Posted on Friday, 11th January 2013 by chidge
We had a “mini” revival in terms of form winning some games quite well, with some fans foolishly and prematurely assuming that FSW wasn’t that bad…until returning back to form humiliating us at home to QPR. The subject of contract renewals of legends Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole have intensified due to recent stories printed within the media and finally Roman’s tenure of Chelsea has come under serious question from many Chelsea fans…I’ll do my best to cover all this in the latest blog.
When the club returned from Japan off the back of a pathetic showing in the World club final I think many feared for the worse (I certainly did). We were due lots of games in short succession, jet lagged and the squad becoming thinner with injuries.
Surprisingly, we did go on quite a run. We smashed Leeds in the league cup, destroyed Villa by their worse result in their entire history, crept past a plucky Norwich team who have made a recent habit of beating top teams at Carrow Road and then finally beat Everton away, a team we’ve struggled against in recent years.
All of this, with a game in hand, had us only 4 points off City (1 if we won the game in hand) and we would have put quite considerable daylight between us and the pack for fourth…until Wednesday night where it became very bleak again.
In this brief winning period, I think the fickle nature of fans really came to light. Surprisingly, quite a lot of fans were starting to “warm” to FSW. I’ve seen comments actually stating that he was a better tactician that RDM…I would have loved to have brought that up on Wednesday evening around 9:45pm to the new Rafa fans.
Although the 4 game winning run we went on was great to watch and gave us some optimism…lets just actually look at this with a sane mindset.
We beat Leeds 5-1…okay; fantastic against that scummy club but they are now a Championship club and a mediocre one at that. Jet-lagged, broken or Liverpool standard we should wallop that lot any day of the week with the class we’ve got at our disposal. Think people forget we did go 1-0 down too!
The 8-0 demolition of Villa; it literally was men vs. boys and almost the equivalent of a team with as much premier league experience as a group of athletic football fans rocking up. Even then, they may have put up more of a fight. It was brilliant to watch and we did play well but our opponents were diabolical.
The Norwich game was a very good win at a stubborn place to visit…but again, if Norwich perhaps had turned up they may have got a draw. The game was comfortable for us because they had a very off day.
Finally the Everton game; again a very well earned three points but realistically we could have been 3-0 down in the opening 20 minutes because the FSW wanted to play 4-3-3 (thankfully he had the sense to revert back to 4-2-3-1). We rode our luck significantly it has to be said.
I know what I’ve written above probably plays down the players effort, disrespects the opposition and belittles the wins but the facts are that those wins were a smokescreen of the reality of FSW as a manager. Beating 2 awful teams and 2 awkward teams with an element of luck does not make you any good and I think Chelsea fans that thought anything other than that were perhaps blinded by results and faith (a bit like me for the best of 18 months of my backing for a certain number 9)
A lot was made of the amount of changes FSW made for the QPR game and he has defended his decision on the rotations claiming he did it during the winning streak and nobody said anything. Clearly, the man is either too arrogant to admit he was wrong or just stupid. In the 4 games we won, he made a total of 5 changes to the team, none of which were the key men in form…the QPR game he made 4 in one game, one less than he had over the past 2 weeks, 3 of which were to key players like Cole, Hazard and Mata.
I am fully aware that the side FSW sent out against one of the worse premier league teams in history should have been more than enough to beat them but I think it adds further fuel to his past decisions that he probably assumed this was a banker and treated them with no respect.
Its obviously not all his fault, the players on the pitch should have done their bit to begin with…perhaps the motivation drummed into them that this team would lay down was a factor to do with that. We’ve seen it before.
Even to change the game, the substitutions were very “safe” (RDM like it has to be said) and baffling (I refer to the one when a man who scored 192 goals for the club was replaced so Ivanovic could then move upfront).
FSW all over…a few wins, a bit of momentum and then it implodes. I get the feeling he thinks he is a very intelligent man but probably not as intelligent as he makes himself out to be.
Southampton away in our Cup tomorrow; hoping new boy Demba Ba gets a start and we can play with 11 men from the start. Sadly I’ve lost all faith in Torres. It hurts to say because I heavily backed him and went on faith that maybe he would rediscover the old days…in truth he is making Emile Heskey look an attractive proposition at the moment. Sad to see, but it’s the truth.
