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Can Chelsea cope without John Terry and Alex?

[Premier] Arsenal v Chelsea : 01
Creative Commons License photo credit: Crystian Cruz

In the summer Chelsea allowed Ricardo Carvalho to leave for a relatively modest transfer fee and it emerged that the apparent reason for the deal was that Chelsea and Ricardo Carvalho had previously agreed on his release sometime previously. Apparently one of the conditions of Ricardo Carvalho staying at the club for as long as he did, several seasons, was that towards the end of the time he would be allowed to leave the club without a big transfer fee hanging over his neck and thus his appeal to potential future employers would be strong and any prospects of a move would not diminish because of a huge transfer fee.

Chelsea knew that Ricardo Carvalho would be staying with them for a set amount of time, which suited them, and Ricardo Carvalho knew that once he had served that time the club would agree to release him without any form of indirect punishment. Thus it was that Ricardo Carvalho, one of the best central defenders of the past decade, was allowed to leaved Chelsea for a relatively modest sum and park up at one of Chelsea’s biggest rivals in the UEFA Champions League, namely Real Madrid. It was a deal, which over the course of its duration, served both parties beneficially. Now, however, Chelsea have reason for regret. Alex, the Brazilian central defender formerly of PSV Eindhoven, is currently out injured and is not expected to return for eight weeks. Similarly John Terry, the club captain, is also out injured although his injury appears a little more complex and there has been no suggestion as to when he might return. He might return in a few weeks, it might be a few months, nobody knows.

John Terry is suffering, according to him, from some type of nerve damage which is preventing him from sleeping peacefully at night and is, seemingly, a consequence of his actions as a footballer. As he attempts to find a solution he is unable to feature for Chelsea and so the club have been having to make do without their captain. The club suffered without him on the weekend as he was clearly missed during the 90 minutes Sunderland ran Chelsea ragged at Stamford Bridge and emerged victorious 3-0 winners. Branislav Ivanovic, the strong committed and talented Serbian centre half, is expected to benefit from the injuries to both other central defenders and will feature prominently. The question most Chelsea fans will be asking is who is going to be his regular partner in central defence. John Obi Mikel is expected to step in and feature there occasionally whilst it is also anticipated that Michael Essien might also feature in the position.