The Real Issue At Chelsea

It’s been a rocky ride at Chelsea this week and from the players to supporters, you won’t find many smiles on faces. In fact, the proverbial ‘furrowed brow’ had nothing on me yesterday every time I saw the dug-out – even a hefty trowel full of polyfilla wasn’t going to help my frown lines.  I’m just not happy. I’m not happy with the way Roberto Di Matteo was treated, I’m not happy with the choice of replacement but most of all, I’m not happy with Roman Abramovich.

There, I’ve said it – and it’s about time someone did. Ok, so it may well no appear in any manual on ‘How To Win Friends And Influence People At Chelsea’ but seriously, I’m sick of pussy-footing around the real issue at the club. Roman Abramovich, our owner, our benefactor. The man we are indebted to. For those who didn’t arrive along with our windfall, we know what he did for us and even for those who followed behind him, they’ll appreciate what he’s continued to do for us over his nine years. But surely every debt only has so many installments before it’s repaid?

It’s like Ken Bates all over again.  Now there was a man who really knew how to push supporters to their limits as far as loyalty was concerned. Another owner with an unhealthy intolerance of managers, Bates was far less shy of publicity than his successor though.  Publicly slating everyone from the vice-chairman to supporters, hiking up ticket prices – no doubt to help fund the electric fences he wanted to pen everyone behind – and running up administration-threatening debts whilst turning the club into the Ken Bates Hilton. And yet, we still felt we owed him some sort of grudging respect for taking the club on at a time when financial concerns were high and prospects were pretty low.

Even that respect wore off over time though, not least of all because of his persistent disregard for the Chelsea faithful. Mind you, whilst Bates also went through 9 managers, he took 21 years to reach that number. Roman Abramovich meanwhile, in nine years, is on manager number nine and counting – and the appointment of the latest one shows every bit as much disregard for Chelsea supporters as his predecessor demonstrated. And not just the supporters either, because some of those players the FSW now has the privilege of managing were around when he was giving his opinion on just how ‘plastic’ everyone at the club is.

To be honest though, this week’s events are really just the straw that broke the camel’s back. Manager’s can be scapegoated as much as the press, public and even some of our own supporters like but none of them in the last 9 years have ever been given long enough to determine their real metal at Chelsea – although having said that, we’ve had a couple who shouldn’t have got in the door in the first place. And we can take it out on individual players as much as we want, but if someone inside a club decides they want a player and they’ll pay whatever ridiculous fee it takes to get them, are they meant to respond with an insistent “I’m really sorry Sir but I can’t take your money because I won’t give you a fair return on it?”

We even have a go at the board – and quite rightly so given their apparent incompetence to make anything resembling a rational decision – but the bottom line is, there’s only one man responsible for the presence of all of these people at Chelsea FC. One man seems to have made all the hiring and firing decisions over the last 9 years and to be honest, unless he’s going to bite the bullet and get his coaching badges, it really is time he stepped back and surveyed the damage.

Of course we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude, we’ve gone from the brink of administration to European Champions winning shed loads of silverware on the way. We’ve been treated to some incredible times over the last nine years and yet, it feels as if it’s all come at a price. With each latest bit of scandal inside Stamford Bridge either left unchecked or worse still, ignored altogether, goes a bit more integrity. And with each sacking, comes even more destabilisation at the club – and the inevitable public ridicule.

Not that I care what anyone outside of Chelsea thinks of us anymore really – I’m just about immune to that now – but I do care how I feel about the club I’ve invested a huge part of my life in. And right now, I feel let down. Despite my initial skepticism about a rich Russian oligarch playing Football Manager with the club I love, I gradually developed a respect and trusted him to act in Chelsea’s best interests. Indeed, it was only a few years ago I was defending his involvement at the club. That was then though, this is now and despite the fact his very first action at the club was to sack a manager for ‘tinkering’ too much, Roman Abramovich seems more intent on meddling than ever – and it needs to stop.

Or in other words, it’s high time someone explained the meaning of the term ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ to our owner so he’ll step out of the kitchen………and tell Manuel his services are no longer required either, obviously!


24 Responses to “The Real Issue At Chelsea”

  1. I feel sorry you feel that way.

    Other than the fall out with mourinho I think he RA has been right everytime.

    Glad about a clean sheet, it has been long overdue.

    Get behind Benitez, within 2 days he has already improved the club.

