High earners are infecting Chelsea


Chelsea is off to a horrid start this season and the media is quick to blame manager Jose Mourinho. While “The Special One” is an easy and fair target, I’m not convinced he is the chief culprit. More blame deserves to be laid at the feet of John Terry and Cesc Fabregas. These two men are two of the highest ten earners in the Premier League this year and haven’t come close to justifying their wages.

It may not be fair to single these two out based on their wages, but when you command that type of investment from your Club, you are expected to be one of the League’s top performers. Neither Terry or Fabregas has performed at an acceptable level this season for even a squad player at Chelsea, much less one of their stars.

The team’s elder statesman Terry is the League’s tenth highest earner at £160k a week one his one year contract (per the Daily Mail). It doesn’t take a tactical genius to see that Terry has been a major disappointment this season. Mourinho has shuffled him in and out of the lineup and with good reason. Whoscored.com rates his average performance at a paltry 6.07 on the season. What is perhaps more bothersome is that he is failed to turn in a performance over 6.36 in any match. He has been consistently underwhelming as opposed to being weighed down by a few horrorible matches. The 34 year old defender has seemed slow and ill equipped to deal with the athletic strikers in today’s Premier League. I don’t care how rich your Club is, it still hurts your team dynamic when a high earning Club legend falls so far.

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  • While Terry’s fall at the age of 34 isn’t all that shocking, the drop off of Fabregas’ performance at 28 is much more alarming. His Whoscored average is better than Terry’s at 6.96 in League matches with a high of 8.23 in their victory over Arsenal. Unfortunately he has barely cracked 7 in any other EPL fixture. Even worse, his rating as an attacking midfielder comes in at just 6.6. This data backs up what we see and don’t see from Fabregas on the pitch. He has looked a step slow and slightly overwhelmed on the ball when pressed. His best performances have come when he has played deeper and had time to carefully pick his passes. This is not a luxury one of the highest paid players in the League should require.

    Fabregas is, in fact, the 8th highest earner in the League in the first year of a five year, £170k a week contract. Chelsea fans should hope his performance over the first eight matches is a simple dip in form and not the sign of a decline in ability. The latter could hamstring them in an awkward position over the life of his contract.

    Chelsea should not panic over the weak performances of Terry and Fabregas quite this early in the season. Nor should they have a knee jerk reaction that leads to Mourinho’s ouster. The Blues can’t stick their head in the sand over two of their three highest earners. When your highest earners aren’t pulling their weight it can cause deep seeded resentment all throughout the squad. This is just what Chelsea is suffering from and only an uptick in play from Terry and Fabregas can cure them.