The Community Shield match was a bit of a disappointment. Aside from the questionable refereeing and our poor defensive showing, Branislav Ivanovic, essentially our only proper right-back at the moment, was sent off for a reckless challenge on Aleksandar Kolarov. The red card meant that he could face a 3-match ban. Immediately, most Chelsea fans assumed that a deal for a new RB would be tied up by the end of the week, out of sheer necessity of course. But it has now been made clear that he will be available for the season opener against Wigan.
Goal.com reported that due to a change in the rules made 2 years earlier, cards picked up in pre-season will not be carried over into the start of the new campaign. While the community shield is an FA-sanctioned match, it is still very much a pre-season fixture. Hence, Ivanovic is available for Chelsea’s first match of the 2012/13 season. Furthermore, any yellow cards received by players during the match will not be counted in their season tally.
This news is positive in more ways than one. Not only does it mean that a makeshift RB won’t be playing the season opener, but it also means that we won’t have to rush to purchase a new RB. Picture this: If Ivanovic were suspended, it would have meant that a deal for a new RB would have to be finalized by Friday or Saturday. This would put Chelsea at a massive disadvantage during negotiations, as other clubs would know that Chelsea are in desperate need of the player & they may very well over-charge us. Chelsea would probably pay up, as they would have no choice due to the transfer period coming to an end soon. However, with Branna available for selection, we can continue negotiations for a new RB & ensure that we don’t over-pay, especially with Big Brother (i.e. UEFA armed with their FFP rules) watching.