Date: 7th November 2017 at 10:15pm
Written by:

Part 1 here

Part 2 here

Part 3 here

Another part of the trouble at Chelsea is connected to Chelsea`s Youth Academy. The way it`s spun, is that effectively, the academy is not fit for purpose. As supporters, we all want some of ‘the kids` at our club to make it through the system into the first team. Chelsea are relentlessly criticised in the media for not bringing the youngsters through. Famously, John Terry was the last one to make a real impact.

Currently at Chelsea, Charly Musonda is attracting the wrong kind of headlines as he believes he should be playing first team football. Musonda joined Chelsea`s academy at 16-years-of-age, from Belgian club Anderlecht. He spent a year on loan in Spain at Real Betis last season, where he made 24 appearances, scoring just one goal.

At the moment, he simply doesn`t have enough first team experience to make the transition from youth to senior football. He thinks he does, and that`s good but he doesn`t have the right to demand he be given the opportunity or hold the club to ransom to make sure he gets what he wants.

Some of Chelsea`s academy starlets are getting ideas above their station. Some have already left the club believing the grass is greener on the other side. Rather than mouthing off about a lack of opportunity, they should be getting their heads down to some serious hard work. That`s where success comes from, it`s a fact and it`s proven.

In the politically correct world we live in, these ‘kids` are given too much respect. I`m not saying they should be treated as the apprentices of the past were, but they a placed on a pedestal and they start to believe the hype.

They want first team football, they want more money, they want a bigger car. These ‘kids` have not yet made it, the lifestyle their new found riches brings, makes them think they have, but they haven`t. It must drive ‘old school` professionals mad.

Social media only adds to their problems, as Musonda recently found out. Now it`s being reported the Belgian ‘kid` is after a move away from the club in January.

He was given the chance of another loan this season but opted to stay at Chelsea with the hope of making it into Conte`s first XI. There`s no doubt the youngster has an abundance of talent and we all want him to make the step up. But, Antonio Conte, as the press want us to know, is under an increasing amount of pressure at Chelsea, given some poor recent results and performances.

Once again the media bods are engineering a self perpetuating story of gloom that they can attack Chelsea FC with. With Conte`s job under severe scrutiny by the media, he can`t afford to risk playing the likes of Musonda in the big games. He has to deliver success.

In fairness to the Italian, out of any of Chelsea`s recent managers, he has come the closest to integrating the youth into the first team set-up. It`s easy for supporters, pundits and press to get on Conte`s back, demanding Musonda`s inclusion, but it`s just not as simple as that for the manager.

What Musonda and the rest of the academy need to do is look at Andreas Christensen. The young Dane has gone about becoming a member of Chelsea`s first team squad quietly and efficiently. He has played the required amount of senior football to be deemed good enough to make the step up.

Having spent two seasons with Borussia Monchengladbach, he developed into a player that has just played the game of his life against Manchester United.

For all his belief and skillset, Charly Musonda would do well to knuckle down to the task of actually becoming a professional footballer, rather than discussing it. It won`t be easy, and although the career of a professional footballer is short, it`s lucrative, the rewards for making it far outweigh the effort involved.

Chelsea`s academy is very much fit for purpose as Andreas Christensen is proving. Outgoing Director of Football at the club, Michael Emanalo, called Christensen`s appearance against United at the weekend, the perfect leaving present. If those in the academy and development squads follow that model, they will have careers with Chelsea.

It`s a reflection of the modern age that these ‘kids` are not prepared to have the patience to fulfill the potential that Chelsea have invested in them. And that`s a shame.

When it comes to the academy and whether it works or not must lie with the owner. Why would Roman Abramovich invest so much into something that had no purpose? He surely wants it to work, it has potential to not only save him money but to actually make it as well. What`s not to like. With the formula for success now apparent, it can only be hoped that more Andreas Christensen`s follow.


56 Replies to “Where Does The Trouble Lie With Chelsea Pt. 4”

  • I agree with this article. I know Musonda has talent, but I can also sense deeper underlying attitude issues. It appears he overestimates how good he is in his own eyes. He refused to go on loan and wanted to contest in the first team when it is clear he is not yet ready, and his performances have so far clearly shown he is still rough on the edges and not ready for the physicality of men’s football. That is two years of his development almost gone. He would have been better off playing regularly at a smaller club. Always, attitude plays a bigger role than talent, always. I look at Christensen and I see a future chelsea captain, calm, cool, quiet. He went to Germany for two years, had a terrible start at the beginning in Germany, but he knuckled down and worked to become an important player for that team over a 2 year period. Now he is reaping the rewards. If Musonda wants to leave to Arsenal at all cost, He can. He should take a look at Solanke at Liverpool on his way though and ask him how life is on Liverpool’s bench. Meanwhile Tammy, who is clearly developing another “Christensen story” at swansea is working hard, talking less and gettting valuable game time. I will say it again, If Musonda wants to leave to Arsenal at all cost, He can go. Good luck.

