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Hoddle urges Chelsea to sign Sneijder

Former Chelsea manager Glenn Hoddle believes a player of the creativity of Wesley Sneijder is urgently needed to change the dynamics of the trophy-less club.

Hoddle advocates a change in the Chelsea playing structure, rather than another change of manager, with current boss Carlo Ancelotti tipped to get the axe.

Ex-England boss Hoddle feels that the lack of world-class creativity in midfield is why the Blues have failed to get the best of out £50 million striker Fernando Torres.

If Chelsea want to break into the Barcelona class or topple Manchester United domestically they need far better, more skilful players to do it.

Hoddle says: "Chelsea keep coming closer to winning the Champions League, they have been consistently reaching semi-finals, but right now the squad is lacking a creative element in midfield, to open the door.

"I feel they have a good strike force, and I do believe that Fernando Torres will come good, but it is not easy for him without chances being laid on by a creative midfield.

"Someone like Wesley Sneijder comes to mind, the big clubs here are chasing him, but he is the kind of player Chelsea need and they need a couple like him.

"At the moment they are too predictable in midfield, and to go to the next level they need much more creativity in midfield, but Chelsea will appreciate there are not many of that highest quality around these days, and the few that are are being chased by the elite clubs."

Ancelotti might be taking charge of Chelsea for the last time this Sunday, but Hoddle believes it is pointless sacking the Italian, as any successor will have the identical problem - the inability to deliver the coveted Champions League.

Hoddle argues it isn't easy to topple Manchester United, while Manchester City will also now be a threat - because London clubs face so many derbies.

Roman Abramovich is intent on bringing in Guus Hiddink to Stamford Bridge and the coaching staff could include Marco Van Basten and Gianfranco Zola, but Hoddle argues that Chelsea should stick with Ancelotti.

Hoddle believes that there are unrealistic expectations that Chelsea, or indeed, any club with aspirations of being crowned kings of Europe, can topple Barcelona.

Barcelona can rule Europe for the best part of this decade, the way Real Madrid, AC Milan, Ajax, Bayern Munich and Liverpool once dominated Europe for years at a time.

Hoddle says: "It will be a mistake to change the manager at Chelsea if the owner is searching for someone to bring him the Champions league.

"Carlo deserves one more go at it, but the reality is how do you topple Manchester United domestically, and how on earth do you topple Barcelona in Europe?

"It might be realistic to aim for the title, but not for the Champions League while Barcelona are around, not this Barcelona team.

"This Barca team is wonderful, everyone knows it, but I think they can rule for years, two three, four or even five years they would win it on the trot, like some clubs have done in the past.

"They are a special team at the moment, but also a young team. In the past there have been a number of teams like them, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Ajax and Liverpool who have suddenly dominated Europe for years, and Barcelona can do the same, keep on winning the Champions League for a period of time.

"So, there isn't a question mark why clubs in this country cannot win it, no question marks about why a London club can't win it, the question mark is Barcelona, or rather they are the answer right now."

As for the title, Hoddle always thinks there is a disadvantage for London clubs. He said: "To topple Manchester United isn't easy for Chelsea or any London club because of the amount of derbies.

"Of course it has been done before, but not as often as London clubs should have won the title, and that is one of the main reasons."


*Glenn Hoddle is Technical Director for Football 40. Football 40 launches its first ever 11-a-side legends competition at Craven Cottage on Sunday, May 29 kick-off 3pm, Arsenal v Spurs, Chelsea v Fulham, and then the winners meet in the final. Tickets available: www.football40.com

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