Everything seemed to be looking up for Claude Dielna coming into 2018. He was the highest paid defender in the league, and potential and expectations were high. He was quickly named the captain of the squad during pre-season, further pushing the high expectations he had. He started off playing decent with the exception of the red card on opening day. But now he seems to have no part in this team, so what happened?
Up until now, we can only really speculate what happened. There really is no definitive answer.
You can’t really say he was benched due to poor form because he wasn’t in any particular bad form. In fact, according to whoscored.com, Claude Dielna was the Revs best defender this year with a 6.73 rating. In comparison, Michael Mancienne had a 6.71 rating, Anibaba a 6.61 and Delamea had a 6.66 rating. The only “defender” to have a higher rating than Dielna was Andrew Farrell who had a rating of 6.89. But Farrell plays a more attacking position than Claude.
There were also reports that Spanish La Liga side Real Betis are interested in signing him this offseason. So here are the top 3 reasons why Claude Dielna may have been benched.
3. Off-Field Incident
Anyone who has seen Claude play on the field knows he’s bound to get into trouble. This year alone he has 4 yellow cards and 28 total fouls in just 17 games. So there’s a definite possibility his lack of discipline got him in trouble with Brad Freidel. Perhaps he said something to the coach or maybe even another player that coach didn’t like that got him put on coach’s naughty list.
It’s no secret that Freidel seems to hold a grudge. In his first game ever, Toni Delamea got a red card in the 24th minute and it took Toni over 2 months just to get back on the field.
If there was a feud, it seems that Brad Freidel is the one who’s holding back as Dielna took to Twitter to explain his side of what might be going on in a tweet he quickly deleted, saying, “…I am ready to play for Coach whenever my name is called upon.”
If there was a feud, Freidel isn’t ready to get over it yet.
2. Not Good Enough
I know I said earlier that statistically, Doielna is the Revs best center back, but maybe the reason is as simple as Brad Freidel doesn’t think Claude is good enough for this team.
The only problem with this theory is that when a team has only won two home games since June and is struggling as bad as they are, it’s hard to not be good enough. In the offseason, Freidel made it clear he wanted to bring in his own guys and seeing how Claude isn’t one of “his guys,” perhaps he thinks playing Claude could do more damage than good.
It could also be that Freidel just values the other options he has more.
Knowing Robert Kraft, this is probably the most likely reason. Before Michael Mancienne, Claude was the highest paid defender on the team, and at on point the whole league. In that ginormous $900,000 contract, there is most likely a few bonuses and clauses.
Perhaps the Revs are keen to play him because they don’t want to trigger a clause that will give Claude a big payday. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on the clause.
Any potential clause could range from triggering a 1-year contract extension to triggering a big cash bonus. It is entirely possible there is a clause to give Claude a contract extension and Freidel has decided he doesn’t want to bring Claude back so he decided to bench him.
Either way, it seems as if Claude’s time here is up, and with his contract expiring at the end of the season, I doubt we’ll see him in a Revolution jersey next year.