Date: 11th December 2017 at 7:04pm
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Clearly Marina Granovskaia isn’t sufficiently embarrassed by losses to minnows Burnley, Palace and now West Ham.

Could it be that domestic honors no longer occupy top of mind in the oak-paneled directors` corridors at Stamford Bridge?

If so, the embarrassingly thin squad Mr Abramovich`s first lady has inflicted on The Don will soon encounter Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The first leg, at Stamford Bridge on February 20th (not only have we ended up with the worst draw, we`ve also have the unfavourability of the first leg at home to deal with – you sure it`s just the FA out to get us, Antonio?) at least gives MG the opportunity to allay international embarrassment by seriously attacking the transfer window this January.

Defeat against the Catalans will simply underline what The Don has said from day one: we don`t have the players to compete on all fronts.

Which, of course, means that we don’t have the players to compete on any front: whichever game/tie we play right now guarantees some fatigue the next game.

To understand the seriousness of this issue, while lack of cash may prevent many teams from having the best players, nothing stops all players from being super-fit.

This means that, however lowly, they`re able to harry and chase our leggy stars for the full 90 with often disappointing results for us.

That`s not all.

As a Chelsea fan of more years standing than most have been alive or out of short pants, I`ve always recognized a certain something that has bled through from the glamour-boy Chelsea sides of the 1960s all the way to today: Chelsea has never been the destination of, shall we say, the ceaseless worker, the dull Man United star that never smiles.

Chelsea have always had a bit of the glamor team about it – well, we are in the heart of London, moments from the Kings Road. There`s more to do there than visit the single local mall or restaurant or nightclub or go for a walk on the moors. Even Paris is a brief train ride away.

With the exception of a couple Mourinho years and last year where The Don was allowed to keep the lads on a short leash, Chelsea players` sometime lack of interest at busting a gut leaves us susceptible to the Sam Allardyce school of football: harrying/set pieces/time-wasting-and-fouling.

In other words, it`s fine to have a Pirlo/Fabregas if you`ve got a Chielini, a Bonucci, a Pogba and a Vidal around him: not just good players, but tough physical runners and fighters.

Other than Kante (and with the departure of Costa and current failure of Bakayoko), The Don simply does not have that kind of player.

This is just one of the realities imminently facing Ms. Granovskaia.

If West Ham can highlight this, then God only knows what Barcelona will do.

Let`s hope that, if there`s no pride left in the Chelsea boardroom, there`s at least some shame.

Because, unless we`re blessed with a full-on raid on the transfer market next month, that aims to be the prevailing feeling of all Blues leaving the Nou Camp the night of March 14th.

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