Date: 1st May 2018 at 12:58pm
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Simon Phillips discusses the need to develop talent from within the club!

are a club who can boast recent success on all levels, they’ve been up there amongst the best in world football since Roman Abramovich took over the club in 2003.

During this time, there was a palpable focus on the corporate aspect of the club, as Abramovich tried to enrich his assets. There have been various managers along the way, and recruitment has been based on getting the best possible people, who have the best CVs and business minds.

However, some of the best successes at the club have come from what I call ‘Chelsea people’. People who have loyalty to the club, whether it’s because they grew up supporting them, are former players, or former coaches in the setup – we have many success stories who have been there through all of this.

There are so many names that deserve mention, such as Eddie Newton, Andy Myers and Joe Edwards, who have all done their marvellous coaching work, as well as finding some real gems of players across the scouting networks. Billy Gilmour for example, was fantastic last night as the Under 18s won the FA Youth Cup Final. He was spotted by Eddie Newton, who did his all to beat several other interested teams to bring him in from Rangers.

But right now, I’d like to talk about both and Neil Bath. Chelsea are continuously looking outside when it comes to recruitment and replacing managers. Surely, it’s time to start looking at what we have on our own doorstep? Staff whom we have nurtured, and people who bleed blue?

Bath is head of youth development at Chelsea and has been at the club in various coaching and youth director roles since 1993. So, he knows the club’s operations inside and out, especially on a business level. But he also offers a footballing knowledge that other corporate staff members recruited recently, do not possess.

Michael Emenalo left his role as Technical Director at Chelsea last year. A position that the club are in no hurry to fill. Although it is a role that needs to be addressed. For me, we should not be looking any other candidate for this role, than Neil Bath – right on our doorstep at Cobham.

He is ideally suited to gain promotion to this role, and then someone like Eddie Newton, for example, is perfectly suited to step into Bath’s role. It could be an ideal chain of movements.

And of course, there is the possibility of moving on from his role as head coach this summer. Many people say we should be looking at Jody Morris as his replacement, and I’m inclined to agree.

In an ideal world though, he needs to gain senior experience first. So perhaps in an assistant head coach role would be the best possible move for him right now alongside whoever comes in.

But with that said, I’d not be concerned if they gave him the head coach role tomorrow, not in the slightest.

He knows the club, knows the players, knows the operations. He is a motivator and has already proven to be a good tactical coach, in addition to his excellent game management.

He has the integrity and will gain respect from professionals. He is a young and innovative coach with fresh ideas and one who likes to play with intensity.

If you watch his talented Under 18 side play, yes, they are all naturally gifted players, but he gets the very best out of them and has them playing with belief and to their strengths.

Why not promote within? We develop these coaches and staff members, let’s now reward them and move them up the ladder. To me, it makes sense financially and structurally.

It’s the same with players. Promote some of this talent instead of wasting money on mediocre signings every summer.

What are your thoughts? Let us know!