As the football world adapts to new managers with, not only new tactics, but ‘ideologies’ and ‘philosophies’, the clubs they work at are changing as well. Although, some teams appear light years ahead while others are being left in the dark age. Meanwhile, these pre-historic setups are playing catch-up. As success is paramount at Chelsea, they are one of these teams who are currently ‘in transition’, much like Manchester United and also Arsenal. If Chelsea are to effectively reshape upstairs in the boardroom, it is imperative they not only keep key figures, but also recruit old heads. This is why Chelsea need Petr Cech back at the club.
Chelsea Need Petr Cech Back at the Club
Petr Cech was at Chelsea for over a decade. He became part of the furniture and one of the most experienced players in the Chelsea squad. Arsenal also didn’t just look to the Czech for his on-field ability when they signed him.
Cech has won every major honour in the English game and has years of leadership under his belt, whilst also playing with some of the best players the Premier League has seen in recent times. This makes him more valuable than an ordinary goalkeeper; he brings so much more to clubs.
The Ultimate Professional
Petr Cech is known by teammates to be the ultimate professional, but he is more than that. While at Chelsea, he helped to coach Thibaut Courtois before losing his number one spot to him. Meanwhile, he never moaned or groaned, just simply set about being the best number two in world football, allowing Chelsea to have, at the time, two of the best three keepers.
Cech could go into a coaching role, one in which he would shine with his cheery personality and great wits. Although Chelsea do already have former goalkeeper and also ex-teammate of Cech, Carlo Cudicini, as goalkeeping coach, Cech is not a man to let by, especially with youngster Kepa Arrizabalaga still new to English football. Cech’s guidance could help improve the Spaniard no end.
The feedback from current Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno is a credit to Petr Cech and the seasoned pro he is. Saying that already this season, Cech has helped make a massive difference in the German’s performances. This sort of attitude is a perfect example of why Cech would not go amiss as a coach on the training ground.
The more popular and preferred destination for Cech in the view of fans isn’t on the training ground, though, it’s higher up. A lot higher up, at Chelsea. It’s above the clouds in a place that is almost unrecognisable from the rest of the club: the boardroom.
The Role of a Director of Football
The phrase or term ‘Director of Football’ is thrown about these days, especially with the emergence of such a global transfer market. It is a role that has developed from that of technical directors at clubs nowadays. Clubs are more complex.
Business people should run the business but too often we are seeing the footballing matters at clubs decided by people who are not fit to make decisions. Financial advisers and technical directors are now being put in charge of footballing matters such as transfers, contracts and the most important yes and no snap choices at clubs. Too often they are being gotten wrong.
The most successful clubs now operate with a Director of Football. Someone who can manage footballing decisions, working hand in hand with the technical director to give a more well-rounded judgement. It also decreases the workload of technical directors who are possibly in charge of scouting as well, jobs they aren’t cut out to do.
Directors of Football also reduce the ever-growing gap between team, manager and club. They so often operate almost independently, with managers having little to no say in matters, including Chelsea’s signing of Christian Pulisic. Manager Maurizio Sarri revealed that he identified the winger position as a weakness, the board subsequently picked out Pulisic and asked for Sarri’s thoughts. After that conversation, nothing was said to Sarri, as he says. That is until Pulisic was announced.
If true, then this can cause monumental problems for a club. No communication will decrease efficiency and, ultimately, in football, that means that clubs will lose standards. The club will become stale. Contracts run out, not fit for standards players are brought and the manager sees the door after a bad run of games. Chelsea have Eden Hazard down to 18 months on his deal with Callum Hudson-Odoi also in the same ship. They had only two strikers for four competitions, neither of the right quality to provide enough for Sarri. They have two 30-year-old wingers, an 18-year-old winger and Hazard.
The club has run itself into a corner.
Reactive Not Proactive
Chelsea seem to be ever linked with losing players and always on the brink of collapse or crisis. While this is not a crisis, Chelsea are again, following the weekend, in a similar situation. This time, though, it’s a lot earlier than usual. Sarri has called out his players, the same players that crumbled under Jose Mourinho and abandoned Antonio Conte. While both situations have alternate factors, the two stable variables are the board and the players. Yet, very little was done.
Could this be down to Roman Abramovich? Yes. Obviously, he still isn’t in the country, however, he did spend six months chasing after Sarri’s signature, telling the club it’s Sarri or nobody.
However, since the Italian has come in, the board have performed fairly well in the short term. They acquired very good signings of Jorginho, Arrizabalaga and Mateo Kovacic, but in this transfer window, their reluctance to get Gonzalo Higuain has raised eyebrows. For Sarri, if he makes a request (something he is not known for doing as he sees himself as a coach), it makes sense to follow the request and listen.
Chelsea could have signed Nicolo Barella, but instead stalled and looked for Leandro Paredes, but look set to lose out to Paris Saint-Germain. It is a strange situation for Sarri to find himself in, one that might not be changed by a Director of Football, but it certainly looks that way logically.
Chelsea are being a reactive club, waiting for problems to occur before then making drastic changes. A Director of Football is in charge of planning and overseeing how the club is moving before the drastic changes are needed.
Up steps… Petr Cech?
Why Petr Cech?
While there is no certainty that Chelsea will get a Director of Football, it looks like a role which, combined with a success-driven owner, could see them break into true modern day football.
The need for characters and experience in a team is evident. The same for the whole club is necessary. The relationship of backroom staff, board members, youth coaches and kit men are all important.
Chelsea have taken this step in many areas of the club; using Tore Andre Flo as the attacking coach for the U18’s, appointing Gianfranco Zola as assistant manager. having Jody Morris as the U18’s manager before leaving for Derby. Chelsea are buying into the experience.
These men bring more than just know-how and structure, though, they bring feel-good factors and inspiration.
Petr Cech is a very smart man who understands football on a deeper level than most. He lives the game and has the intellectual ability to provide more to Chelsea. He can be the man to run football affairs. In a dream world, they can use him alongside Michael Ballack, who is also expressing his desire to be involved at the top end of a football club. This could see the core of Chelsea as a club revert and bring back strength and power to the running of the club.
Possibly to set up for Frank Lampard and Jody Morris to lead Chelsea out as manager and assistant in years to come.