I’m sure it hasn’t escaped regular TCB readers’ notice that I’ve been a lot less active on here over the past few weeks. The truth is, for probably the first time in my many years supporting Chelsea, I’m at a complete loss for words – or at least I don’t have anything to say that won’t sound like the whingeing toddler in a supermarket you implore its mother to ‘sort out’.
I vaguely remember feeling like this before, when Avram Grant benefited from Jose Mourinho’s departure. As far as I was concerned, he was a charlatan shoved into the role simply because the manner and speed in which Jose went didn’t afford other options. The fact that even his coaching badges were questionable only served to underline the inappropriateness of his position even more than his press conferences did. The difference with Grant though is that I was motivated enough to rant about it on here – frequently. This time, it just feels pointless.
Back then, in spite of hearing he’d leave us in the lurch a lot more than we hear it now, I always believed Roman had Chelsea’s best interests at heart. The appointment of FSW has burst that little bubble. From day one, I’ve always defended Roman against suggestions of us being a plaything he’d soon get bored of and walk away from, leaving us ruined – and to an extent I was right because he hasn’t walked away (yet). The irony now though, is that it would seem he might actually be doing more damage by staying.
And before you start wading in to remind me just how much we’ve had out of Roman – I don’t actually need reminding. I’m aware of where he got us to and of course I celebrated what felt like the pinnacle of that in May – but everything that’s happened since that night has chipped away at the faith I once had in our benefactor.
Not that I’d never questioned decisions before, I had, plenty of times. And the heavy-handed approach was already in evidence, not just with our many managers but with players as well. The treatment of Anelka and Alex was never comfortable even before AVB’s exit, but he probably bore the brunt of that. Malouda suffering a similar fate now and the whole Lampard ‘situation’ expose the board a little more than they allowed before though.
Roberto Di Matteo’s sacking and FSW’s appointment in November though, that was the defining moment for me. Right there. Of course, RDM was never viewed as a long-term appointment, heels were dragged worse than a lush in stiletto’s over that from the off, so it was never a good sign. The choice of successor though, interim or not, now that was as narcissistic as it gets, just as his staying is, in spite of a worse record than the predecessor. If anything smacks of ‘this is mine and I’ll do as I please’, the current stance does – and it’s a stance that’s been harder than ever to ignore since that night in May.
So, I suppose the realisation that makes me struggle so much with an opinion lately is that we can stamp our feet as much as we want, it has no effect. In fact, the sad truth is, for all our shouting and ranting – we don’t even have a voice anymore.