It’s been a long and gruelling season for most of the top teams across European football, and one of those teams is Chelsea. The Blues have competed on four different fronts ever since the campaign began, and in the end, they’ve managed to accomplish their goal of finishing in the top four and securing their return to the UEFA Champions League.
In addition to that, of course, they’ve also got one more competitive game to go before their season officially comes to an end: and that will be the UEFA Europa League final against fellow London rivals Arsenal. It’s set to be a really entertaining and competitive encounter, between two sides who will be desperate to get one over on their rivals. Plus, as an extra source of motivation, the Blues have the chance to prevent the Gunners from playing Champions League football next season with a win.
The bad with the good
Alas, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for Chelsea, who actually took part in a friendly recently over in the United States – yes, it’s as random as it sounds. As reported by Chelsea.com they did actually manage to come away with the win against New England Revolution, but let’s be honest with ourselves, that doesn’t really matter.
What does matter is that as reported by BBC, Ruben Loftus-Cheek sustained an injury that could wind up ruling him out of the Europa League final. As you can imagine the fans are a little bit aggravated by this, and when we say a little bit, we mean they’re absolutely furious.
While we understand that the friendly was being played in the name of a good cause, there’s absolutely no reason for big name players to be risking themselves in a game like this. It just makes no sense, because all you’re doing is putting a target on their backs.
You could argue that the game doesn’t mean all that much to Chelsea anyway in comparison to Arsenal, but we all know that’s not true – especially for Loftus-Cheek himself. The Englishman has bust a gut this season in an attempt to prove himself to the supporters and Maurizio Sarri, and it’s safe to say that he’s done a pretty solid job up to this point. If he’s unable to make it to Baku because of this bizarre injury, some blame really does need to go onto the shoulders of the club.
Why do it?
Sarri had initially expressed his concern with them going over and playing this friendly in the first place, but again, this raises questions regarding his ability to lead this team as opposed to just manage them. We all know about what happened during the League Cup final, and to be honest, we would’ve expected Sarri to have learned his lesson from that.
If he didn’t want to play Loftus-Cheek then he didn’t have to, and while you can argue that he couldn’t have known he’d get injured, it wasn’t worth the risk in the first place.
There are just no good things to come out of this situation for the club, aside from the obvious benefits of the money raised from the game.