The Chelsea Dilema: What It’s All About
50 years and no champions title of England, then came the ‘special One’ (Jose Mourinho) with a disciplined style of play, built around result orientation and little spectacle (as some believe) By 2005 Chelsea were crowned Champions of England for the first time in 50 years.
We however would be failing in our responsibilities to our avid readers if we do not highlight the fact that 2 years prior to the “special one’s” arrival, a certain Russian multi – Billionaire (Roman Abramovich) had bought Chelsea In 2003 and made available enough cash for any employed Manager/coach to go players shopping. That Money is still there but Chelsea is no longer all conquering today!
Mourinho eventually fell out of favour with the Club owner and ever since it has been a Roller coaster in this now, World Class Club. After several Managers, Carlo Ancellotti of the AC Milan fame was brought in as manager, to not only Make Chelsea champions again but to win & bring the Elusive Holy Grail (The Champions League) to the Stanford Bridge(home of Chelsea FC).
He was sacked in May 2011, a year after he had won the English double (league and cup) in England. Reason for the sack? No champions League Title, no spectacular football and more so, no Premier league title.
Need I say that the Champions league is the title, the Owner of Chelsea (Abramovic) is obsessed with winning and he wants to have his team play like Barcelona at all cost. So obsessed that Avram Grant (Mourinho?s successor) was sacked even though he lost the champions league final in 2008 to Man. united on penalties!
Today the man at the Helms of Affairs at Chelsea is called André Villas Boas and things are really not looking very bright so far. He is a confirmed good coach, having established himself at Fc Porto (portugal) last season 2010-2011 (like Mourinho before him) winning the treble : the Uefa league, National cup and league with Porto in style)
Lately the fortunes in Chelsea have been waning and they lie way behind on points on the English Premier league table, furthermore their performance in the champions? league could be better by their standards.
So what is the problem and possible solutions for Chelsea?
One thing is certain, Chelsea are a very successful club and in fact The past decade has been the most successful period in the club’s history (thanks to Abramovich) capped by winning Premier League titles in 2005, 2006 and 2010, the latter as part of their first league and FA Cup “Double” By Carlo Ancellotti. The club has sustained the fifth highest average all-time attendance in English football. Their average home gate for the 2010/11 season totalled 41,435, the sixth highest in the Premier League! And their colours are my favourite: BlueJ
Chelsea represent in my eyes one of the best teams in the world, not just England! The calibre of players in this club would get most coaches dreaming : Didier Drogba,Fernando Torres, Frank Lampard,Michael Essien,Petr Cech,Alex,Malouda,Obi Mikel etc just to name a few.
However a lot of these players have been in this club for too long and give the impression of being satisfied ith what they have achieved! You might ask: but Man United and Barcelona have players in their ranks that have been there for years and they are still performing or not? True, but the players who have been household names in these two clubs were groomed from the youth System of these clubs and have a kind of family belonging and attachments to these clubs in contrast to the Chelsea legions who were bought into the fold as already confirmed stars and considered in some ranks as Mercenaries. Unjustly I must add!
Therefore the sense of belonging is there but in a different form. They are not moulded into a particular style of regular work ethic, playing culture and tradition.
The best solution would be improvement or intensification of Chelsea’s youth programme and creating its own “home made” stars.
I have been fortunate to visit Chelsea’s Training complex, it is simply Jaw dropping beautiful!
The notion that only the champions league title is worth Celebrating loudly by the Owner is too big a burden to bear for any Coach or players at that. As great as Sir Alex Ferguson is, as a manager, in 25 years, he has been able to Reign over Europe only Three times as the champions league or it’s equivalent winner! A more realistic objective would calm nerves at the bridge.
Not only does the team of Chelsea have to win, they have to play spectacularly like Barcelona for example. Barcelona?s style of playing is not something you can buy overnight, it?s a cultural thing.
The incessant change of the Technical crew is also a reason why Chelsea is struggling to impose itself. Imagine this scenerio : a manager is signed on, he buys players that suit his philosophy as a coach to play in a specific way and before the player and the manager settle in, the manager is sacked, the new Manager inherits this player who might not fit into his philosophy.
Since money is available the new manager buys new players to suit his own philosophy and style of play. The old player is now surplus to demand in the club and is now sidelined. Unhappy, he and others like him, creates an unhealthy, unhappy atmosphere in the team, that?s what André Villas Boas is having to deal with now!
The Chelsea team is lacking serious “Balance” in their game. This balance was provided for years during its glorious era by Claude Mackelele and Michael Essien. The absence or inavailability of these kind of players has co-incided with Chelsea?s irregularity! These players gave a lot of cover to the defence and were very instrumental in re-initiating attacks to the detriment of their opponents. Every great team of the modern Era must have and do have these kind of players!
I must sadly add that the constant Scandals from John Terry, coupled with several unfortunate injuries plaguing this team in recent Years is not helping the Chelsea cause. Less could bring more for Chelsea at the moment. Imagine this team with a fit Drogba and Michael Essien, what a competition it would be!
All these said, I still do believe in this Manager and Chelsea as a team, and I do believe Chelsea is still yet to say its final word on this season 2011-2012, there is still lots of time and matches left for them to turn the tide. Only time will tell.