"The club must also offer the ambition, even when you don’t play in the Champions League next year"
I believe that most realistic Chelsea fans will admit that any thoughts of Champions League footb...
I believe that most realistic Chelsea fans will admit that any thoughts of Champions League football is beyond us next season unless we win the competition for a second time. Even the Europa League seems like a pipe dream. What impact will this have on our squad in the summer?
Eden Hazard admitted recently that he only signed for Chelsea in 2012 because they had just won the Champions League and the fact that they were able to offer football in Europe's most prestigious club competition. For most of our signings, you would have to believe the same in addition to the fact that we would mount a realistic title challenge every year.
You would have to imagine that Chelsea would already be focusing on making a realistic push this summer to make a challenge again for the title and for a top four finish but how many of our current squad would want to stay here and do exactly that?
The financial implications would be huge for us and could not have come at a worse time with all the big plans being unveiled for the new stadium. FFP will play a big factor this summer also with our share of prize money being lower this year in the Premier League (before the new deal kicks in) and that would have to be considered. Maybe, the sale of Ramires came about because of that reason as it was out of the blue and the club/player seemed to not put up much of a fuss.
I expect plenty more players to leave in similar circumstances with the club having to admit defeat and negotiate deals to try and get as much as possible for the likes of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.
What is important is how Chelsea approach next season. This was spoken of by Guus Hiddink in his pre-match press conference yesterday at Cobham ahead of the Newcastle game this afternoon.
"The club must also offer the ambition, even when you don’t play in the Champions League next year. It’s difficult but if a club with a big status can offer ambition for the future, then you can still be attractive to players.
The people who have to deal with the near future [must] look very well at what they’ll need to do to be competitive next year, how strong they must be [to break back into the top four]. When you see the other teams in the Premier League with even greater economic possibilities to make their squads strong … I’m sure they are doing everything to be even more competitive in the championship next year.”
It is a real concern as to what will happen in the summer. The Premier League is getting stronger and stronger and finishing in the top four is going to be a real challenge for us. The only positive out of all this is that we will be able to focus purely on the Premier League without the distraction that European competition brings.
One thing is for sure, after the failings of our transfer business this season, Chelsea need to get their act together in the next window to ensure that they give us the best chance to get back to where we belong. As Guus Hiddink says, they must show ambition.
Let's see if that's the case!