I’m still pinching myself. Chelsea have won the biggest prize in club football. The European Cup that only ever belonged to the giants of the Euro stage… Real Madrid, AC Milan etc etc. We’re now in that elite at last. Roman’s a happy man.
On t’other hand, it would have been nice to win it – to progress through it, too – playing football rather than having our backs against walls for the best part of 90+ mins. One can only applaud the never-say-die heroics of an aging and technically limited squad, but to say Chelsea rode their luck throughout the competition (apart from the 4-1 home win over Napoli) would be the understatement of the season.
Which leads me to go against the inevitable grain of popular opinion and plead for Drogba, Lamps and others to hang up their boots: to quit on a high and allow Bobby DiM (or whoever it is) to start again, if not from scratch then at least from the urgent need to assemble a team of creatives capable of actually competing with the likes of Barca. Didier should go to China knowing his last kick in a blue shirt won the Champs’ League, and SuperFrankie should take a two-year contract abroad. Both are just too slow to compete at the top level now.
They can be joined by the following exits: Kalou, Malouda, Mereiles, Bosingwa, all of whom are essentially mediocrities, however much they contributed to the FA Cup and CL campaigns.
Torres must stay, whichever hot strikers the board signs. And Terry, his pace notwithstanding, remains one of the best central defenders alive. Above all we need fast, clever playmakers to revive a flagging midfield, whether that’s Hazard or whoever.
Thanks for the memories, boys, and thanks for all the trophies. But it’s time for a new chapter in Chelsea’s history.