The contract showdown
Over the last 2 weeks much more speculation about the contracts of Lampard and Cole have appeared. It is difficult to foresee how much truth is being said, however, one thing that looks certain is that these 2 men will not be seeing out their playing days in Chelsea blue. Heartbreaking I feel is the only appropriate word to describe this fiasco.
Both players clearly have much to offer to the club despite the apparent issue of age and that’s been portrayed on the pitch and vocalized by sensible heads of the game worldwide. Cole continues to anchor himself in the back four and Lampard, who has been injured for 9 weeks this season, has scored more goals than the likes of Hazard, Oscar and Moses.
We’ve seen how valuable these guys are to the club on and off the pitch. We’ve seen how much we struggle without them being available and we’ve seen just how much they care about the club and us, the supporters. Giving these guys contracts is probably the biggest no brainer in world football at this current moment…so why aren’t we?
Sadly, I think this the wrath of Roman getting revenge on these guys for the AVB scenario. It’s no secret that Roman handpicked AVB and it cost him a large sum of money for him to attain his services. I’d be pretty angry if players had fallen out with the manager I selected and then paid 15mil for.
Obviously, Roman can’t terminate the likes of Coles, Lampard’s and Essien’s contracts who had the much-publicized row with AVB. The PFA would break out a very expensive lawsuit because they haven’t breached their contracts and probably financially it would have been cheaper to pay out AVB rather than Cole, Lampard and Essien.
Gourlay and co. were reported to have said to the players that this was their fault and it would result in punishments…perhaps the media and fans forgot this due to the FA Cup and Champions League success.
The clubs have 2 holding midfielders, yet let Essien go on loan to Real Madrid? Mourinho was also alleged to have said that Essien couldn’t wait to go following summer disputes. Nobody could afford to buy him because no club wanted to risk the injury concern on the amount he was being offered for. Real are paying all his wages….is this just a convenient event?
Ashley Cole and Lampard, who apparently is willing to take a 100k pay cut a week to stay, haven’t been offered anything…. not even a 1 year deal. If Roman wanted to save money on large contracts, just a suggestion, but perhaps letting footballing men deal with the transfers would be start so he doesn’t go and blow near on a 100 odd million on players that couldn’t hit a cows arse with a banjo.
Roman’s revenge? Could well be…
Since the disgraceful sacking of RDM, appointing the worst candidate for the job and then the rumblings of legends not being offered contracts, many have gone to question whether Roman and his henchmen have outstayed their welcome.
Personally, when he came in, I always felt we were selling our soul to him but with his generous no holds barred spending to make the club successful on and off the pitch I think we lost contact with the reality of why he bought the club.
Football is one of the easiest ways to make money if you have the money to invest in it. Roman already had money and perhaps what comes with money is the need for more of it…and power.
At the end of the day, whether we like it or not, it is Roman’s club and he can do and will do whatever the hell he likes with it.
Although he has spent a large amount of money, we’re making him money too. We’re delusional if we think he is some long lost fan doing the best for the club and its fans. He is here to make money, end of. Winning trophies and having the best players, something we have a common agreement in, is the best way to do it and that’s why we have been naïve to feel any different about him.
I think we’re at a very surreal stand off with Roman. On one hand we’re very grateful for making our dreams come true…on the other we know he has sucked the life out of the club causing fans to become confused with where their Chelsea has gone. It’s almost a case of greed vs. morality…we want success but is it worth selling our soul for it?
I think for the amazing times of nights like Bolton and Munich we all think so…but with the power of hindsight, is it worth it knowing that the club we truly love will stab its legends in the back? I would not blame some for thinking so.
Personally, I look at Chelsea now and wonder where the club I fell in love with has gone. I see glimpses now and again but much has been lost under the moneymen running the club. Especially the fans…we used to be united but now, even in the stands, I see so many divides.
It’s very hard to get up after yet another controversy at Chelsea and be pleased you’re a fan of them, especially when it’s impacting the ones that led the club to success or on the way it was before Roman turned up.
I’ll always be Chelsea, I didn’t have the crest tattooed on me for a laugh, I’m in this for life…but sometimes I truly have to look bloody hard at the club, right into the depths of it to remind myself why because on the surface at the moment is disgustingly unhygienic.
Would Roman leaving be any good? Probably not, someone else would just buy the club and maybe do the same thing. As an increasing number say, the soul has been sold and it’s not coming back. Perhaps the board being told to go would help though…
Lets just hope it turns out for the good in the end, before its too late.
By Liam Hawkes
Follow Liam on Twitter: @LiamHawkes2