Chelsea’s Lack Of Squad Depth Will Lead To Deep Problems


Chelsea FC managed to get by with a limited squad last season, this time they have already felt the consequences

In years gone by Chelsea FC fans have been spoilt by the quality of our squad. Despite what some may have you believe, this hasn’t always been limited to the Roman Abramovich years.

In the 5 years prior to Abramovich buying Chelsea in June 2003, we regularly saw star names such as Tore Andre Flo, Dan Petrescu, Gustavo Poyet, Jody Morris, Eidur Gudjohnsen and even the mighty Gianfranco Zola enter the Stamford Bridge pitch from the substitutes bench.

RELATED: Gianfranco Zola: Top 10 Chelsea FC Goals

Fast forward through the next decade and we were cheering on a new breed of superstars. Our squads would be bursting at the seams with players such Hernan Crespo, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Daniel Sturridge, Joe Cole, Nicolas Anelka, Florent Malouda, Romelu Lukaku, David Luiz and Andre Schurrle, to name but a few.

It was often the case that Chelsea’s bench was far stronger than that of our opponents. If we were struggling in a game and our manager needed to make a change, he could turn around to his bench and be confident that the man he chose to enter the pitch had the skill necessary to be a game changer.

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Sadly this season has a very different feel to it. Our bench for both of the opening games consisted of players that are designed to kill a match or those who simply aren’t quite good enough. Against Swansea we had John Obi Mikel, Kurt Zouma and Ramires there to send on if we needed to shore up a game while Victor Moses, Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao were the underwhelming attacking options.

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Meanwhile, due to an injury to Oscar, our bench during the defeat to Manchester City had a similar theme, but this time Juan Cuadrado and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were added, in place of the starting Ramires and the dropped Moses.

Of course, I am being a little unkind towards some of the players. I am a huge fan of Zouma and Loftus-Cheek, both of whom I expect big things from in the future and whilst Ramires is not likely to make you buzz with excitement, he can be a very good player and most certainly is appropriate for particular occasions.

A look across the touchline to our rival’s bench on Sunday should have made even the blue tinted glasses hide eyes of envy. Where Chelsea had Mikel, Manchester City had Martin Demichelis. They raised our Zouma with a Pablo Zabaleta, our Cuadrado with a Samir Nasri and our Remy with a Wilfried Bony. All players significantly better in every department.

A look across the touchline to our rival’s bench on Sunday should have made even the blue tinted glasses hide eyes of envy

This envious comparison does not limit itself to the blue half of Manchester. Move across the City and the red bench of Manchester United is full of a mixture of Premier League and European experience. Names like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ander Herrera, Ashley Young and Javier Hernandez all have the ability to change a game when introduced.

The substitute’s bench of Arsenal improves on Manchester United’s further. Players of the calibre of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Mathieu Debuchy would all threaten Chelsea’s starting eleven, let alone challenge for a seat on our bench.

On their day, Chelsea’s first team can be a match for any team in Europe, but the biggest and best have the cream of the crop to call upon, should a change be required.

With the purchase of Abdul Baba Rahman confirmed, we already have a player added to the squad that has the potential to provide something different. Chelsea also continue to be linked with the likes of John Stones of Everton and Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid and it is such players with the quality to start games for Chelsea that should be added.

Pitting Chelsea’s bench against those of our biggest rivals would only reveal one loser. Notable additions are required this season if the Blues are to stand a chance of becoming winners again in 2016.

Next: Chelsea FC Transfer Rumours: Godfred Donsah, John Stones

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