    I’m hoping come May I’ll be sad to see him go.

  2. Hm well it is nice to know he love d club bt he is allowing his passion 2 spoil everything

  3. I suppose you wer eone of those jeering the new manager yesterday. Maybe you would all be better off looking at Benitez’ record and realising that whatever he said in the past about is was a manager looking to support and motivate his team.

    If you want a ‘fact’ then yeserday was the first time in TWELVE games that we have kept a clean sheet – a distinct improvement you would I am sure agree.

    The ‘fact’ is that RA should have stuck by his instinct and not appointed RDM in the first place, our league for at the end of last season should have told him that.

  4. its romans club, i have total trust in him, could’nt give a dam what other clubs think, 9 managers 10 trophys, keep it commin roman

  5. This is the worst bullshit I have read for a year. It to think it came from a so called ‘loyal’ Chelsea fan is sickening. RA is not the problem at Chelsea he is the reason of success at Chelsea not Mourinho, not Carlo not Gus not RDM and certainly not those executives(Buck and company).

    Personally I will not have parted with RDM so soon, then again I will not have parted with Raneiri, the same goes to Mourinho, Avram and AVB, but we always seem to end up stronger each time.

    Back to the RDM case it didnt take a very knowladgeble about tactics to figure out that against good managers he was way out of depth. His only solution was to make Chelsea retreat into a shell, although that option worked last season this season when he was forced to come out the shell he was thoroughly exposed. For example the following games vs Athletico Madrid,Juventus both games, Man U both games,Shaktar both games again.

    If you still don’t buy the above argument, isn’t the success Mr Roman Abromovich has achieved at Chelsea in the past 9 years which you paint as disastarous good enough to trust his judgement.For crying out loud no English team has one more trophies than Chelsea if you dont consider ceremonial trophies like Community Sheild, Uefa supercup, World Club Cup e.t.c.

    I rest my case. Long Live King Abromovich

  6. Funny isn’t it, when Dave Sexton passes we are worried about our manager. The most talented gent in the game must be turning in his grave already and he is not even in it yet.

    I have to say RDM should have never been appointed even with the success he brought. Rafa, well he is a twat but who else would have taken that seat on ?! We know the move we are going to make in the summer and we can only hope the outcome is successful, I actually think we may fail again and then we will be massively in the shit.

  7. He bought our club not our hearts and souls.

  8. I agree with you this has gone too far i mean we all appreciate what he has done for us but at least he should have a bit of patience and also consider what we the fans actually see fit for our beloved Chelsea…appointing someone who termed us as lacking passion just goes against us

  9. He bought your club to please your soul and heart.

    tell me how please you were when you win back-to-back Premier League 2004/2005 n 2005/2006, and champions league 2012?

    how please you were when you had the like of crespo, shevchenko, robben, duff, ivanovic, lampard, tiago, makalele, malouda, not even mentioning cech, drogba, ashley cole, kezman, etc, etc. . . .

    Now you are MOANING because you have been told that you are a plastic flag fan, when ROMAN ABRAMOVICH was also the chelsea fan at the time Benitez said that, and the same ROMAN who was treated as PLACTIC by Benitez at that time. He is the one who should have felt the most hurt and pain.

    now you say Roman is the real issue at Chelsea?
    no, you are the real issue.

  10. This one solution to all problems of RA is destroying our club. His best solution is to kick the manager out at every bump. I will never accept FatMan as our coach. Already nearly out of Europe, and it’s looking bleak in the league.

  11. Logically thinking. We know Roman didn’t want Di Matteo on a full time basis. He was looking for the perfect opportunity to sack him and he did just that. What Benitez clearly says is that he has six months to five win trophies. He isn’t talking about anything beyond this season. Roman wants his man and he’ll probably get him. This is just a few steps to the possible long term success with Guardiola.

  12. Devy i am so touched with your comment….thank you for speaking the truth. We need people like you managing certain issues at the Club. DI Matteo’s coaching skills evaporated quick, after a few senior players left the club…( Persons who made sure AVB was sacked and DI. Matteo appointed – Blackmail is not good) . Abramovich did right to sack him. Benithez is expirienced and will win us trophies.

