Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Have Chelsea Gone Bonkers?

What a mess. After finally winning trophies following years of frustration, Chelsea has regressed to the Ken Bates (that's Ken in fightin' form to the left) circus days. Roman Abramovich has now sacked four managers, three in the last 18 months. A Chelsea supporter’s take on the current situation at Stamford Bridge follows after the jump.

Big Phil Scolari had utterly lost the dressing room. That’s the buzz. John Terry and Frank Lampard had pleaded with the Brazilian to institute stronger fitness regimes. His tactics - remember the man to zonal to man-marking week? - were mystifying. Results were poor. After early success, Chelsea have looked lost, unfit, and, yes, disinterested in their recent run of poor form. With the League lost, and critical fixtures in the FA Cup (not Watford, the next fixture) and Champions League (losing to Ranieri’s Juventus?) coming up, the Hull draw this past weekend really was the last straw. I am a loyal, Blue-tinted guy, but that performance on Saturday was poor, poor, poor. Villa are, in fact, better than us at this point. If we don’t change something, we’ll drop down to Arsenal-level. And that would be unacceptable. I fucking hate Arsenal.

Now, you can criticize Roman for being impatient. That insufferable red-faced drunk up in Manchester certainly had his go. But you cannot question his commitment to football and success. He ran Jose Mourinho out, not because of the Rosenberg draw, but because he couldn’t see Jose taking Chelsea to the top of the world. He was wrong, to my mind. But the point is that Roman is not just another rich chairman. He cares about the game and ruthlessly competes to win. The one good piece of fall-out from this week’s events is that it seems to put the lie to the angle that Roman is looking to sell.

Where from here? I think that Guus Hiddink is an excellent stop gap. Chelsea need time to find a permanent manager. I’m personally up for a Billy Martin-style return by Jose. Ancelotti? Worth a try. Zola and Clarke? Steve Clarke’s departure is what killed Phil’s chances and, arguably, previously enabled Mourinho’s success. And I do love Zola…Z-O-L-A, Zola!...the pair’s effect on Hammers has been remarkable. In any event, Hiddink can certainly do this job and maintain Russia for a few months. Again, we need time to consider everyone, currently available or not.

The club needs work. While I don’t buy the argument that they are too old as a group, there needs to be more youth, pace and fitness. Drogba (I still believe), the Coles, Mikel, Essien, Terry, Lampard, Carvalho, Bosingwa and Cech? Still a solid core. Kalou is a useful bench player. Belletti, Deco (who was old when he started), Malouda, Ballack, Anelka (I don’t care if he scores for fun, he is a cancer)…get them out. Run the kids out. Miroslav Stoch has had a couple of impressive appearances. We have not fallen far, but our standards are high. Get in!

All my friends here on UF can take comfort in the fact that Wenger and Rafa will never be fired. I will admit that I would love some stability at my club. But I also know that my Liverpool and Arsenal-supporting fans have questions about their managers as well. And that their clubs are hardly lighting the world on fire. A little Stamford Bridge (and Carrow Road?) impatience with performance is not a bad thing. In particular, if I were a Red, Rafa would terrify me most of the time.

That last little bit was a pathetic, and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to keep Bigus from the assault on Chelsea he is bound to mount in the comments below. Chelsea are Bigus' Moby Dick.


Keith said...

It's going to be glorious in two weeks.

Absolutely glorious.


Precious Roy said...

Schadenfreude thy name is Roman.

Eh, like I can talk. We're riddled with injuries, lodged in fifth, and even though we've got stability, that stability has made some iffy personnel decisions as of late.

Andrew said...

Watch yourself, Keith. As much as I want to see Villa compete for the Prem, hubris is a wonderful/terrible thing.

Kopper said...

I would like to add that what Roman has spent in compensating sacked managers, he could have bought Norwich City. That is all.

Keith said...

It's hard to stop myself, given the form of both teams. Though I probably just doomed one of the 4 Villans still participating to an injury in the Spain friendly.

That said, the Villa are really inspiring a "Why Can't Us?" feeling as of late (and I'm a Mets fan saying this)

Autoglass said...

Kopper, you are absolutely correct. In fact, Roman could have bought Norwich City for what he paid last week in maid service on his assorted properties.

Precious Roy said...

Oh, and Rosenborg is a soccer team.

Rosenberg was a spy.