There has been yet more off-field drama at Stamford Bridge with the announcement that Chelsea’s director of football Frank Arnesen will leave the club at the end of the season. That makes it two big name departures from the Chelsea backroom team in a matter of weeks, following the sacking of assistant manager Ray Wilkins earlier this month. It really does beg the question of what is going on behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge?
Unlike Wilkins, Arnesen has opted to leave the club, but it is still a strange departure. The Dutchman has been a big part of the setup at Chelsea since his arrival in 2005. At the time it was estimated that the three-time Premier League winners had paid up to £8 million to his former club Tottenham in compensation, but five years on Arnesen doesn’t seem so keen to work for the club.
There is plenty of speculation as to why the Dutchman has chose leave, but it does appear that there is real lack of harmony in the club. If Chelsea are to have success this season they need to resolve these issues as quick possible, because as shown with their defeats to Sunderland and Birmingham, this lack of harmony can have a real impact on results.
I’m not going to say the defeats were purely down to the off-field problems at Stamford Bridge, but they have certainly not helped, and really increased the pressure on Carlo Ancelotti ahead of today’s trip to Newcastle
In normal circumstances, a trip to Newcastle would be nothing more than a tough mid-season trip for Chelsea, but after back-to-back Premier League defeats, today’s game is vital. During the opening weeks of the campaign everything was going well for Ancelotti’s side. Chelsea were scoring goals for fun, and looked like they could cruise to their forth Premier League title.
As is so common with football though, things haven’t really followed the script, and the Chelsea side now looks a million miles away from the Chelsea side that started the season. As this was meant to be the year when they really pushed on for honours, but right now that looks questionable and you have to feel that unless the club can unite together they will be disappointed come May.
What do you think? Are the off-field problems at Chelsea damaging their chances of success this season?