Now or Never For Chelsea FC’s Loic Remy


As Diego Costa left the field two weeks ago, at Hull, holding his hamstring, Chelsea FC fans winced. They knew all about his problems with health last season. Mourinho declared him fit to play last weekend against Stoke, but saved him for a substitute appearance, to preserve his still fragile health.

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Costa came on at home, but left the field twelve minutes later, after signalling to the bench. He was again clutching the back of his leg.

In both games, the Blues were saved by Costa’s understudy, Loic Remy. Remy saved Chelsea from slipping up against lesser sides, something the club experienced fatally during the last title race. He admittedly scored two poacher’s goals, with others doing the work; he merely picked up the scraps after defenses were torn apart.

But this ability to lose the first choice striker, and replace him with a competent backup who can still score, is something new for Chelsea. Last season, none of their strikers were consistent scorers: Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o scored a combined 19 goals.

Off the bench, Remy has already provided as many goals as Torres and Ba; four of the five have come in games where he came off the bench.

Now is Remy’s chance. He has showed, over the past two games, that he is aggressive, and he can poach a goal, but now is his time to prove his worth. Costa is going to be out for at least four more matches, including the trip to Arsenal, and the home game against United. The starting spot is Remy’s.

If Remy doesn’t seize this opportunity, he will quickly slip out of Mourinho’s plans. Jose is ruthless: he sold Juan Mata, back-to-back Chelsea player of the year, because of his defensive failures, and it looks like after Oscar’s poor performances, he might also get rid of the Brazilian.

Behind Remy is a system teeming full of young players waiting for chances. Patrick Bamford has scored 17 goals on loan at Middlesborough; Jeremie Boga, Dominic Solanke, and Izzy Brown have all succeeded with the youth teams. Didier Drogba wouldn’t mind another chance at glory.

Fans are clamoring for youth and loan players to be given chances, and if Remy fails to perform, Mourinho could be forced to do just that.

Remy’s performance could determine Chelsea’s transfer policy over the summer: if he plays well, then the Blues could continue to buy the players they need, and use the youth/loan system as a commercial enterprise, selling players to balance the intake; or, if he plays poorly, and a youngster steps up, then the club could go down that path, looking in-house for solutions and depth.

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This is a crucial run for Chelsea: they travel to QPR, for a tough London derby, then host United and travel to Arsenal. After that they face Leicester, Palace and Liverpool. If the Blues come out of these next six games, they will be Premier League champions, and Remy’s play is going to be a big factor in determining the results.

Remy has been given a chance by the football gods. He had better take it now, or lose his spot forever.

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