Roman is a smart man and he does not like failing. Sooner or later he will see the one constant plaguing the club.
When Victor Moses scored the goal that helped put Chelsea up 3-0 against Leicester, the goal meant more to Moses than any of us will understand. If there is one player that epitomizes the reign of Chelsea Technical Director Michael Emenalo, it’s Victor Moses.
He has been lurking in the shadows for years. What people fail to remember is that Frank Arnsen was an awful technical director. He was highly influential in Jose Mourinho leaving Chelsea and later went on to criticize the manner in which Jose conducted business. Arnesen’s ineptitude was often coupled with his inability to accurately gauge the ability of the players at his disposal.
Immediately following Arnsen’s departure was Michael Emenalo, a man that had seemed to earn Roman’s trust more than anyone before him. It would not be surprising if we found out that he was one of the members of Roman’s backroom staff that lost faith in Carlo Ancelotti. It might be even less surprising if he was influential in the departure of beloved Chelsea assistant Ray Wilkins.
He has been making things harder than people realize. It was always easy to overlook just how difficult Emenalo made things on all our mangers. Andre Villas-Boas was such a poor fit for Chelsea that people did not even realize that Emenalo was hindering his tactics. The only real defense for AVB was that it is hard to look back and figure out what the club was doing to support him. With the exception of maybe Gary Cahill, (whose biggest strength at the time was playing a high line) none of the players signed that season really fit what he envisioned.
Things were even worse when Roberto Di Matteo took over and the club showed even less trust in him after bringing home the Champions League trophy. The club was unwilling to meet the £1m difference between their price and Wigan’s demands no matter how clear it was that Di Matteo wanted Moses. The entire transfer saga was less about signing a squad player but again about Emenalo’s plans for the club.
He has too much power. There were times many of us sat around these last two years and wondered exactly who sanctioned many of these player moves. Did Jose want Schurrle? How about Salah? Filipe Luis? Remy? Cuadrado? Jose inherited all the blame when these players struggled but it never seemed like they were the types of players he wanted. The marquee signing the following season was Pedro, who hardly fits the mold of a “Jose Mourinho type player.”
This season again we’re seeing Conte battle with Emenalo. It would still seem pretty astounding if David Luiz was a player Conte wanted. He has hardly given Batshuayi an opportunity. He’s forced to work with basically the same squad that Jose couldn’t inspire. Conte made it clear this weekend that he is the man in charge when he refused to sub Costa. He has put on a front that he is willing to work with the options presented, but he is making it even more clear that the club needs changes.
Emenalo is on thin ice. You don’t have to believe it, but he is. It’s easy to assume that Emenalo got away clean when Jose left, but there is no question that Roman was not happy with him. Roman is a smart man and he does not like failing. Sooner or later he will see the one constant that is plaguing the club. Conte is a smart man as well, and he never would have taken the job if he’d have known that there would be someone impeding his abilities in the same way Jose was impeded.
Emenalo is in his fifth year as technical director. As much leeway as Roman gave to Arnesen, he eventually saw what he was doing to the club. We are all seeing that, with all the time given to Emenalo, he has never taken Roman or Chelsea in the direction they want. We don’t play like Barcelona, we’re still yet to bring in our promising youth players and our club is hardly seen as stable.
The Victor Moses goal was symbolic of everything Emenalo is doing wrong. It felt as though trusting in the right players and managers could finally help end a stranglehold on a club that still remains in “transition.” Everyone makes mistakes, but Roman needs to do just one thing to fix those of the last five years.