Football fans and Chelsea fans in particular tend to have a negative outlook on things concerning their club, the glasses at Stamford Bridge are perennially half empty. Therefore the rumblings of discontent following the terrible run through November and December culminating in the 3-1 reverse at The Emirates are hardly surprising. However, fans calling for the manager’s head and wholesale changes to the team need some perspective.
Aside from the last 5 or 6 years, being in the top four and into the last 16 of the European Cup would have been considered to be a very successful first half to the season, obviously with the investment made by Roman Abramovich what is gauged as successful has changed, but is important to remember that the club nearly went out of business, were nearly relegated to the third division. Chelsea are not Liverpool, Arsenal or Manchester United, whilst there is a history to be proud of at the club it is not one of continuous success.
Furthermore it is continuity and stability that brought these clubs their continuous success. Paisley and Shankley at Liverpool, Busby and Fergurson at United, all of these managers were successful over a long period of time. Affording a manager time is a proven recipe for success. Chelsea chopped and changed far too much following the departure of Mourinho and this coincided with the least successful years of the Abramovich era.
However, it is clear that the current squad is ageing, and whilst there is a lot of potential in the likes of McEachran, Van Aanholt, Kakuta and Bruma, there is a lack of players about to reach their peak. In the summer it is important that the club sign a few players in their mid-twenties, these however should be integrated into the current team rather than being brought into replace them, as with the manager continuity in the playing staff is crucial. Ancelotti has said that the club are interested in a bringing in a few new faces, so let’s see what January holds.
By Callum West