Monday, March 5, 2012

AVB put out of his misery

It had to happen and it duly did following an entirely insipid display at the Hawthorns against a West Bromwich team that Chelsea had not previously lost to since 1979.

The players at Chelsea must shoulder a large burden of blame for the sacking of this young, talented but entirely out of his depth manager as the display on Saturday showed they had simply stopped playing for him. In doing so, the players have acted disgracefully.

No matter what they have achieved before, they have short changed the fans and the owner as they attempted to shake off a manager that they did not want. The fans pay to watch Chelsea and the players are paid to represent the club, not to act out their own egotistical tantrums to the cost of everyone else.

For AVB, whilst his pride will surely be hurt it is not the worst result. He will be handsomely rewarded for this short tenure, another high profile job - possibly in Italy - will surely be waiting and the mess that Chelsea find themselves in in terms of the age profile and fitness of their squad could take years to sort out, indeed should there be no continuity in terms of manager hiring, it may not get sorted out at all.

Benitez was apparently approached with regard to a short term post and his would have been an intriguing hire. The attractions for Abramovich were his success in Europe and the potential to revive Fernando Torres. Benitez however seemed to learn little about the domestic side of English football in his time at Liverpool and he was certainly not loved by the Chelsea fans either.

The papers are full of talk of Guardiola and Mourinho. This blog would ask why on earth Pep Guardiola would want to leave the Nou Camp for Stamford Bridge? Guardiola currently has the best players in the world with the best youth infrastructure. Chelsea have an old and overpaid squad with almost no infrastructure in place.

Nearly anywhere would be a step down after Barcelona but this would be several. If Guardiola does leave the Nou Camp this summer, it will probably be for a well earned rest.

Mourinho of course would love the drama and the fans would clamour for his return also. Mourinho is not however what is required. Mourinho simply comes in, spends big, wins (hopefully) and then leaves. Chelsea need planning and that was what AVB was meant to do, but he had to keep them in the Champions League during the process.

The Champions League is precisely Chelsea's biggest problem and Arsenal are now firm favourites to land the last coveted fourth spot. A few years ago, the cost of hiring and firing managers (Chelsea's compensation figures to sacked managers beggars belief) and buying new players was an irrelevance, Roman simply dipped into his ample pockets.

Now however, the Champions League revenue is critical because of the UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations. That, coupled with the aforementioned compensation that Chelsea is paying to various managers and they will not even be close to meeting that criteria.

Liverpool have found that it is hard to attract certain players when you do not have Champions League football, Chelsea do not share their rich history and may find it even harder to do so even if they still enjoy the lure of life in the capital.

This blog warned over a year ago that Chelsea were at a tipping point and potentially headed for disaster and was shot down accordingly for it by many short sighted Chelsea fans. The writing has been on the wall for a while and a fifth place finish could potentially put Chelsea in a very tight spot. The Chelsea job is not necessarily any longer one that will the attract the very best candidates - No Nonsense.