Chelsea Dig Their Own Grave

I must have been the only Chelsea fan in the world who wasn’t surprised by today’s news. Realistically with the FA Cup the only legit chance of Chelsea winning any trophy this season, the move had to be made now. Had Scolari been in charge Saturday when Chelsea went to Watford, Chelsea would be out of the FA Cup. You can call that last statement a bit harsh, but with the recent form Chelsea have shown, it would have been Barnsley all over again.

Back last sumer when the announcement was made, I was the only one I knew who did not like the hiring at all and went as far as to say on my CSRN show that he should have never been hired to begin with. Call it a gut feeling, but with the performances Chelsea have had this season, it was going to happen. Now it’s time to start putting the blame on who really needs it.

1) John Terry. The man who has been bailed out by Claude Makelele and Ricardo Carvalho more times than one should have to count needs to be top on this list. Back when Jose was manager, he was already trying to angle his way into management by having language written into his contract saying that he would be allowed to get into management at Chelsea once he retired as a player.

Being Chelsea captain, he has the biggest influence on the players and his leadership of late on the pitch has been downright pathetic. His public campaigning for the England National Team captaincy despite the relative silence from the other candidates (Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand, even Frank Lampard) downright stupid and shows the selfish nature of his own being. If it’s not all about him, he’s plotting a way to make it all about him.

When Avram Grant was in charge, the papers ran roughshod over their feelings it was John Terry managing the club, not the man who got Chelsea into their first Champions League final. Hell he even got a personal phone call from Roman to be personally told that Scolari was sacked, almost as if John Terry has been asking about it already. Though to be fair to Terry, Frank Lampard got that same phone call.

About the time Chelsea lost their first game at Stamford Bridge in over 4 years, John Terry mentally shut down, and took the rest of the club with him. His health has been questionable the last couple of seasons, his body unable to withstand the way he plays. If anything, the captaincy needs to be stripped and given to someone who is going to put the needs of the team above his own.

2) Roman Abramovich. I question his commitment to keeping this club stable. Four managers in five and a half years, only one getting more than  season doesn’t exactly give the club you own any hope at being stable. Taking orders from players with regards to how your club is to be run makes you look weak.

He’s an ego that has to be the biggest one in the room. Forcing Andrei Shevchenko onto Jose Mourinho could be pointed to as the moment the relationship between those two went south, and the opening it took for him to start listening to players demands over what was right for the club. Once Mourinho was gone, Roman’s ego dictated to the managers that followed they had to use Jose’s team, not a team of their own.

Had Roman let Jose manage the club and not meddle in his affairs, this blog is not being written. Had Roman understood that it’s his job to not cave into players demands, this blog is not being written. And above all, had Roman run this club like a proper footballing club, this blog is not being written. Notice the owners of Manchester United, Aston Villa and Arsenal, they leave their managers alone and let them do what they do best.

3) Peter Kenyon. Why the hell is he on vacation right now? In fact I think the entire time he’s been at Chelsea it’s been one long vacation for him. As long as he stays so far up Roman’s backside, he will probably get a free pass but his personnel decisions should see him sacked. He was nothing more than a bit player at Manchester United in the grand scheme of things. Now that he’s got run of the mill on decisions Sir Alex Ferguson made, he’s proving to be nothing more than a laughing stock. He couldn’t make the same decisions that Sir Alex Ferguson routinely made and it makes you wonder if he wasn’t already out the door at Old Trafford after not getting Ronaldinho? If anyone’s head at Chelsea needs to roll the most, his should have already been gone.

4) The Fans. Sure they were happy when Ranieri was sacked, but that was because they had Jose Mourinho come in. Once Mourinho left, they were never going to give Avram Grant a chance. They got star struck once Scolari was hired but turned on him quicker than they did with Avram once results didn’t go their way. Now the fans have gotten their way again, let’s see if they will start calling for the players to actually do their job on the pitch.

Chelsea have work to do if they want to dig themselves out of this mess. Hiring a long term manager is a start, and right now that isn’t Giofranco Zola/Steve Clarke. What Chelsea need is an experienced name that is going to take no crap off the players and tell Roman that he wants full control. If full control over player decisions doesn’t come, don’t expect a big name at Stamford Bridge. If somehow a big manager comes in under the conditions Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant and Luis Felipe Scolari left, expect more money to be added onto the 60 million already paid out to former managers.

Fans also need to be more realistic in their expectations. Pre Roman, getting into the Champions League and a deep cup run was the highest of expectation, now they have to be in the running in all competitions entered, winning at least one or two. That’s not going to happen with the lack of stability Chelsea currently have.


  1. Arjun February 10, 2009
  2. Thomas February 10, 2009
  3. LS February 10, 2009
  4. Dave Miller February 10, 2009

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