We are yet to have official confirmation from the club, but it looks like Chelsea are set to pull out of the European Super League.
In a story that has completely took over the media for the last two days, and one that will go down in the history of the sport as one of the craziest ever situations in the game, the ESL looks like it will be over before it has even started, with teams reportedly leaving left, right and centre.
Manchester City have confirmed they are leaving, and Chelsea are reportedly going to do the same.
However, what about Chelsea’s players? What do they know? What did they know at kick off tonight ahead of their game against Brighton when they arrived at Stamford Bridge greeted by Blues fans protesting in their thousands? Probably not a lot.
They then had to go and play a Premier League game not really knowing the future of the club, the future of their Champions League campaign, and whether they will even be allowed to represent their countries again.
Because these were all the rumours flying around that the players would have seen.
How are they supposed to then go and play a match pretending that everything was all dandy?
Well, the answer is, they didn’t. Yes, they played it in spirit, their bodies were there and they were doing something that resembled playing football.
But this Chelsea team looked lacklustre, tired, confused, and absolutely subdued as they tried to string passes together.
There was no intensity, no creativity, and a lack of all the basics.
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But can all that be pinned on the distraction of the European Super League?
Of course, it will have a massive effect on the players, and the board will take extra blame for Chelsea failing to beat Brighton tonight, managing only a goalless draw.
However, when you aren’t even completing the basics of football, further questions must be asked. For that, there isn’t really an excuse.
I understand the ESL fatigue argument here and there was definitely a lot of this. But Chelsea were absolutely awful tonight, and there is no excuse for such a poor performance.
But at the end of the day, we must remember that this is a bunch of confused players going through real turmoil following the rumours and dramas of the last two days, so we cannot blame them for being subdued.
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