  13. I’ve been gutted with most of chelseas managers being sacked. Mouriniho obviously with what he achieved. Carlo did great with his first season, did pretty well in his second. Di matteo is a good manager, but he doesn’t have the manager skill to match with chelseas ambitions. I was sad to see him go but I couldn’t see him staying for more than two years. I wish Chelsea did better while AVB was there. He seemed like a perfect fit for Chelsea. Shame it didn’t work out. I don’t understand why abramovic wants pep so badly.. any manager would become a legend if you had a team like barcalona. Put messi, xvai and inesta in your team and you will win. Benitez isn’t the best person to take charge at Chelsea. Especially with what he has said and done. But look at it from a players point of view.. your playing a game and all you can hear his people slaggibg off the man who’s managing you. All Chelsea fans need to get behind Benitez,

  14. I see bright things with Benitez in charge. Also …
    I would just like to add, I’ve heard a lot of people say that torres has lost some pace. You can’t blame him, he’s getting older, he had a knee injury and he’s been playing basically every game.

  15. abramovich= trophys.stop this stupid childish nonesence & get behind the team. rafa’s here 4 7 months get used to it.

  16. I have mixed feelings on it all.

    I’m dissapointed to see Di Matteo go – especially after the amazing end of season last year. I think maybe he deserves a little more time espically after landing the champions league.

    Im no a big fan of Rafa at all – but he is here now so we should get behind him. If we dont what good will that do – just upset the team and we will win nothing,

    Abromovich – his money = trophies but really not liking some of his decisions!

  17. Stop being such a big girls’ blouse and getting all high and mighty about the absurd appointment of Rafa. The purpose of supporters is to support. If you don’t support the owner or the manager or the team, then how can you be a supporter? The truth is that when we rose to the top of the charts under Jose, we were on the receiving end of bitchiness from Benitez, Ferguson, and Wenger. Their attempted put-downs and condescending nonsense were a symptom of their jealousy and their uncomfortable feeling that a new superpower had muscled into their territory. Agreed? However, Mourinho and the Chelsea supporters all gave as good as they got when everybody turned on us and accused of almost everything short of starting the two World Wars. Chelsea does no have the high moral ground, nor does Rafa Benitez occupy the low moral ground. As a manager of Liverpoo, he was involved in a bitter war of words with Mourinho. Let’s face it. Jose Mourinho would try anyone’s patience. Let’s forgive Rafa for his own ill-judged remarks. The past is the past. Let’s embrace the future with him, however long that lasts. Apparently about 270 days seems to be the going rate.

  18. gary watton: wel said. could’nt agree more, chels fans need to grow up, in roman i trust

  19. For all the people who are against rafa Benitez …
    He said what he said because he wanted to beat Chelsea. And clearly without those things he said, they would not have won. Football is not always about just football, its about the mind games too. get over the fact that he’s here, enjoy watching and supporting CHELSEA FC. You shouldnt care who the manager is. If this guy wins us trophies then fucking great!

  20. Garry Watton thank you.

  21. Guys and Gals
    I am visiting from the US. Have been there over 20 years.Have been a Chelsea Supporter for 45+ years.
    The truth is this…..Benitez is not the Manager we need, half the current team need to be fired for lack of commitment, and Abramovich needs to keep out of the Daily grind of what it takes to make a great football team!
    Having money does not mean you know shit about how to run a soccer team dude…so back out!
    Final analysis – Chelsea suck at this moment. Is this the team that won the European Championship last year? Hard to believe

  22. Thank you for this. I feel utterly depressed with the whole situation and it kills me a little bit more inside every time someone tells me to grow up and just accept things as they are. That is not growing up, that is burying your head in the sand.
    Maybe it’s just me, but I would rather have had Roberto still in charge and won nothing this season but started to build an exciting young team for the future, than have what we do now: a team that is falling apart at the seams, a clearly divided and confused dressing room, fans who are conflicted at best and absolutely no chance of ever getting Guardiola if that is indeed to be our next move. Bottom line is though, whether you support Roman’s decision or not, if he is so keen on us playing good football and winning every match then he was totally out of his mind when he appointed Rafael Benitez.

  23. Sadly, Chelsea fans will ultimately end up doing what all us football supporters do…accept it once there is a sniff of success.

    As a United fan (I come in peace, I read this blog because I am a fan of football) it’s what I ended up doing with the Glazers. And then when Rooney flirted with City, I thought he was dead to me…until he scored a few more goals.

    We are all whores in the end because we can’t help loving our Clubs. If the Fat Spanish Waiter delivers you the Premier League come May, there won’t be too many calling for his head. It’s inevitable. Good luck this season.

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