Andrea Pirlo for Chelsea...

No, not the player, just the effect

Roberto Di Matteo is no fool. Eden Hazard coming to Stamford Bridge is evidence of that.

So Di Matteo will know that luck can only take you so far.

England learnt that the hard way yesterday against Italy in the Euro quarterfinals, using up all their luck in escaping the 20-plus Italian shots on goal, only to fall at the penalties.

Hence, the rebuilding of Chelsea as a team to seriously challenge for the Premier League title and to have any hope of defending its 'freak' Champions League success rests on which players stay, and who goes.

Marin, Hulk, Hazard all look like players who can make Chelsea a fierce attacking force.

However, the risk of building a team around Fernando Torres apart, Di Matteo has to prepare to replace the likes of John Obi Mikel, Michael Essien and Saloman Kalou.

Ashley Cole showed his frailty when under pressure.

Missing a penalty is one thing. Missing it badly is quite another.

Jose Bosingwa has gone as well, which gives Di Matteo a wingback headache.

The one thing Chelsea have going for them is the Andrea Pirlo effect – two golden oldies who are playing some of the best football of their lives.

The almighty Blues duo of Frank Lampard and John Terry are still very much in the mix and like the Italian midfielder Pirlo, are defying age to still make match-winning impacts.

Chelsea’s Italian manager will know all about the Prilo effect.

But he needs to build quickly while he still has his Frank and Terry show going.

Or he may soon have to buy Pirlo. 

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