Sep 3, 2023Liked by Grace Robertson

Thanks Grace, that's a really good summary of where Chelsea are right now. They are definitely better than last season.

One aspect is that Pochettino has instilled a professional fitness regime. One day we'll know how and why the squad last season were allowed to drop below an acceptable fitness level, and in some ways this was always the easiest thing for Poch to fix. But it makes a big difference.

I think losing Christopher Nkunku in pre season was a big blow. He was probably going to play off the left, as kind of 'left 10' balanced by Sterling on the right. Enzo and Caicedo sounds like an ideal pivot but, at the moment, we'd be lost without Gallagher so I'm wondering if Poch will go 4-3-3 once they're all fit.

That leaves out all the young wingers but, to be honest (Palmer apart) they haven't convinced so far. Personally I will be surprised if Mudryk or Madueke play 2000 minutes in total in their Chelsea careers. If I was in charge Mudryk would have been the first one off to Strasbourg for a two year loan - he need ls a step between Ukrainian football and the PL to develop a game.

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Sep 3, 2023·edited Sep 3, 2023Liked by Grace Robertson

I do think a very significant part of the rebuild has been trimming the wages of the squad, even at large transfer fees. It's yet to be seen in practice, but I think a fair amount of the theory about a lot of these signings is that they will be significantly easier to shift than previous player who would be on wages too high to sell.

Reporting on wages is obviously notoriously bad, but if you trust Capology's figures, the wage bill shrunk from $288.4 M/yr to $201 M/yr. That takes them from 2nd between United and City to 4th between Arsenal and Liverpool. Even if the transfer fees are slightly gaudy, having an extra $87.4 M every year is nothing to sniff at, and a lot of that is in wages that are locked in long term. Even if you need to give some raises to your stars, the wage bill Chelsea will run going forward will be significantly lower than the one Abramovic would have run.

I do agree that the ultimate success of this program will be highly reliant on the success of the team on the field and the individual players. Because these fees are amortized over such a long period, it means that for any future sustainability you likely are dependent on the revenue bump of Champions League qualification (so the first team needs to be good) and player sales (so the players need to be good enough to sell for profit).

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