The Problems At Chelsea

I hope nobody ever doubts my loyalty to the club I have followed since the late 1950s when I was taken as a young boy to watch my team, Chelsea FC, play.

In those days I stood on a grass terrace where the West Stand is now. So when I criticise some aspects of the modern day club do not take that as the sulkiness of a new fan. Nothing could be further from the truth on that score.

There are three components to this season’s debacle and all three should take a proportion of the blame. In no particular order they are The Manager, The Board and The Players.

The Manager

I am a home and an away Season Ticket holder so have seen most games this year from within the stadiums and for anybody who would listen I have been saying that Boas should go since October when I could see a pattern repeating itself from last season when we had a blip and lost confidence and spiralled down and down.

Last season we had an experienced manager who rallied the players, just, and we made a push, albeit too little too late, on the title. This season it was clear to me that the players were not up for this repeat scenario and the manager was not capable of dealing with the overinflated egos in the dressing room.

Give him time to rebuild I hear some fans saying. To which, my answer was he has had two transfer windows already to get rid of the deadwood and install players who understand what he is trying to do and has not done so.

He has consistently identified his own and the players shortcomings because after every game he comes out with the same old excuses why they did not perform and or win. But then he does nothing about it and we see the same old names appearing on the team sheet the next game.

Bosingwa, Malouda, Mikel and Kalou are just four examples of players that are a liability. We were told we were going to play fast attacking football but the players were not either interested or capable and those players should have been unceremoniously dumped in the reserves or out of the club in January.

One other important aspect of the manager’s job he got wrong as well. He could not change a game when it was going wrong and that is vital in today’s football.

Members of the various Chelsea Forums I am on had their own lists of players from last season that should have been replaced before this season started because of their ability and their attitude. Some players, like Mikel, Bosingwa, Malouda and Kalou, were constant on all lists.

As well as those players my own list included Lampard and Terry who I thought were now well into the autumn of their usefulness and their influence in dressing room needed to be removed for the good of the Club. Not for any incoming manager but the Club.

Boas may have been a good manager in Portugal but the English Premiership is completely different and he was not up to the task this early in his career.

Before you all yell I know Lampard and Terry have been good servants to the club in the past but we don’t live in the past, only the scousers do that, but Lampard has been getting slower and slower and now his attitude is bad as well it was time to say thanks and goodbye last summer. We should have sold Terry and all his baggage to City a few seasons ago when the decline was just starting and we could have got good money for him then.

The Players

Some senior players should be ashamed of themselves for their behaviour this season. Whinging and moaning to the media after playing and leaking to the press when they don’t get picked is not what I pay nearly 25% of my pension on following them.

Player power has no place at Chelsea, although when Grant was put in charge after Jose, it may have saved that season. But overall the egos are too big and they make hundreds of thousands per week and perform abysmally. Coming over to clap at the end of another shocking display does not wash any more with this fan.

If Roman laid into the players earlier this week then I will be pleased and I will expect major improvements from all players for the last few months of this season with no running off to their pet hacks on the papers and certainly not to TalkShite radio. If the attitude does not change then I hope Di Matteo drops them and tells them to start looking for a new club come the summer.

The Board

Jesus, where do I start? Like every club and authority in football the suits that run the club have never been, and do not know what it is like to be a fan. Buck may point out his ST credentials but sitting in the posh seats does not constitute being a fan.

Getting rained on, trampled on, hassled by the police, poor food and equally poor beer, dirty cramped trains and endless traffic jams after the game and the ribbing from opposition fans in the workplace next day and paying money for it and not, like Buck, being paid for it. That is what it is like being a football fan.

So when these suits continue to get it wrong time after time it does annoy me. This Board got rid of Jose. Why? We will never know and since then they have made a series of bad decisions trying to find somebody as good as Jose. Grant (ugh), Scolari, Hiddink (should have stayed like we sang to him), Ancelotti and recently Boas.

From a fan’s view they are more interested in the brand, the business, how many fans can we get in Malaysia, where can we send the players next to make more shirt sales. They have been more wrapped up in trying to get the freehold back from the fans than sorting out the season and it slipped from one disaster to another.

That is not good enough. I know Roman has had his problems this year with his court case but he supposedly has professional people there to run the club when he is occupied elsewhere and they have failed again and again. Gourlay offers nothing to this club other than trying to screw the fans for more money.

So what now? The senior players need to be moved on, see the players listed above, younger hungrier players who want to play for the shirt and will put a proper shift in. The Board need to wake up and spend a season on football matters. Find a proper manager, ie eat humble pie and bring Jose back and give him control of all football matters including picking and buying the players he wants and dumping the players he does not.

The real fans will still be there because it is our club. We put the money in, buy the crappy shirts and other merchandise, suffer in all weathers so it is not too much to ask those who run the club and those that play for the club to do their jobs properly.

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