  • @layorh12, I completely agree with you. The boy is Cristiano Ronaldo in his own eyes. History shows that kids who mouth off instead knuckling down to work hard usually end up flattering to deceive

  • I think we miss the issue about Musonda similar to Amercians missing the issue on gun rights. It is not about your rights to carry guns but why should an ordinary human being have access to semi-automatic weapons. Till you fix the structural problems, lunatic gun murders will continue!!!! Similar with Chelsea. There is a structural issue. Today it is Musonda. Yesterday, it was Solanke. Before Solanke, it was Lukaku. Before Lukaku it was Sturridge. And if you don’t fix the structure, it will be someone else. Irrespective of the talent, you’d have youth mouthing off and putting pressure to play football games. The only way you fix that is bridging the gap between the academy and transitioning into first team. There is a conflict. If we got Virgil Van Dijk as the fans were screaming for to meet Conte’s request, they will not be a Christensen today. We lost Kevin De Bruyne because Mourinho had no bloody clue how to use him. Not defending Musonda but you’d get more like him in the future if the problem is not solved.

  • @Kaku I agree that when it comes to top talents from our youth system being integrated into the first team, there is indeed a structural issue at chelsea that needs to be addressed, I mean its pretty obvious. And for me, this is what worries me the most about the departure of Emenalo. While he may not have been perfect and none of us know the extent of his role and the exact details, I am convinced he is probably one of the few that really wanted to see academy players break through. Now that he is gone I do hope the club finds a way to work things out between the first team and the academy. You are also right about the VVD purchase, and I am sure Emenalo also played a key in ensuring Christensen was retained and his path to the first team was not blocked by a more expensive purchase. But on the flip side, the youth still need to have the right attitude – chelsea is a top club and you have to show humility, dedication and hardwork to break through (those were the exact words Emenalo used in his exit interview). So its both ways – the club needs to create a clearer path for our best talents into the first team and at the same time, the youth has to understand that playing for the first team is not a right, it has to be earned through hardwork, complete dedication and of course humility. Of course regardless of how hard the club and the young players try, there will still be some painful departures. What can be done is put a mechanism in place to at least limit that. Tibo and Christsensen have both proved it, and its looking like RLC and Tammy will soon prove it as well that if you work hard, show humility and prove that you are good enough and you really want to play for chelesa, then you really can. The moment a youth player starts to over-estimate his own ability at that young age, the more misguided decisions he is likely to make. clearly the Musonda social media mentioning Ronaldo and Messi hints at a young man that is clearly deluded. If RLC and Tammy were both humble enough to sign an extension and agree to play for a small team to gain valuable game time, then why not Musonda – Is he more talented that these two especially on the strength of his performance on loan and so far this season? – NO. He should knuckle down and work, go on loan to play regularly, show his worth and progress. But if thinks he is better off leaving, then adios. Even if the club tries its utmost best to improve transition of the best talents from the youth set up to the first team, I am sure there will still be 1-2 situations like this. So it is what it is.

  • So what if we would have gotten VVD, if that?s who Conte wanted then he should have been priority. Conte seems to like Andreas so we are good in that department anyways.

  • Who Conte wants must match the price. If it doesn’t no need yearning for something that will likely not happen. It’s like fans being *****ed off over not signing Sandro. If you can’t adjust your expectations. Don’t get disappointed when impossible wishes are not realized.

  • And who is arguing against that? I was addressing your issue of the VVD vs Andreas on a pure emotional basis. Did i not state Conte seems to like Andreas anyways so it worked out. I don?t care about dreaming for impossible wishes, but i do care about the coach having a say who he wants in his first team, and he should have more say than ME.

  • @layor12, in as much as I agree with you. We are quite frankly not in that era anymore. A youth player like Musonda might be making 20k – 30k pounds a week. I just checked his instagram account and he has 213k followers whilst RLC has 713k followers. Each like on their photo is about 50k to a 100k and comments are about 1k and up. That’s more than the fans at Stamford Bridge and significantly more than the comments he will ever get from people at the club. This millennials don’t have the patience of waiting and quite frankly don’t understand the same ethos as people of even 5 years ago. It’s the same in music, art, sports and elsewhere. But like you said, it is what it is.

  • Why are you shoe’d in ME? Who even mentioned Emenalo? Who told you the coach doesn’t have a say? Are you part of the chelsea transfer team that knows otherwise or you want us to rely on dailymail, the sun and whatever articles that are unverified? What evidence do you have that Zappacosta wasn’t a Conte pick or whoever else you all claim is an ME pick wasn’t from the coach?

