Because less players equal more space to pass and move

The Curse of Chelsea Number 7

In the world of betting – either at a sportsbook or at an online casino – the question of numbers is an important one.

We all have a lucky number based on birthdates or other anniversaries or maybe there is just a random digit that somehow has brought us good fortune over the years.

For others, the study of numerology is altogether more serious while some will also look at mathematical probability and the chance of some numbers dropping in on a more frequent basis than others. Some will even choose a particular casino or sportsbook based on the numbers deployed in the brand name.

In many cultures, the number 7 is considered to be particularly lucky but try telling that to certain former players who have represented Chelsea Football Club over the years.

The ‘Great’ Dane
Brian Laudrup is widely credited with having started the curse as he arrived in West London in the midst of a glorious career that included spells with Bayern Munich and AC Milan. His time at Chelsea was an unhappy one however as he failed to settle in London and experienced serious issues with the club’s rotation policy.

Stating that he could be ‘man of the match in one game and then not even on the bench the next’, Laudrup lasted just 11 matches before heading home with FC Copenhagen.

Wasted Talent
Laudrup may have underwhelmed Chelsea fans but at least his time at Stamford Bridge was brief. The Dane wasted no time in getting on with his career but you can’t say that about another number 7 – Winston Bogarde.

The Dutch International had a glittering CV when he arrived in West London but a change of manager was his undoing. Claudio Ranieri came in to replace Gianluca Vialli and made it immediately clear that Bogarde was surplus to requirements. Unfortunately for Chelsea, it took four years to get the player off the wage bill as he wound down his contract.

In 2004, having made just nine league appearances across those four seasons, Bogarde retired from professional football amidst a perhaps-unsurprising lack of interest from other clubs.

Much heralded
Two bad signings, both of whom wore the number seven shirt, could be seen as bad luck and surely if there was a ‘curse’ at this stage, it would be lifted by a man with one of the best scoring records in World Football. Ukrainian international Andriy Shevchenko signed from AC Milan for a then club record fee of £30.8m. In Serie A, a notoriously tough league for a striker to make his mark, the forward had a healthy average of more than a goal every other game but at Chelsea it just didn’t work.

48 league appearances, spread over three years were sparsely punctuated by nine goals and following a loan spell back at Milan, the Ukrainian left for his homeland where he finished his career with Dinamo Kiev.

Another striker, Adrian Mutu, enjoyed a much more successful start to life at Stamford Bridge but if there is a curse, it would play a hand again as this number 7 was banned after testing positive for cocaine in 2004. Others to have worn this shirt with little aplomb include Bjarne Goldbæk, Maniche and Ricardo Quaresma.

As for 2016/17, much is expected of Chelsea’s new number 7 – the former Leicester City midfielder N’Golo Kante and early signs are good for the summer signing.

There have been exceptions to the rule but since the start of the Premier League, there has been something of a curse and you could have forgiven Kante for giving the shirt a swerve.