“Remember Toni Rudiger” – Former Chelsea winger defends club over Mount and Kante failures
Pat Nevin has just written his last column of the season on the Chelsea website, and as you’d expect it remains something of a propaganda exercise for the ownership.
In this case – without getting this specific – he defends the departures of Mason Mount and N’Golo Kante, against the wishes of the fans. He says that being a chief executive is more stressful than being a manager or player (he would know…) He points to last year’s example of Antonio Rudiger doing a similar thing, but circumstances just making it impossible for him to stay:
“We know some players will leave and there could be a few that some would rather see staying on, but these are the circumstances that can arise. Remember nobody wanted the likes of Toni Rudiger to go but a mix of sanctions and new contract freezing meant that he left, even if very few at the club wanted it to happen. It is however about what can be built after Mauricio Pochettino finally gets the squad to look the way he wants it to. The sooner that happens the better.”
It’s a good example to choose because it does sum up the absurdity of football quite well. You had a player who was happy to stay, a club who wanted to keep him, and fans who were desperate for their cult favourite to remain at the club.
Even more ridiculously, once he had gone, it cost far more to replace him than it would have done to keep him in the first place when we spent €40m on Kalidou Koulibaly.
But that’s modern football for you – contracts, money, egos, international criminal sanctions – all these things can lead to outcomes that seem illogical to start with.