The current phony war whereby each faction (Club, players and manager) independently brief their own favourite media hacks is wearisome – each year we have to put up with the same in-fighting played out in the back pages and columns of the national media.
For me, AVB hasn’t impressed. Neither has he impressed the ten other season ticket holders I sit with in Gate 11 of the Matthew Harding Lower. Despite this we’re not calling for his head either. We’ve grown tired of the endless chopping and changing of managers and also the scenario whereby each manager has to patch together a Frankenstein of a team made out of the coaching body parts of Ancelotti, Hiddink, Grant, Scolari and Mourinho.
What the Gate 11 posse (aka Anglesea Arms Crew) would like to see is the Club having the strength of fortitude to appoint a manager and back him, even at the expense of one or two years in the footballing wilderness. After all, we gave Ranieri a standing ovation after his four trophy-less years (and team selections that would make even Coco the Clown blush). If we can tolerate Ranieri, can we tolerate AVB? “Yes we can” as Obummer might say.
Doomsayers talk about the imperative of qualifying for the Champions League. Yes, it’s important but if we miss a season or two out of Europe’s premier competition what’s the big deal? If it means we get to create a new youthful, dynamic and skilful team with a solid, dependable manager then I, for one, would vote for that.
As for players not wanting to come to a team lying outside the Top 4, then all I can say is ‘f**k ‘em’. If playing for Chelsea is not good enough then sling your hook and play for Arsenal instead. You’ll qualify for the Champions League alright but the only silver you’ll be polishing will be your Bentley alloys.
Yes, AVB has his critics and his communication style has irritated a number of key players. (Or should that be ‘egos’? Because I sure as hell didn’t hear Porto players criticise their manager during their record breaking 2010/2011 season). It was always going to be a tough task to tell players of the calibre of Lampard or Drogba that they might not be playing on Saturday. But that task was made all the more harder because AVB hasn’t had a playing career and, even worse, is the same age as the same players he’s telling are not wanted. If ever there was a scenario for a wise old respected manager to be appointed last summer, then surely that was it?
But no. In their wisdom, Gourlay and Buck decided to opt for a 33 year old man as the ‘outstanding candidate’. Yeah, Ron, exactly what you said about Scolari, Ancelotti and Hiddink. Maybe it’s time you looked into the mirror and asked yourself whether you are the ‘outstanding candidate’ for the Chelsea FC CEO position? As it stands I’d say no, and that would be a generous opinion
The bottom line is that Chelsea FC needs to take a stand: appoint a manager and back him properly. Whether AVB is the man or not is a good question but then if Chelsea gets rid of managers of the calibre of Mourinho and Ancelotti perhaps the Club’s not in a position to ask that question in the first place … in which case we end up in the predicament we currently face.