Andre Villas Boas stuck two fingers up and shoved them right in the face of Chelsea Monday evening, after Tottenham leapfrogged the Blues into third place following their victory at West Ham. The Spurs fans undoubtedly left Upton Park with glee and enjoyed a chuckle after the reported bust-up on Tuesday afternoon at the Chelsea training ground, but even with the recent pitiful episode and the rest of league having a laugh, the joke is on Abramovich.
Mr Roman Abramovich wholeheartedly has supported the club and supported his ideals and ambitions with the vast amount of money that he has injected yet the blame has to fall on his head for this season’s failings.
His trigger happy finger has pointed to successful campaigns before, most notably of course last season when the sacking of Andre Villas Boas led to Di Matteo directing the club to its inaugural Champions League glory. But the decision to sack Di Matteo has backfired with his replacement, Rafa Benitez, continuing his miserable few months with the club.
Seven trophies were on offer before the season started and reinforcements were recruited in the summer to battle on all seven counts, yet with over half the season gone Chelsea remain in two competitions, the FA cup which evidence of struggles suggest the defence of the trophy will be unsuccessful, and the Europa League, a secondary competition inadvertently qualified by the premature exit of the Champions League, seems unachievable in current form given the inconsistency in the domestic campaign.
The minimum requirement now for Rafa is to qualify for next season’s Champions League, a requirement that should be expected by any manager taking charge of the club, but a task that is now presenting itself as challenging.
Rafa has overseen, along with Di Matteo, the failings of the teams 5 winnable competitions, but the blame cannot be completely aimed at the interim manager. Evidently some of his tactical strategies and substitutions have been questionable; nevertheless the team should be able to protect a 2 goal advantage against the league’s relegation contenders in Southampton and Reading in which has been previously seen.
Interference by Roman Abramovich is a strategy employed midway through the season that nobody is unaccustomed with, but this time round it has had a disproportionate effect on everyone connected to the club. Morality has been dismantled at the hand of the one squeezing the trigger.
As to why Roman Abramovich found it excusable to dismiss Di Matteo is unclear. The Italian was sacked with Chelsea sitting second in the league. Admittedly the Champions League exit had been established by that point, but no-one truly believed Chelsea would become the first club to successfully defend their Champions League crown.
Michale Emenalo is reported to have favoured the appointment of Bentiez. Maybe this was all part of the master plan to bring Guardiola on board which may have been stimulated by Roman’s three disciples Buck, Gourlay and the already mentioned Emenalo. Either way the actions of the Russian have led to the disgruntled fans to permit a vocal negativity towards the temporary man in charge whilst ignoring to direct any protest towards the board.
The near future is certain insofar the expectation of Rafa Benitez will leave when his current term expires, but what isn’t known is what brand of European football will be entertained at Stamford Bridge next season, and indeed who will succeed as manager.
With Arsenal now snapping at the heels of the fourth spot and Tottenham looking to push on and possibly reach City, there will be some uncomfortable moments from now until the end of the season, even though there is a feeling Champions League qualification could have been secured much more easily.
It’s hard to believe “Are you watching Tottenham” was sung only last May, but now it’s Roman’s turn to pay attention. Well Roman, are you?
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