Forget about Conte, Chelsea need leaders
After Lionel Messi raced clear to score his 100th Champions League goal and his second of the night, all Chelsea players looked lost and out of sorts. In the midst of all of it, there was supposed to be someone that will rally the team together and make them look strong, even in defeat. Sadly, there was no one like that that on the pitch for the Blues as every head was bowed in disappointment, a situation we’ve gotten used to this season.
Back then, the club had a plethora of on pitch leaders, from John Terry to Frank Lampard to Didier Drogba to John Obi Mikel, these were players that carried the coach’s idea into the pitch and made things happen when it was going wrong. Memories of 2012 come in mind when the club did a remarkable comeback at Camp Nou and then the Allainz Arena to win the Champions League. That success was built on the aforementioned players.
But one by one, these players were allowed to leave without any adequate replacements especially Terry (the last standing member of the old guard), who was let go in the summer. Gary Cahill (who’s the present club’s captain) anf David Luiz who were part of that 2012 triumph are still at the club but are more of squad players rather than starters. Credit must be given to Cesar Azpilicueta who is doing his best to be the on field leader but he needs others to step up.
Eden Hazard, Willian and Cesc Fabregas are all great players but none of them are up to the level Drogba and Lampard before them were despite being at the club for at least 3 seasons. And if we don’t get to see personalities becoming more vocal and influential on and off the pitch, we’ll get used to toothless performances from Chelsea with or without Conte in charge.