Managing a team like Chelsea
Here at Chelsea Football Club, the sacking and hiring of a new manger has recently become the norm. The club has seen nine managers since Abramovich took the rains in 2003. In contrast, the likes of London rivals Arsenal and fierce competitors Man Utd have remained under the same manger during this period. So why are we so used to seeing managers being shown the door at Chelsea? This article will cover topics in relation to Chelsea most recent sacking and signing. In doing so I will explain the point of having a manager, Di Matteo’s time at the club, Benitez run of form, and finally future prospects.
Firstly, we’d all like to think we would be a great manager – I myself at times believe I’d make a great manager when I look at my record on ‘Football Manager’. All fans, not just Chelsea fans, time and time again dispute managerial decisions regarding the starting eleven and substitutions. You could argue that in fairness they’ve paid to watch the game therefore they should have a say in who plays. Why should football fans pay millions for a manager to make poor decisions? Well quite obviously, fans do not have access to how well players are performing in training or conditions of squad members however, Harry Redknapp was quoted saying: “you’d have to be a dope to fail [at Chelsea].” This is a statement that perhaps many Chelsea fans would agree with, especially with all the financial backing.
All this begs the question, why can’t Chelsea find themselves a long-term successful manager?
Prior to Di Matteo managerial spell, Chelsea saw AVB take charge of Chelsea. AVB was sacked by Chelsea after less than a year in charge at Stamford Bridge which was due to a poor run of results following the new year of 2012, and even more so due to his team selection following their 3-1 Champions League first-leg defeat at Napoli. However, after the appointment of RDM, Chelsea found they suffered just one defeat in March and an undefeated April (which included a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp). This dramatic change was caused solely by the change in manager. RDM was able to get the Chelsea players on his side, something the previous manager was incapable of, and in doing so he created history at the club.
Unfortunately, following a bad run of form in the 2012/13 season, RDM soon joined the list of Ex-Chelsea managers, and with much controversy Rafa Benitez was placed in charged. Benitez only managed to get two points out of his first three games in charge which in itself is evidence that the appointment of Rafa has not had the same effect as RDM had. He has yet to get the players on his side, and more importantly the fans. Past statements such as, “We don’t need to give away flags for our fans to wave – our supporters are always there with their hearts, and that is all we need. It’s the passion of the fans that helps to win matches – not flags,” started him on the wrong foot here at Chelsea. Furthermore it does appear that some things can never be forgotten, and in the case of Rafa it certainly seems that even with his excellent managing CV, his time at Liverpool will be more memorable than his time at Chelsea.
As a consequence of a rather poor January for Chelsea standards, it may result in yet another change in manager before the end of the season. Furthermore, with Chelsea now 12 points off leaders Man Utd, it doesn’t appear that Rafa has the ability to regroup this talented Chelsea squad in an attempt to close the gap. With defeats in the Clubs World Cup final, and Capital One cup semi final, Chelsea may only have two trophy chances left this season which seemed unimaginable with the form they ended last season in.
Unsurprisingly, there is much speculation that the ‘Special one’ will return, after giving up on the Liga BBVA. Jose is blue at heart, and bookies favourite to take charge of the club soon, however the likes of Jurgen Klopp being manager would be an exciting prosper. Only time will tell, but decisions will be soon needed to be made to ensure the club continues to make History.