  • What are you even on about? ????There is a conflict. If we got Virgil Van Dijk as the fans were screaming for to meet Conte’s request, they will not be a Christensen today???? this is what I am addressing. Talk about knowing it all.

  • All I am saying is they will always be conflicts whereby the coach’s wishes and that of the club needs to be balanced i.e. wish for VVD and the need for Christensen. Club doesn’t want to spend money because they believe they have the talent pool to make it work and coach might want a VVD. People aren’t complaining because Christensen is working out…..If he didn’t work out, ME would have been accused of this and that and jeopardizing Conte by not signing VVD when in actuality Christensen doing so well is to the benefit of the academy and the club. I also see no concrete reason why Conte’s signing of VVD should be given priority over club’s wishes of advancing Christensen. One can argue Christensen is priority over VVD. We will face this again when it’s time to replace Fabregas with either an outsider and an “improved” – if he reaches the potential we all hope – RLC will be the choice or an outsider.

  • And what did ME have to do with it? Where did the have more say than ME come from????? Who told you ME insisted on Christensen and didn’t want VVD as much as Conte????

  • Well once again as i stated it all seemed to work out at the end as Conte seems to like Andreas, so I like the outcome. Now if the club purposely blocked the VVD transfer and forced Andreas on Conte with Conte wanting no part of him is where I would have the problem. And the way you made sound was just like that, we were lucky not to get VVD even though Conte wanted him, and you are sure Andreas would have not gotten into the team.

  • Dude you need to relax, you can’t make statements like “There is a conflict. If we got Virgil Van Dijk as the fans were screaming for to meet Conte’s request, they will not be a Christensen today” and then play the how do you know card.

  • Interesting discussion going on here. I love Conte, In fact I love him to bits and most of my posts on this forum pretty much reflects this. But he has not been perfect and has made mistakes – this is the unbiased truth. But we also have to know that there is no perfect coach anywhere, they are all human beings at the end of the day and they all can make mistakes. What the club can do is to try to put measures in place such that mistakes made do not have big and long term resonating impacts on the club both on and off the pitch. This is the reason I do not think any club in this world should cede absolute control over transfers to the manager. I just think its too risky. I love Conte, I love Hazard, l love Kante to bits the same way I loved Mourinho, Drogba, JT and Lampard. These legends have moved on but chelsea remains. This clearly tells me that there is no single individual (no matter how likable or important we think they are) that is more important than the club, and at the end of the day, decisions have to be made for the broader benefit of the entire club (from a broad perspective – both off and on the pitch, youth development etc) not just to ONLY fulfill the short term needs of an individual, and this includes Conte unfortunately. When it comes to transfers, no matter what my personal dispositions are regarding individual players, I do not think it is right for Conte to be given every player he wants without consideration of long term implication of how it impact the club in terms of financial and the best talent from our youth system which is one of the best in the world. So, at the end of day, there would always have to be compromises on both parts. Sometimes Conte’s targets would have to be delivered, at other times, the club should have the right to insist on a youth player being given a chance in the first team rather than spending. What is most important imo is the understanding, compromises and a harmonious working relationship between the two parties. For me, this is the path to long term growth. We tried to give Mourinho more control during his second stinct , and this has led to consequences from which we still have not fully recovered. In as much as I love Conte, if he thinks that the club must deliver all his targets and that all the youth players are not good enough, then I am afraid he would have to go. The greater good of the club will always be greater than a single individual and if Conte decided to walk at the end of the season, then good bye. We move on.

  • layor i dream for a system in where the coach gets some sort of compensation for trying out youth. In the sense of that if a youth makes it, that means less money spent there, and more money can be spent on a more expansive buy elsewhere that the coach really wants.

  • I think layor and KAKU are getting stuck inside a logic bubble of youth or no youth. The fact is, what’s most important is what do the prevailing cirumstances around the manager’s employment dictate? Well, we no the answer: win or you’re gone, as exemplified by beloved Carlo getting fired for coming second in the league. To say “win now or else, and by the way do so while handicapped by not being given the players you want” is total insanity – I think we can all agree on that. After all, Conte is not looking to splurge £100 million-plus on players. But we are not Leicester or Stoke and should be av=ble to afford any player we wish within reason. If ownership REALLY cared about this club in an ongoing way then they would say to a sensible, honest, straight-talking and acting man like Conte: you have 3 years to create a dynasty for the future; blood the young players now those who are right on the line but who your fear to play in case we don’t win right away. We understand these things take time, AC: it took Ferguson six years to win a single trophy but we stuck with his plan. Failing this, we commenters sound stupid with our preference for this player over that, youth over age etc etc Any manager can only ever do what the situation allows. KTBFFH

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