How Petr Cech made Chelsea European giants again by copying clever 2012 transfer strategy

Chelsea have climbed above a host of Europe’s elite clubs to become the fifth-highest ranked side in UEFA’s club coefficient rankings, with a lot of the Blues’ recent success a by-product of Petr Cech’s work behind the scenes.

The west London side’s recent Champions League and Super Cup successes have seen them soar above the likes of Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United in the coefficient rankings, and they now rank just a handful of points behind Barcelona and Liverpool who are placed fourth and third, respectively.

Bayern Munich top the charts while Manchester City are ranked second, but the Blues’ return to the top five is further proof of the club’s resurgence as one of European football’s powerhouses.

Chelsea recorded 33,000 UEFA club coefficient points last season, classifying the Blues’ campaign as one of the three highest point-scoring seasons of the last fours years, with only City’s 2020/21 season and Bayern Munich’s 2019/20 campaign amassing more.

Cech has had a huge part to play in Chelsea’s recent achievements having returned to Stamford Bridge in July 2019 as a technical and performance advisor.

The former Blues goalkeeper was brought in to work closely with Marina Granovskaia, the Chelsea director, with the club hoping to weld together the ambitions of the first team, the academy, the board and the fans.

Perhaps the biggest challenge faced by the former Czech Republic international when he arrived was to nurse the divide between the club and the fans after successive summer transfer windows that weren’t particularly well-received.

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Petr Cech tries to speak to irate Chelsea fans outside Stamford Bridge
Petr Cech tries to speak to irate Chelsea fans outside Stamford Bridge

In the summer of 2017/18, the Blues spent an eye-watering £234 million on new arrivals, though the transfer splurge did little to appease the fans with big-money arrivals like Alvaro Morata, Danny Drinkwater and Tiemoué Bakayoko failing to settle.

The following summer, Maurizio Sarri arrived in west London with Jorginho, who was instantly labelled ‘Sarri’s son’, and the world’s most expensive goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The former went on to prove his critics wrong, however, Kepa now finds himself warming the Chelsea bench.

Cech was tasked with mending the fans’ relationship with the club and a different approach to transfer dealings would prove key to his success – little did he know he would be mending the fanbases’ relationship with the club a year later amid the European Super League debacle.

The first signing of Cech’s tenure saw Mateo Kovacic arrive from Real Madrid for £40 million, a piece of business that would kickstart the Blues’ quest for Champions League glory.

Roman Abramovich’s technical and performance advisor, who was infamously added to the club’s squad list as a last-resort backup goalkeeper, went on to liaise with the first-team staff, fans and board to reconsider the club’s transfer strategy of old.

Prior to Chelsea’s triumph in Porto last summer, Cech and Granovskaia had helped facilitate the signings of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy – six players who were pivotal to Chelsea returning to the summit of European football.

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Cech has also been able to bridge the gap between the academy and the first team throughout his tenure, easing the likes of Mason Mount and Reece James into the frame.

It’s no coincidence that since Cech’s arrival the club has gradually become more coherent with the fans, whether it’s through signing the ‘right’ players or grovelling on the club’s behalf outside Britannia Gate in the middle of a pandemic.

Chelsea will be determined to retain their Champions League crown this season
Chelsea will be determined to retain their Champions League crown this season

The former Chelsea goalkeeper has pioneered the birth of a dynasty in west London and is now using his knowledge from the 2012 Champions League aftermath to ensure Chelsea continue to climb the UEFA coefficient rankings.

Following Chelsea’s 2012 Champions League triumph, the club made a number of superb signings including Eden Hazard, Oscar and Cesar Azpilicueta, and just a few seasons later they would win two Premier League titles in three years.

Cech is clearly keen to build on Chelsea’s European Cup win – as the club did back in 2012 – and so the signing of Romelu Lukaku and the club’s mooted interest in Saul Niguez and Jules Kounde should probably come as no surprise.

Having seen first-hand how one piece of silverware can lead to an era of dominance, Cech is evidently desperate for the Blues to build on last season’s success, and his return to Chelsea looks to have transformed the club into one of European football’s powerhouses once again.

Source by Football London

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