Sunday, 22 May 2011

Chelsea's Catch 22 - Will Roman Abramovich Ever Learn?

So, an hour into the close-season and Chelsea sack their manager.

There's little doubt that the decision was made by owner Roman Abramovich.

His quest for instant glory and particularly, glory in Europe, comes at a price - and it's a volley of Chelsea managers who have suffered.

Since he took charge at Stamford Bridge in 2003, he has presided over 6 managers (not including Ray Wilkins). Of these, 5 have been or have effectively been sacked.

Claudio Ranieri - Sacked
José Mourinho - Left by 'Mutual Consent' (basically, he was Sacked)
Avram Grant - Sacked
Luiz Felipe Scolari - Sacked
Ray Wilkins (Caretaker Manager)
Guus Hiddink (Caretaker Manager) - Left by Mutual Consent
Carlo Ancelotti - Sacked

During this 8 year period and for the previous 17 before that, Manchester United have only had the one manager. In almost 25 remarkable years, Alex Ferguson has taken his Old Trafford outfit to unprecedented success. The 12th league title that his team lifted today during this period moved them above Liverpool with their 19th English league title. They have won 2 European Cups in that period and hope to add to that next Saturday when they play Barcelona in the Champions League Final in Wembley.

This success has come from continuity and from supporting a manager over time.

Chelsea's Catch 22
In José Mourinho, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea have been led in recent years by some of the best managers in the world.

There are only so many of these real, world-class potential managers left.

Carlo Ancelotti - You're Fired

But as much as Chelsea fans will probably be frustrated at this latest unwarranted sacking, as a fan said on Radio 5 Live's Alan Green 'phone-in this evening (before the announcement was made), the problem that they have is that they do not want Abramovich to leave because if he did get bored of this little hobby of his and walked away with all of his money, what next for Chelsea?

In a Premier League where big money is increasingly prevalent, Chelsea fans are likely to be willing to put up with Abramovich's eccentricities for as long as he keeps bank-rolling them. That is the sadness of the situation.

Rome wasn't built in a day Roman and the sooner you learn that (if you ever will) the better for Chelsea FC.

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