By my own admission, I’ve whinged a bit about our defensive cover lately, particularly when it came to sending Michael Mancienne back out on loan but with the news that Branislav Ivanovic has now been ruled out for up to six weeks with a back injury, I feel completely vindicated.
Ivanovic has been ruled out of Serbia’s qualifiers and says “I came to Belgrade to see my team-mates, but the back injury is such that I cannot train or play.” Chelsea’s next game is against West Ham on 11th September, with MSK Zilina in the Champions League the following Wednesday and Ivanovic could well miss both of those following the announcement that he is facing from ‘two to six weeks’ out.
So, the situation we’re in right now, with John Terry, Jeffrey Bruma, Jose Bosingwa and Ivanovic all currently injured is exactly the situation I was on about. Because, add to that Carvalho’s departure, Mancienne’s loan and Hutchinson’s retirement, and our defensive cover is starting to look a bit stretched just a matter of weeks into the new season.
Of course, we don’t yet know how long the other defenders will be out but at this point in time, we’re left with Alex, Paulo Ferreira, Ashley Cole, Yuri Zhirkov and Patrick van Aanholt (as long as we don’t loan him out) fit to play and it’s a bloody good job we haven’t got a game next weekend!