Back to our roots?

Since Roman Abramovich bought my shares in Chelsea and became the sole owner of the club we have won a hell of a lot of silverware but we have also lacked one of the things great teams need: Stability. Being honest, I would rather have had two managers and half the silverware in the same space of time. Everything feels disjointed and clunky like an engine with a carburetor that keeps getting clogged. When it runs you have a classic car in electric blue gliding down the motorway, but it stalls out you’re left standing on the hard shoulder, scratching your head and wondering why it’s not great all the time.

In my opinion, and it’s not that humble, we never needed a new striker, though I’m not complaining that Torres has some help and decent competition now. What we have needed since Jose left is for Abramovich to pick a manager and stick with him for a good four or five years – either young and hungry like AVB or Robby or vastly experienced like Ancellotti, who I think should still be wearing a blue tie and blazer. I wonder what good AVB could have done if weren’t for the old guard and what Robby could have done if given time. I think both could have done a great job of rebuilding the team, but at the end of the day you have to reap what you sow.

The team is inconsistent now because of the way the club is run. Arsenal perform above their expectations on a shoestring budget with youngsters because of the consistency provided from Wenger – and they turn out a profit year after year. Man Utd perform to their expectations because their hierarchy will not allow for anything less through a blend of shrewd buying of able stars, youth and experience. Only Chelsea can boast as consistent a claim in the Premiership, which was built upon the legacy of Jose Mourinho. How we have had so much success, Ancellotti aside, astonishes me. We’ve been riding our luck and that luck seems to have run out.

We perform badly because the threat of losing your job for a bad eight to ten game run prevents you from building a base from which to build properly. I honestly don’t think that any manager except maybe Mourinho is going to get that chance at a three or four season run to build the youth we have into a cohesive team, instead of the collection of amazing, but raw talent we have.

So we have to do what we should always be doing: It’s been in the lyrics to our song since the 72 League Cup final. The song I grew up with.

“So cheer us on through the sun and rain, ’cause Chelsea, Chelsea is our name.”

Well, it’s raining on the Bridge right now and we need to turn up and do our part to give the lads on the pitch a reason to perform week in and week out. There’s a distinct lack of that happening right now.

OK, so that’s not entirely true of Denver, where we Rocky Mountain Blues have gone from strength to strength to the point where we are now an official Silver Supporter’s Group, but it’s definitely the case with our boo boys at the Bridge and the Torres haters and so on ad nauseam and that’s one thing that we, as true blues, can and should change.

It’s like we’ve gone back to the ’90s. There’s flair and talent in abundance, but we’re missing that one thing that would turn us from an exciting but inconsistent team into that winning machine. We have players like Hazard and Oscar and Mata who could all give Zola a run for his money. We have some great defenders – Ivanovic, who could rival Desailly head to head, and Petr Cech, arguably the best goalkeeper we have ever had between the sticks (apologies to Bonetti, Niedzweicki, De Goey and my goalkeeping hero, Kevin Hitchock: Penalty King.)

Can Luiz be the next Di Matteo? Will Cahill be the next Frank Lebouef? I don’t know, but then again for me it’s not about being the next anyone, it’s about becoming a Chelsea legend in your own right and with the right man at the helm there’s more than enough talent in the new guard to create 11 new legends.

Success oft breeds arrogance and I think it’s about time we had something to sober us up that we might remember our humble roots and beginnings and remember (or learn) what being a Chelsea fan is really all about.

I close with a couple of songs we can sing against the Arse on Sunday:

Oh West London is wonderful! / Oh North London is full of shit!


And if we feel like a little bit of anti-Spurs solidarity, for fun we can sing

We’ll be running round the Tottenham with our European Cup!

Oh wait… the Arsenal fans won’t be able to join in with that one… 😉

Keep the Blue flag flying high, my friends.

Image Credits: The Sinner’s Almanac, The Guardian


4 thoughts on “Back to our roots?

