So it’s official: Carlo Ancelotti has been sacked. Roman didn’t even wait until his scheduled post-season meeting, set to take place a week after the last game of the season. Roman decided to sever Carlo’s ties with Chelsea after a frustrating game and season.
This is, and has been for quite a while, the expected outcome of the season. I think this is the icing on the cake after a year of inconsistent and bad decisions made by Roman and the rest of the Chelsea hierarchy.
For one, Roman hasn’t learned that managerial stability is important in order to bring out the best in his players and to ensure longer-term success. His players have spoken out on that subject during the interregnums of Chelsea’s various managers.
Quoting Michael Ballack (one of my favorite ex-Chelsea players) on managerial instability, “It was difficult in one way because you have to adapt to a new coach, the manager has to adapt to the players. Sometimes it goes a little bit too quick because you should give them a little more time. If you work with such big players it doesn’t always work from the first minute. Sometimes clubs don’t have this time and that’s why they change managers to hope that it gets better but normally it’s not always right.”
It seems like the Chelsea hierarchy was trying to unsettle Carlo throughout the year. First, we let go of a bunch of senior players, and we only brought in kids to replace them. I think that the new focus on bringing up youth from the academy is great, and I see lots of talent in the ranks of our youth and reserve team, but it seemed a bit foolish to expect a bunch of kids who haven’t really gotten their feet wet in the EPL to come in and replace five experienced current and former internationals.
Second, Ray Wilkins is sacked. Did we ever hear the full story? Why on earth would they sack an excellent assistant manager, who has great relationships with so many players and staff across many clubs? He was instrumental in helping us reach the Double, and he’s shown the door with no class and no warning. He was then replaced with Michael Emenalo, who hadn’t even earned all of the proper qualifications to be an assistant manager at the time.
It just seemed as if Carlo couldn’t get his way, no matter what. In January, we bought the one player that Carlo really wanted (David Luiz), and the one player that Roman really wanted (Fernando Torres). I have nothing against Torres; he just doesn’t fit into our system. While there is no doubt we are going to change to accommodate Torres, it was just an impulsive buy that did not seem to do much to reinforce Carlo’s position. Why not wait until the summer?
I am really against Carlo leaving. Not that it matters now, but I really think he should have been given one more chance. I know, we were awful many times during this season. The midfield fell flat and our attack was pretty dull. The only in-form Chelsea strikers: Daniel Sturridge (who has scored more goals since January than Torres, Drogba, and Anelka combined) and Fabio Borini, both out on loan.
Our tactics were poor, the same underperforming players were on the team sheet week in and week out, and we just weren’t good enough. I know Carlo is to blame for some of this, but the blame can’t rest entirely at his feet.
For someone who won us our first Double, and who has an excellent European pedigree, this was just a poor decision executed tastelessly.
As for Chelsea’s next manager…I’ll make a new post soon, I’m still in mourning for Carlo.