It’s been a while since I penned anything for CFCnet. It couldn’t be helped because I’ve been up to my nuts in super-injunctions to prevent the world knowing the truth about me and Jennifer Aniston, Megan Fox, Rachel Weisz etc etc ….you get the picture. That might not be exactly true. Not even a little. Except on those lonely nights when all I’m left with is those dark corners of my mind … ahem … anyway, moving on … a brief word on the recent events with Carlo Ancelotti.
I’ll be up front here and repeat what I’ve said before. I didn’t fancy him. I couldn’t warm to the man. I thought he was meek, weak and increasingly perplexed by the vagaries of the Premier League. However I agree that he’s been undermined by shadowy figures in the club hierarchy, not least of all by those responsible for the summary dismissal of Ray Wilkins, which I felt he should have said more about, or even walked out over. He’s also been undermined by the constant leaks from within implying his imminent departure after the final whistle of the final game. Our clubs sinister PR teams have mastered the supply of information and disinformation in a manner that MI6 would be proud of. However, without repeating all of my criticisms of Carlo regarding his failure to develop the youngsters more and trust them, his like for like substitutions, his bringing on of defenders when we needed a goal, his lack of any game contingency plans, his unswerving faith in players light years away from any semblance of form and his penchant for somewhat patronizing post game comments (unwitting I’m sure), I was prepared to get behind him for one more season.
Am I glad he’s been sacked? NO! Am I sad he’s gone? NO! After 41 years of supporting Chelsea I’m rather used to Dr Evil boardroom chairs with built in ejector seats. I believe Ken Bates had them fitted, as revolving doors on the manager’s office didn’t prevent them trying to claw their way back in. But irrespective of my views, the King is dead, so long live the….err…..next new King. If you repeat this mantra every 2 years then you’ll find that eventually you’ll align with every change of manager at Chelsea.
Synchronicity and all that.
So, who will that new King be? Any wag that says Prince Charles can leave the room now. Or Prince William (which reminds me…must add Kate to my super-injunction list). The truth is I’m not going to speculate, well not much anyway. Yesterday I got into an enormous Twitter skirmish with an ‘old guard’ fan who wanted to dismiss every suggestion I made, despite me throwing several at him that met his ‘proven success’ criteria. Any mention of hiring potential future greats is immediately dismissed as a huge risk. But we hired Claudio Ranieri didn’t we and his trophy haul is hardly what I’d describe as warehouse sized. It’s a lose/lose debate because as a group of fans we haven’t been collectively together on the choice of coach since we told Ken Bates he could stick George Graham up his arse. With the Abramovich success era we’ve drawn a wider fan base and with that a consequent broader range of views from those who demand success like Roman, and those like me who revel in it when it comes, but view every season where we’re not in a relegation dog-fight as a bonus.
Lets be honest, no-ones going to be happy. There are lots of people ranting on about proven success, despite past success being no guarantee of future success. I mentioned Rijkaard yesterday, previous CL winner , La Liga winner, Spanish Cup winner and the man who put Barcelona on the path to where they are now only to be slaughtered by people saying he was unstable, sullen and couldn’t handle the big time. Whilst I admit he did lose it a bit in the end of his Barca days, could it even be possible that experience helped him develop and learn a few things?
I mentioned Louis van Gaal – same thing…comments like nutter, awkward to the press (as if that’s a crime), borderline psycho came my way. So 2 coaches mentioned with proven success but dismissed out of hand by the Twitterati. Bearing in mind the only other real living CL successes are Mourinho, SAF, Del Bosque and Hitzfeld and I can guarantee 2 of those WON’T be coming to us it looks like we’re buggered on that front.
Of course we could look to the international stage. Bearing in mind the failed Scolari experiment this would be risky as well. Capello is a busted flush with the stain of England’s South Africa 2010 campaign hanging heavy wherever he goes. Del Bosque is an option but again the question hangs heavy as to whether he’d leave Spain in their current dominant state. Plus he’s never shown any urge to manage abroad anyway. Lippi is of course available but he’s 63, and do we really believe Italian style football is the way forward? I don’t remember his teams lighting the world up.
So that rules out the calibre of ‘Proven Success’ coaches around, unless we’re serious about Villas Boas. He’s done a good job thus far but at 33 might he not be a bit young to deal with egos like Drogba, Torres, JT etc? Porto are a fine club but I don’t think they’re at the same level as us in terms of expectation and demands. There are coaches with potential who maybe just need the chance, but if I mention Moyes or Hughes or Martinez or Coyle then no doubt I’ll get slaughtered with the ‘who are they and what have they won’ argument. Who is anyone until given the chance to shine on the big stage? Actually that happens in every walk of life … who knows whether they can handle the next level until they move to the … errrr … next level? Actors, singers, engineers, builders … surely that maxim applies universally.
Ultimately we can go completely mental and get Van Basten in … or Klinsmann … or Rodgers … endless choices. None of whom I suspect any Chelsea fan that was a fan of Carlo would think good enough. And whilst I understand the anger over Carlo, the fact remains he won’t be back. What we need now is brave thinking from the board in employing someone who is also capable of brave thinking.
My choice? Oh Ok … if you push me …
Guus or Claudio as DoF (yes I know I have slated Claudio, but he had an eye for talent even if he didn’t know how to maximise that talent), Rijkaard as head coach, Zola on the coaching team with a view to succeeding in 3 years – like Pep.
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