Friday afternoon question: Is this the end of a Chelsea era?

May 23, 2008

Even costlier miss?

The futures of coach Avram Grant and several Chelsea players are uncertain following their Champions League final defeat by Manchester United. But how many will leave?

Speculation that Grant will be axed has intensified after chief executive Peter Kenyon said finishing second in the Premier League, Champions League and League Cup was not good enough.

“It’s been an interesting season, but you don’t like finishing second and as runners-up. Given the standards we’ve set, that’s not something we’ve settled for,” he said.

“We’re looking at players who have the potential to be star names. We’ve brought in one player, Jose Bosingwa from Porto, who strengthens a position which has been an issue for us. We’ll take our time to look at what else is needed, but I think that’s two players rather than 20.”

Didier Drogba’s sending off in Moscow on Wednesday could well be his last appearance in blue. The striker has never hidden the fact that a move to AC Milan appeals and the Serie A side are keen to sign him, even if they are only in the UEFA Cup next season.

Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi would also love to have former striker Andriy Shevchenko back at the San Siro. Coach Carlo Ancelotti is not so sure and media reports say Milan will only take the Ukrainian on a free.

Even Chelsea talisman Frank Lampard is not definitely staying. After a difficult period following the death of his mother, the midfielder has said he will talk with Chelsea after England’s forthcoming friendlies.

Inter Milan lie in wait if Lampard decides to move on. Would Jose Mourinho’s possible arrival at the Italian champions increase the possibility of Lampard moving? 

Claude Makelele, Paulo Ferreira, Steve Sidwell, Ricardo Carvalho, Tal Ben Haim, Nicolas Anelka, Carlo Cudicini, Wayne Bridge and Claudio Pizarro are among the other Chelsea players to be linked with a move.

Is Roman Abramovich’s empire crumbling or will a bigger, better Chelsea emerge?

Mark Meadows, Milan

PHOTO: John Terry hits the post with a penalty which would have won the Champions League for Chelsea. May 22 REUTERS/Eddie Keogh


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You’d have to think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Chelsea will not crumble to the point where they return to their pre-Abromovich status (they were still a big club even then) because the Russian’s millions have turned them into a super-club. They have the infrastructure in place to compete with the top clubs in Europe year in and year out, on the field and off. (Their small stadium may remain an issue though.)

At the same time the club are in transition as they will sign new stars, and bring through young talent from a strong youth set-up. A new coach is possible (probable?) and that would mean he must forge a new team spirit and identity within the squad. They may have to undergo a 2-3 year rebuilding project if Lampard and Drogba depart, but they will still feature in the knockout rounds of the Champions League and compete for the Premiership title while this goes on.

Posted by Marcus O’Mard | Report as abusive

Despite that Chelsy has a good number of great players, they play soccer that does not have any good play signature so to speak and I’m actually very suprised that they could take second place in the EL and CL. They should hire a good couch first who can create a good team atmoshpere like in ManU or in Liverpool in which everyone will respect each other not will hate as it is now. Chelsy has a bad climate in a team. Why do they keep Sheva on the bench and do not sell him if he is not needed anymore? I agree that money could buy best players in a world, but without a soul no one could have a success. All famous teams loose success when the spirit is gone. Examples: Milan,Chelsy, Barselona…

Posted by vbsoccer | Report as abusive

I think they have a tough decision to make on Grant. If a new coach comes in and insists on bringing with him a load of players from his own country, say, they run the risk of buying themselves into trouble. I wonder if the best option wouldnt be to stay with Grant, make one or two modest signings, and give the guy a chance.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

i do not wish well to chelsea/// drop dead chelsea..go miami dolphin

Posted by wolff | Report as abusive

he had his time .second place isnt good enough.he may be a nice man.but nice men dont win needa coach who knows his tactics and isnt afraid to talk the talk.grant was niether.unproven.unwanted in the first place .personally i am glad he has gone.time to move forward.

Posted by terry conetta | Report as abusive

José Mourinho, Simply the Best!

Posted by helder | Report as abusive

How couldn’t chelsea fc get stronger with this experience of a CL final, League victories of past years and a lot much more to win … ? Our biggest opponent is Chelsea himself, one or two new faces in this team and a leader as jose was (with all the knowledge of course) and we’ll win this f******* CL next year. Anyway we’ll keep the blue flag flying high :-)

Posted by Laurent | Report as abusive

football has a spirit. Even if Andriy Shevchenko played,it wouldnt have changed the result.This season is for Manchester united.Where was this Shevchenko when Liverpool came from 3-0 down and levelled up 3-3 and eventually won the CL final on penalty shootout?Result of soccer can go either way if decided on penalty. Sacking Grant or getting the best coach in the world would still not have affected the result.After all Grant is the first coach to have taken CHELSAE FC to CL FINAL.I CONGRATULATE Grant for that wonderful achievement thank you.

Posted by Sunny | Report as abusive