  1. I might be the only one that still holds no sympathy for Ancelotti, he needed to go. Four losses to Manchester United in one season just is not acceptable especially considering Jose Mourinho lost to United just twice in his 3+ years at the Bridge. People claim Ancelotti “won us the double” when the reality was that Frankie, Drogs, Malouda, Terry, Cole and Cech were all at their peak. He vastly underperformed in the Champions League that season, something that is often overlooked. The fact that his PSG sit in second (despite being more talented than the rest of Ligue 1 put together) shows that he’s not a “great” manager. I was happy with the way Roman dealt with him, I never wanted to see his face again after that fourth United loss.
    Now the most recent rumor is Gianfranco Zola, a name that completely speaks for itself. I love RdM as much as the next guy but Zola is arguably the most loved guy to ever play for Chelsea. Mourinho will always be my #1 choice, but seeing Zola on the touchline would be something truly special for all Chelsea supporters. He’s doing really well with a below average Watford team after a poor start, he deserves a real shot for many reasons……

  2. Bret Higgins

    Some thoughtful, valid points, mate. I liked Ancelotti for the stability and steadfastness he provided. I think that if he had been given another couple of years we would have seen the European Cup in our locker a few years earlier. We actually beat Man Utd home and away (1-0 and 1-2) in his double winning campaign, though Man City did beat us home and away in return.

    I do disagree that we under performed in the Champions League, though. Won 4, drawn 2 in the league stage with three clean sheets and knocked out by the winners, who were lead by the Special One? There’s no shame in that.

    It is odd that you only give credit to the players for the victories but blame the manager for defeats, though.

    Zola… mouth watering prospect if he’s given time. I don’t think he will be given time, though and I would much rather our legends be treated with respect and left alone, than be brought in and fired after a few bad results like Robbie was.

    Great to hear from you, and we all hope Seattle is treating you well, mate!

    1. “It is odd that you only give credit to the players for the victories but blame the manager for defeats, though.” -I was 100% sure that you were going to say something along those lines.
      My reasoning behind that (something you might agree with) is that a manager should take blame for knockout stage losses. Knockout stage requires tactics and innovation where you can rely on superior talent in a 38 game season. Pep’s Barca was the best team in the world during his entire reign but he didn’t always win with them in knockout stage fixtures. Mou’s Inter and Porto teams weren’t the best but his tactics were.
      Maybe I got used to NEVER losing at Stamford Bridge with Mourinho but it really bothered me to watch Carlo’s lack of creativity.
      His transfer policy also confused the hell out of me
      While Zhirkov and Torres were obviously Roman’s buys, his track record is below average with the exceptions of Luiz and Ramires so far (Kalas has incredible potential). I love Ramires but looking back, buying him really made no sense. He was Carlo’s Victor Moses.
      Regardless, I want to see a Zola or Clarke at the helm for a long time but we all know Roman. I am just glad that Pep is headed to Germany to destroy a different team (Valdes to replace Neuer? What a joke!)
      Cheers Bret, Seattle’s fine. Often too busy for my own good but I’ll try to make 1 or 2 games this season. Good luck to you and all the RMBs

      1. Bret Higgins

        When it comes to blame the manager is always top of the list. The players play how he wants and he chooses who plays on the park. That should go equally for victories, too. But for me, if and when I give praise for any campaign, be it a cup or league it goes to the club, not to the players or the manager. It’s a group effort and everyone should accept their part in victories and defeats.

        Regarding the unbeaten run it was one hell of a fortress, wasn’t it! I am sure that rare and special thing will come around again but I think it’ll take three, or maybe four seasons. I am also very fortunate in that I have never seen Chelsea lose at home and I have been to many, many matches at the Bridge.

        I never put much lot in the transfers, mostly because it’s near impossible to say that a manager was behind them. I thought that Benayoun had a lot to offer, but didn’t get the game time… still, we have rich history of buying poorly over the last decade or so. We also seemed cursed when it comes to strikers.

        Clarke would be a great choice as he knows the Abramovic set up already and I don’t think he’s the kind of guy who will take any crap from up above, but I think our top three choices are the same, if not in the same order: For me it would be Clarke then Mourhino then Zola. (Moyes would be 4th)

        But I don’t think it really matters who comes in, just as long as Rafa leaves and the following boss is given proper time to build a dynasty.

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