Happy Tuesday… or Wednesday, or is it Friday? The lack of football makes it hard to keep track.
Anyway, let’s have a run through of what’s been going on at Chelsea over the last two weeks.
The club continue to impress with its effort in helping the NHS, Maurizio Sarri has spilled some home truths on his time at the club while N’Golo Kante might be on his way out with a potential squad overhaul in the summer.
OUR ONLY WORLD CLASS PLAYER?
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from some Chelsea fans this week.
N’Golo Kante is, in my book, our only World class player, especially since Eden packed his bags for Madrid last summer.
What I mean by that is he is our only player who could walk into any other side in World football.
So imagine my shock when I started to read views saying we would be better off without the Frenchman. Really?
The man who was Player of the Year when we last won the League and the man who Leicester fans still thank for their title win back in 2016 suddenly becoming dispensable? I don’t see it.
His positioning has come under scrutiny for the last two seasons but he would still be one of our best players if Frank chucked him some gloves and told him to go in goal.
If we are changing the squad around in the summer, Kante should be the man we build the team around, not the man we sell to fund the change.
Hazard aside, Chelsea aren’t a club that sells their best players in their prime, that is reserved for Arsenal.
And if there is one thing no Chelsea fan wants to be, it’s Arsenal.
AN EMOTIONAL GOODBYE
*I’m not sure if this applied to Kepa*
Maurizio Sarri’s time at Chelsea was a one-year rollercoaster.
The highs were few and far between and the lows were well documented and explosive.
A lot of us Chelsea fans were glad to see the back of the Italian but the now Juventus manager has claimed that a lot of the players were actually in tears upon hearing the chain smoker was leaving the club.
Sarri did admit he had a ‘confrontational relationship’ with a lot of the players at The Bridge with his training methods being labelled as repetitive and boring by some of the players.
But he clearly won a lot of the dressing room over with the players shedding tears after hearing the news he was to leave.
I can safely say I didn’t lose a winks sleep after reading the news about his departure.
Cesar Azpilicueta is the kind of bloke you want your daughter to bring home with her, isn’t he?
Well mannered, a true blue and an all-round good guy.
Our Spanish captain was apparently behind the players taking a 10% wage cut last week, which could go on until September.
Yes, a drop in the ocean to most of the players, but we have been at the forefront of a lot of the positive news stories to come about since the pandemic broke out and Dave’s latest actions have done our PR team no harm.
The club are already offering hotel rooms and free meals to NHS workers to help in the battle against Coronavirus so it is good to see the players play their part as well.
CAPTAIN, LEADER, BENCHWARMER?
It’s no secret that John Terry would have, and did do, pretty much anything for the good of Chelsea throughout his playing career.
From throwing his head in front of the ball to not moving to a Premier League club so he wouldn’t have to play us, the man bleeds blue.
What has come as a bit of a shock is the news that JT told Antonio Conte to leave him on the bench in the title-winning 2016/17 season.
His intentions were to give Nathan Ake some game time from the bench, someone who Terry had admired throughout his time at the club.
Ake never got given the time he deserved and our skipper’s efforts were ultimately futile with the Dutchman heading for Bournemouth in 2017.
But just in case any Blues’ fans needed another reason to love our former captain, there you go.
RIP ‘THE CAT’
Peter Bonetti sadly passed away last week and passed as a true Chelsea great.
I grew up hearing stories of ‘The Cat’ who made a staggering 729 appearances for the club over 15 years.
Born up the road from Stamford Bridge in Putney, Bonetti made his debut at the age of 18 back in 1960 and, unsurprisingly, kept a clean sheet.
He was pivotal in in some of our early success, winning the League Cup in 1965 and the famous FA Cup win in 1970.
Pele once said the three best goalkeepers he faced were, “Gordon Banks, Yev Lashin and Peter Bonetti.” Great company and high praise right there.
He had been fighting a long-term illness for a while and eventually lost his battle but will always be remembered as one of the original Chelsea legends.
‘Legend’ is a term thrown around loosely in football, but when it comes to Bonetti, it doesn’t seem to do the great man justice.