The role of spoiler isn’t one relished by Chelsea.
The Premier League giants are used to clinching Top Four berths with three matches to spare, not waking rivals from their title dreams.
[ PL PREVIEW: Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur ]
That’s what Chelsea will hope to do Monday when Spurs visit Stamford Bridge, but manager Guus Hiddink says the Blues will be back in the title hunt next season.
And the 69-year-old Dutchman isn’t worried about reinforcements being attracted to the London club.
“Chelsea cannot afford to have two or three seasons like this one, but I think the appeal for players to go to Chelsea is still there,” he said. ‘”I think Tottenham can go and compete next year in the same way, but I think Chelsea will re-erect for next year as well.
“This is still a big club – one year, you can have what we are experiencing now and that is why the challenge can be great for players to come here. Chelsea is still a big name and the club has to go again for the next season.”
Will a year without UEFA Champions League scare big names off from joining the Blues? It certainly seems likely for top tier talent, but money does talk.