Remember the summer when a sum of 15 million was spent to buy a young and upcoming Portuguese manager out of his contract to take the reins of Chelsea? Fast forward a season and half and you will notice a direct link with the predicament Chelsea football club are now in.When the confident Portuguese came over from Porto after winning the treble, most of the talk came from the idea of a “project”. A project that now remains unfulfilled and was unspecified at the time can be widely considered as a regeneration of the squad, an influx of younger faces whilst phasing out older bones, which naturally indicated to a transitional period. But the demise of performances on the pitch combined with mismanagement of key influential players gradually led to a premature wielding of the axe followed, closely followed by the current predicament.So what is the current predicament you ask? It’s simple, since the sacking of AVB the Gods at Chelsea have appointed two managers never wanted in the first place, and since sacking AVB, the board have never had a realistic outstanding candidate for the job.
Of course prematurity and regularity of sacking managers has been a trademark in the Abramovich era, and an argument can lodged that Mourinho is the one that should never have been sacked. The scenario with AVB however, was that it was the last chance saloon for the club to back a man for the future of the club, to maintain a long term objective and erase the constant rumour mills of when will a Chelsea manager get sacked and who will the next man be.
You will find sound bites of Bruce Buck claiming their decisions of the past have been justified with the continuing success of the Club, the same reasoning also applied to AVB’s sacking after Roberto Di Matteo somehow guided to Champions League glory. Evidently, the Italian legend was clearly not the man originally wanted, as the ruthful dismissal proved as well as the time taken to award a new contract in the summer.
Even with the those two sackings the project still remains though spoken about less frequently, but with the summer signings and the younger players out on loan it seems the strategy is still in shape with a focus of long term success. The only flaw is there is no manager, not to comply with the long term strategy anyway.
Rafa Benitez will not be at Stamford Bridge in the summer, such has the tensile animosity been prevalent since his appointment, added with the clear indication he was only favoured as a stopgap giving the 6 month contract offered. Chelsea established a long term strategy in conjunction with AVB, a manager who symbolised youth and energy and the future for Chelsea, but the vision has been lost, recuperating a little momentum under Di Matteo before returning to disarray.Benitez cannot be faulted for taking the job especially from being out of football management for a couple of years and needing a shop window to advertise his abilities. Needless to say anybody taking the post over 6 months would find the same struggles to overcome with the lack of direction shown from the board over the past year and half.
The question the remains is what happens now? The last manager Roman wanted he sacked within his first months at the club, even though he paid a packet to get him. Di Matteo was never backed but instead provided his support for the long term with the summer signings, and Benitez was clearly brought in while the chosen one Guardiola was negotiated.
With the Spaniard opting for Bayern Munich, it is now anybody’s guess as to who will govern the dugout next season. Jose Mourinho is a favourite with the fans to be reinstated, but it seems unlikely he will take the helm. Rumours of Diego Simeone and David Moyes have also been rumoured of late, with no reason nor rhyme other than any logical thinking high profile manager would not want to come to club only to be sacked a year later.
So now here lies a predicament that witnesses a club with boundless sackings of managers only to find there is no other to rely upon. In fairness the likes of David Moyes aren’t necessarily bad options, but it’s a name you would not have linked to the club when AVB was appointed. Yet a year and a half on . . .