Chelsea Focus - One step forward, two steps back at Stamford Bridge
It seems that every time Chelsea take a step forward, the Stamford Bride club follow it up by taking two bigger ones in the opposite direction.
Since the Roman Abramovic era began back in 2003, the Blues have been lifting trophies on a consistent basis. Half of the managers in charge of Chelsea during this period have won trophies and been very successful in doing so, while the other half have been dismissed abruptly for not winning a trophy or threatening to do so in their first season. It’s clear that to get a second go at being a Chelsea manager, winning trophies instantly is only way to go about it.
Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo all got a second season in charge after all winning two trophies in their first seasons. Guus Hiddink won the FA Cup after Luis Felipe Scolari was dismissed, but the Dutchman had prior engagements with the Russian national side so couldn’t commit for another year. On the flip side of the coin the West London billionaires have an equally impressive list of flops in Claudio Ranieri, Avram Grant, Scolari and Andre Villas-Boas, who all failed to bring the results their reputations promised.
All this brings about the question again as to what the Chelsea owner is really after. Is he truly a business man who wants the best for the company he runs, or does he simply just get bored of what he has faster than a young toddler at Christmas, dropping managers like toys?
Whatever the answer may be only the man himself could explain, but football clubs are not usually run in this way. The focus for most clubs is to sustain stability both on and off the pitch, highlighted by looking no further than Arsene Wenger and his seven trophy-less years at Arsenal. Few clubs however are so ad hoc with their decisions that they can boast as many managers as they can trophies in such a short space of time.
Rafael Benitez is the new man with his head on the chopping block at Stamford Bridge, and while his start hasn’t been pleasing, he has enough credentials to give Chelsea the tools to have a successful year. The fact that he was hired on a temporary basis though only fuels the fire that Pep Guardiola is set to take the helm from next season, even if reports recently suggest that it may not be set in stone just yet. How ironic it would be if the very fact that Abramovic shows no patience with his staff is the primary reason the one man he wants decides to take his duties elsewhere.
In truth, he would only have himself to blame should that happen. It is the fans who will be the sufferers should fortunes change and the titles dry up. Of course they will follow their team wherever they may be - as the song so clearly suggests - but they will hope that place is to remain right at the top of football’s elite.
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