with many clubs in foreign hands now that our opposition can go around with huge amounts of cash to waive under players (and their agents) noses.

I agree that we risk possibly missing the boat on Tevez but if the board don't want him (or should that be Jose) then we have to accept it.

May be he's too expensive or may be Jose doesn't think he will fit in with his team philosphy - who knows?

Sheva's purchase caused us a set of problems that have been talked about in the media and with fans all season.

I guess the club are betting on Sheva improving, Pizarro fitting in well and happy to play back up striker and Drogba producing the goods for a few more years.

However, opportunities to acquire players like Tevez don't come around that often - the market for strikers is so intense now and cut throat - if things don't pan out this season we could well rue the decision to pass on Tevez.

So yes in part Chelsea changed the face of football especially over here when Roman acquired it and started to invest his millions and as for Sheva well we wont be the last club to buy some huge money signing only to find out what he doesn't work out quite as we thought.

So yes the opposition have closed the gap as they always were going to.

And have we missed the boat? Only time will tell I'm afraid.

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I think it's still far too early to make any kind of judgement about missing the boat where transfers are concerned. I've said it before, and I know I could be well off the mark, but I've got a very strong feeling that the major signings are still to come - whatever Jose or anyone else has said. Which includes "there will be money to spend"; but with the qualification that there will be no money to spend on superstars. So far we've made three signings, not including youngsters, none of which has cost us a penny. Alex is probably on his way, and who else? Wait and see.

While it may be true that we have been interested in signing Torres, until very recently this wasn't going to happen whatever we or any other club offered. He's one of those rare footballers who actually passionately supports the team he plays for - and only this season has he decided that enough is enough and that he isn't going to do himself any favours by staying with Athletico Madrid. So why would he choose to go Anfield? The jolly fat man's influence would seem to be enougb to attract him to little Espanol on the Mersey.

Then there's Sheva - rumour has it that we could have got him a little cheaper but Roman was determined to break the transfer record, and so more or less forced the price up. I think Sheva's signing seems more of a yardstick than it actually was because of the enormous size of the transfer fee, together with widespread disappointment over his general performances last season. I think a lot of people have written him off - he was crap all last season and he'll be crap all next season - maybe they're right, but it's nowhere near beyond the realms of possibility that we'll see a vast all round improvement from him next season. In short:

Have we missed the boat this summer, have the opposition closed the gap?

Not yet. Give it time.

Blimey, it's not even the end of June (still 22 minutes left) and here I am talking about football again already.

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