‘We need a strategy’: Thiago Silva interview reveals extent of Chelsea crisis
Chelsea defender Thiago Silva has said the club’s owners need to “stop and put a strategy in place” in an extraordinary assessment of their recruitment and decision making this season.
Silva was speaking after Chelsea’s exit from the Champions League on Tuesday and although the veteran Brazilian said the players must take “responsibility” for a dismal campaign, he lamented the fact that the club have sacked two managers while splurging over £600m in an unprecedented overhaul of the first-team squad.
Frank Lampard is the fourth manager Chelsea have had under co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali this season, following the sackings of Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter, while Bruno Saltor was in charge for the goalless draw against Liverpool this month.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s spending spree has meant the dressing room at the club’s Cobham training base is no longer big enough to fit the squad, with Silva bemoaning the impact that has made on the coherence of the team this season. Chelsea are in the bottom half of the Premier League, on course for their lowest finish since 1996, and have lost four games in a row for the first time in 30 years.
The 38-year-old Silva, who has likely played his final game for Chelsea in the Champions League, did not hold back with his assessment of the club’s campaign. “I think the first step has been made. An incorrect step, but it has been made,” Silva told Brazilian TV after the 4-0 aggregate defeat to holders Real Madrid.
“We can’t be blaming the managers if we don’t take responsibility. It’s a hard period for the club, with a lot of indecision. Change of ownership, new players arriving – we had to increase the size of the changing room because it didn’t fit the size of the squad.
“A positive point is that there are amazing players in the squad but on the other hand there are always players that are going to be unhappy. There is always going to be someone upset because not everyone can play.
“The manager can only pick 11 from a squad of 30-something – that’s tough. Some can’t make the squad, we signed eight in January, we need to stop and put a strategy in place otherwise next season we could make the same mistakes.”
Chelsea legend Didier Drogba also criticised how the club has been run this season, accusing the owners of lacking the “class” of the previous regime. Drogba said he did not “recognise” the club Chelsea had become in the year since Roman Abramovich sold the club to Clearlake Capital.
Lampard refused to comment on his former team-mate’s comments, instead calling on his players to start thinking about next season now.
“The landscape of the Premier League moves so fast, it changes,” said Lampard. “To say any team has a divine right to be in the Champions League is tough. Man United have spent time out of the Champions League, Arsenal have spent time out. Lots of big clubs have.
“I do think we can set the building blocks now of where we want to get to.
“I’m here for a reason obviously. Because the season has been what it is. Can I affect it in that period? Hopefully yeah. But the bigger thing for the club will be, we want to get back to where we were but the challenges are big.
“Everyone’s doing the same. Everyone’s investing, everyone’s getting better. Maybe some clubs are more stable than we are at the minute in terms of the squad.
“I don’t think we can get ahead of ourselves other than having little tasters like tonight where there’s disappointment, and understand what it takes to get back.”
Includes reporting from PA