Written by Anthony Williams
During Roman Abramovich’s time at the club there have been many changes and although some are for the better, others can often be for the worse.
Former Chelsea boss and fan favourite Jose Mourinho was a victim of certain changes and was forced out of the club – which some fans still bemoan today. Are we now witnessing the latest bout of power games at Chelsea? Could we see an approach for Pep Guardiola at the end of the season?
I could just be paranoid and maybe a little cynical but something just doesn’t feel quite right about recent events at Stamford Bridge and have feel this way ever since Ray Wilkins was shown the door by chief executive Ron Gourlay. Allegedly the two had a bust-up after Gourlay criticised the management team’s use of substitutions and two weeks later Butch was unceremoniously dismissed half way through a reserve game.
But it was Chelsea’s next move that was even more surprising after they shunted aside Paul Clement, who was earmarked as an obvious successor to fill the role left by Wilkins, and employed a relative unknown Michael Emenalo as Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant. Sure, he may end up doing a good job and I do not doubt he has a good knowledge of the game, but it is worrying when you consider his last coaching role was for a girls’ under-12s side. Emenalo is also described as a friend to Abramovich – which has led many to suspect that he is nothing more than a nark, as Martin Samuel in his column for the Daily Mail.
Ancelotti also made a startling admission that he is not calling the shots at Chelsea and is just there for technical direction, a role which he also says he is content with and is probably used to after his time with AC Milan working for Silvio Berlusconi, who is quite a hands-on owner like Abramovich. I cannot imagine that Ancelotti could be happy with the treatment of the likes of Wilkins and Emenalo was obviously not his choice to work with. When a manager can’t even choose his own staff then question have got to be asked, surely? Also, his advice tends to go ignored as he requested that we should hold on to Michael Ballack (a player we really could do with right now), but the club let the German leave for free.
Is it possible that Ancelotti is becoming a victim of similar internal battles which marred Mourinho’s final months at the club before he left the club under a cloud?
Things started to go wrong for Mourinho when the setup was changed around him and he started losing control of the club, whilst being undermined. Frank Arnesen and later Avram Grant joined the club as head talent scout and director of football respectively, both moves which were opposed by Mourinho and eventually contributed to his demise.
I doubt Ancelotti will make as much of a fuss about things as Jose did, but on the outset it appears as though Abramovich could be paving way for something new. This is of course purely theoretical and partially down to rumour.
But with Txiki Begiristain, the Barcelona technical secretary, set to join the club in a director’s role the rumours of Ancelotti being replaced by Guardiola are circulating. According to some quarters of the press Guardiola is the man Abramovich wants at Chelsea and is hoping that the Barca chief does not decide to renew his contract at the Camp Nou at the end of the season.
I’m not sure how confident the Chelsea owner is of acquiring his services or why Guardiola would want to leave Barcelona, who boasts one of the finest squads in world football as well as a productive youth system and the largest stadium in Europe. Even so, the reports are still there that Abramovich has already met with Barcelona officials after being unhappy with the start Ancelotti has made this season and believes a new challenge will be enough to lure the Catalonian.
If such a thing was to happen I think it would be extremely unfair on our current manager, who hasn’t really been backed in the transfer market to build a squad in his own image. Ancelotti has done a good job with what he has had at his disposal, got us playing good attacking football and won a Premier League and FA Cup double in his first season at the club. His achievements are certainly nothing to balk at and it would be unfair to punish him for recent poor form alone.
I would implore our owner to be more patient. What do you think?
This article was first published on TheShedEnder.com
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