Teflon Stanley: What has gone wrong at Chelsea Football Club?
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Teflon Stanley: What has gone wrong at Chelsea Football Club?

12/04/24 12:40

A draw to relegation certainties Burnley, a draw to bottom-placed Sheffield United, time and time again we are reminded of Chelsea Football Club’s crisis.

Chelsea are ninth in the Premier League table, having conceded 52 goals in 30 league matches, a sad contrast between now and the side which won the league whilst conceding only 15 goals. What has happened to the culture, and why can’t the club seem to replace its famous legends?

John Terry, Didier Drogba, Petr Cech, Frank Lampard, Michael Essien… these names are enough to make any Chelsea supporter excited, but now with the club paying more than ever on overpriced youngsters, Chelsea has lost its identity.

chelsea 04:05 team.jpg

There is a common denominator at Chelsea - the recruitment. No one overpays like Chelsea.

It is seriously time to scrutinise the recruitment model at the West London club. With multiple windows having passed, we can look at the work and nature of the transfer strategy. The shining light of Palmer does not do enough to even paper over the cracks.

The recruitment department lacks muscle in the elite world. The easy go back to Brighton or pick up what was on Brighton’s shopping list approach is evident. The pull power is not there. It seems there is no charisma in the building. A lack of ambition but bags of money spread over shocking seven-year contracts.

Chelsea’s poaching off of Brighton has not worked out, and the Seagulls have benefitted on and off the pitch from Chelsea’s crazy spending. Graham Potter was given a five-year contract by Chelsea worth over £50m in September 2022, he lasted just over six months at Stamford Bridge, leaving his team mid-table. Chelsea even paid Brighton over £3m just to take him off their hands, and with De Zerbi coming in, Bloom and Co. were laughing.

potter chelsea-min.jpg

Marc Cucurella had a strong season at Brighton after being shipped in from Spain, and abruptly, Chelsea made him the most expensive left-back of all-time with a transfer fee in excess of £60m. He has played just 13 league games this season, not even contributing with a goal or assist.

Moises Caicedo was another Brighton player that after one good debut season, was snapped up by Chelsea, who rivalled Liverpool for his signature. Liverpool ended up with Alexis MacAllister for a significantly cheaper price, and the Argentinian has gone on to become arguably their player of the season. Another blunder.

The less said about Robert Sanchez, the better. A goalkeeper not even favoured at Brighton rushed in to become Chelsea’s main man between the sticks. It didn’t work, and now Djordje Petrovic is number one.

Chelsea even went after David Datro Fofana after Brighton’s interest was leaked, the youngster was given a chance to impress but failed to score or assist in three Premier League matches, and is now on loan at Burnley, after also being loaned to Union Berlin - he scored one goal in 12 matches.

16-year-old Ecuadorian sensation Kendry Paez was spotted by Brighton, but again Chelsea poached them and will sign him officially in 2025, the fee being just over £17m.

With £230m in fees to Brighton, the seaside club finished above Chelsea last season, and could well do so again this time around.

Their recent managers have all been trophyless candidates. Pochettino underlines the need to be grateful for Wembley. This was the case at Southampton and Tottenham. This is similar to PSG and the Champions League.

Poch doesn’t understand these are clubs that demand success. Tottenham and Southampton are not comparable to Chelsea’s trophy drive and fan ambitions. The axe has fallen on the chairman, and there is just one survivor… Teflon Stanley.

Poch Chelsea

Teflon Stanley being Paul Winstanley of course, the man who has been indestructible despite the failings of the club. Winstanley was Brighton’s head of scouting for eight years before Chelsea appointed him as Sporting Director in 2022. Being at a new club has not changed his previously successful approach, and as we have just highlighted, he still very much has his Brighton head on . With billions spent on players that can’t even get a sniff of Europe, how long will Winstanley survive, the man made from Teflon, the man who Boehly seems to trust…

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