Does CFCnet consider this season a write-off? Not at all. Yes, we’re disappointed at our mid-season collapse and our capitulation to Manchester United both in the League and Champions League.
The fact remains, however, that we’ve come second in the Premiership to a team playing their third Champions League Final in four years. For that reason, allied to last season’s Double, two thirds of CFCnet readers wanted Carlo Ancelotti to remain our manager for season 2011/2012.
It was therefore a sad moment when CFCnet received a text informing us that Carlo’s contract had been paid-up and the manager asked to leave on Sunday evening. All we can say is ‘thank you’ and we’d like to wish this honourable man our very best wishes for the future. He will forever take a prominent position in our history for winning Chelsea’s first Double.
Our Chelsea message boards have reflected the disappointment of readers who wanted Carlo to stay, although it must be said that criticism of him was not restricted to those who wanted him to go. Indeed, a vast majority of our readers were disappointed at his inability to tactically influence a game (once it had kicked off) and doubts remain whether he ever had a Plan B.
Some CFCnet readers have since argued we should have retained Ancelotti if only for stability’s sake. That’s a spurious argument because Arsenal have had one manager in the time we’ve had six yet the Emirates’ trophy room still contains the emptiest cupboard this side of a student drug bust.
Attention now focuses on who should replace our likeable Italian. CFCnet readers, once a passionate bunch regarding the choice of new manager, are a bit long in the tooth for all this nonsense. We all know that (a) a new manager will be appointed and (b) he’ll have to deliver. The days of a Ranieri-style trophy-less tenure are long gone so why worry? A bit harsh but you tell us if it isn’t true. Alfred E Neuman rules.
The romantic amongst us would dearly like to see one of our ex-players come into the frame, either as a Number One or as a Number One ‘in waiting’. Gus Poyet, Franco Zola and even Steve Clarke are all held in high esteem by our readers and it would make all the continual shuffling of our managers worthwhile if we ended up with a Club legend behind the dugout.
To that end, and to offer words of encouragement, a whole troupe of CFCnet readers will be making our way to Fulham’s Craven Cottage this Sunday (29th May) to see Franco Zola captain the Legends side against Spurs, Fulham and Arsenal at 3pm onwards. It’s a chance to see not only Gianfranco but also heroes like Hasselbaink, Tore Andre Flo, Pat Nevin and Mark Stein. You can get more details here and on Chelseafc.com. See you there!