How fickle are some supporters eh? Not only that but they seem to have very short and very selective memories.
There was me not even able to get my head around Joe Cole leaving and yet I was stunned to read others going on about how it was good to see the back of him because he’d got some inflated ego. I mean wtf? Are these people even talking about the same player?
Here’s a player who has loyally worked his arse off for our club season after season for seven years, fair enough, he struggled to find his form after injury last season but does that really render him ‘overrated’? I hardly think so. Did he really demand the inflated salary quoted in some quarters of the press rather than a bit of a raise? Again, I doubt it. And yet because the club have taken the decision not to renew his contract, supporters who not that long ago would have been bragging about ‘that’ goal he popped up with against United suggest we’re better off without him. I wonder if they’ll still be saying that when he’s playing against us?
And what about Michael Ballack and Juliano Belletti? Obviously Belletti’s departure was no surprise really but most of us probably expected Ballack to get another year given the part he’d played in our double-winning campaign. Yet completely out of the blue – for Ballack as well as us it seems – we find out he won’t be back next season either. And again, despite the service we’ve had from him in the last four years – and he’s hardly lacked conviction throughout that time – there’s supporters out there more willing to slate him than wish him well.
Is the club’s apparent disrespect for players they choose to dispense with not shameful enough without supporters adding to the embarrassment? Don’t get me wrong, financially the club have probably made the right decision. Letting Belletti, Ballack and Deco go (now that’s a player we can safely say won’t be missed), they’ll be cutting the wage bill down significantly, although for anyone getting excited at the prospect of our younger players being introduced to the depleted midfield position, the news that Stoch has also left the building doesn’t exactly inspire! Even with Joe Cole, as gutted as I am to see him go, if he didn’t figure in Ancelotti’s plans (and to be honest, Carlo’s midfield was never really Joe-friendly), then going up as high as £100k a week wouldn’t have been justifiable.
Here’s my real problem with the departures though – it’s the way they happen rather than the fact they happen in the first place. Isn’t the least Michael Ballack deserved to have been told by the club rather than hear it from the media? Didn’t Joe Cole deserve to know of his fate at the end of the season so the media could get most of it out of their system rather than a couple of days before England’s first World Cup game so he’ll have the press up his arse during his preparation? And in the very least, don’t they both merit a bit of gratitude on our part? Because it strikes me we’re lucky to have had players of that calibre wearing the shirt in the first place and should acknowledge that with pride rather than poison.
TheChelseaBlog would like to thank them for their service and wishes them well in the future.