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!
Arsenal, WANK WANK WANK!
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.