I’ve not had chance to read this yet, but a) it’s a Don McRae interview and b) Gary Naylor sent it to our Nessun Dorma WhatsApp group with a glowing note, so it’s pretty much unequivocally recommended.
“Have a great weekend,” says Jeff Sax. “This obscene spending at Chelsea will get them nowhere …”
I’m torn on this. It worked from 2003-05, though that was primarily because of Jose Mourinho. Even so, I would trust Graham Potter and Paul Winstanley (who was Brighton’s head of recruitment when they bought Moises Caicedo, Kaoru Mitoma, Leandro Trossard and Marc Cucurella for a combined fee of about 40 quid) to know what they’re doing.
If the owners and the board keep their nerve, and that’s a sizeable if, I think they’ve every chance of succeeding. But it’ll take time, at least in the Premier League. They’ve already shown they can win the Champions League in defiance of all logic.
479 in 25 won’t go
Right, this is the real quiz. Graham Potter’s first five months at Stamford Bridge were understandably messy, but now Chelsea have drawn a £300m line in the sand. Potter has eight new players, two old full-backs (Reece James and Ben Chilwell, arguably Chelsea’s most important players, are back from injury) and fewer excuses than he had a month ago.
This is still a medium-term project for Potter, but for the first time it feels like his squad – a group of promising young players (even if some of them cost eye-watering amounts) who have the potential to become world-class in the next few years. They’re copying the Arsenal model, essentially, except they’ve squashed multiple transfer windows into one.
Chelsea lost 2-1 at Craven Cottage back in the dark days, just over three weeks ago to be precise, and Fulham have the chance to do the double over Chelsea for the first time in their history. Marco Silva’s team have had a couple of frustrating defeats since then – this does not slip, etc – but they are still seventh, and top of the west London mini-league. Chelsea start in tenth, though a win would lift them to sixth, even if it’s just for one day.
Kick off 8pm.