Chelsea

Jose Mourinho and the Future of Chelsea's 'Old Guard'

LONDON - MAY 07:  (L-R) Frank Lampard, Jose Mourinho, John Terry and Paulo Ferreira hold the trophy after receiving the Barclays Premiership Trophy at Stamford Bridge on May 7, 2005 in London, England.  (Photo by Ben Radford/Getty Images)
Ben Radford/Getty Images
Daniel TilukFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2014

Of the six holdovers from Jose Mourinho’s first stint as Chelsea manager one has already made way. Michael Essien’s exit from Stamford Bridge to the San Siro in January has left John Obi Mikel, Petr Cech, Frank Lampard, John Terry and Ashley Cole as the remaining Mourinho disciples.

Each of the five has history with the club; and their futures are in the hands of the man who moulded the success Chelsea have enjoyed the past ten seasons.

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  John Obi Mikel of Chelsea goes past Geoff Cameron of Stoke during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea at Britannia Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Mich
Michael Regan/Getty Images

John Obi Mikel 

The Nigerian international has amassed 303 Chelsea appearances in eight seasons for Chelsea, and he is under contract until summer 2017. As Essien has made way, one less holding-midfield player bodes well for Mikel’s future—whether on the pitch or on the substitutes' bench.

Petr Cech

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03:  Petr Cech of Chelsea gives instructions during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on February 3, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Imag
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Thibaut Courtois and his father have been awfully talkative this year, per Belgian agency RTBF (h/t to ESPN), regarding the young Belgian’s future. The starlet keeper wants to walk into Chelsea’s goalposts without competition; essentially he's opposed to a battle with Cech for goalkeeping supremacy.

Other than a cheap goal conceded against West Bromwich Albion in November, the Czech international has been his consistent, reliable self—showing no signs of regression. His place between the posts next season has been hinted by Mourinho to be a cert; so look for the Courtois drama to continue into the summer.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18:  Frank Lampard of Chelsea celebrates his goal with manager Jose Mourinho during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Hull City at Stamford Bridge on August 18, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heath
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Frank Lampard

Chelsea’s all-time leading goal scorer is in the last six months of his Chelsea contract, and according to Steve Stammers of The Mirror he’s certain to be offered an annual renewal. Lampard’s performance this season hasn’t been prolific but injuries and management have played a factor.

Currently on 634 Chelsea appearances and 103 England caps, Lampard’s played a lot of professional football; so should he retire after the World Cup it would be understandable. But, per Stammers' article, the 35 year-old is ready to accept his yearly extension and remain part of the Chelsea first team in 2014-15.

John Terry 

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29:  John Terry of Chelsea reacts after a decision by Referee Howard Webb during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on December 29, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finne
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Whether captain or coach, Roman Abramovich will likely be paying Terry next season, per the Daily Mail's Neil Ashton. The Chinese whispers of the former England international leaving Stamford Bridge, per The Daily Mirror's John Cross, have transformed into him becoming a coach, according to Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail, and most recently leaning towards accepting a one-year extension, as Ashton suggests.

In either event, his value to the club is greatly diminished by an exit, so the club should be looking at every option to keep their long-serving skipper involved with the programme.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 02:  Loic Remy of Newcastle United and Ashley Cole of Chelsea compete  for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea at St James' Park on November 2, 2013 in Newcastle up
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Ashley Cole

Of all the Chelsea “Old Guard,” Cole looks most likely to make an exit this summer, per David Woods of the Daily Star. The emergence of Cesar Azpilicueta has all but sealed Cole’s fate, with the Spanish defender enjoying a death grip on Chelsea’s left-back role.

The 33 year-old has played well when given the opportunity, but it seems he is one to be phased out, rather than kept like Lampard and Terry. Strange circumstances surrounding this one, as Cole’s likely to play in the World Cup this June.


LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 05: John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole of Chelsea celebrate victory after the FA Cup with Budweiser Final match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 5, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Get
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Terry and Lampard are ambassadors of the club, and their exit would seem improbable. Cech and Cole are long-time servants, who are extremely valuable to the club. Mikel's time in Chelsea has been decorated, and he looks poised to continue his spell for the time being at least.

Their tenure with Chelsea has been the most fruitful and victorious in the club's history. The quintet has won every major trophy you can win in England, adding both the Europa League and Champions League to Chelsea's silverware haul; but all good things must come to an end as the old adage goes.

The next 18 months will see big changes in west London. The soothing part is the man who laid the foundation of Chelsea's last decade, is now in charge of its current renovations.

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