21.9.07

Chelsea not entertaining? You mad?

Anyone who thinks Chelsea have not played entertaining football under Jose Mourinho must be barking mad.

I saw them play some fabulous football - games like the 4-2 win over Barcelona come to mind - in the days when they had Damien Duff and Arjen Robben down the wings and Frank Lampard bombing forward from midfield.

It's wonderful if you manage to combine success and entertainment and for two years Mourinho did exactly that. He won back-to-back titles and they were undoubtedly the best team in the country.

To then push two players onto him and expect him to fit them into a settled and successful side was unacceptable. You wouldn't find Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger or Rafa Benitez having to put up with a non-football man deciding who they should buy.

That's the kind of thing that happens at foreign clubs but it's never been the culture at English clubs - until now.

I can't help but feel sorry for Jose. Maybe I shouldn't because of the money he has had to spend, but I do feel sympathy for anyone who wins two titles and follows that up with a runners-up spot and a cup double in a difficult season, and then is told that he should be providing more entertainment.

One thing I can guarantee Chelsea fans is that their next manager will not win back-to-back league titles. So they should prepare themselves for disappointment. His was a phenomenal record and the league will be a poorer place for his exit.

I was as shocked as anyone when I heard the news. It just seems the strangest timing. I could have understood if this had happened in the summer if the rifts were so deep at the club, but to wait until a few games in - with Chelsea losing just once - is just odd.

It's difficult to know what's in Roman's mind because he never talks, but you get the feeling that there are too many chiefs whispering in his ear.

The club has completely misjudged the fans if they think that they were unhappy with Mourinho as manager. You can bet your bottom dollar that nobody will be happy if the new manager comes in and they start playing lovely, slick, free-flowing football and start getting beaten.

Not every successful team can play fantastic football all the time - especially if you suffer bad injuries as Chelsea did last season and at the onset of this season. Manchester United weren't playing fantastic football the season before last either, but Sir Alex was allowed a relatively poor spell and then came back stronger last season. Mourinho has not been given that chance.

And talking of United, I would say that Chelsea have actually played more expansive football this season than Sir Alex's boys. They have just recorded their fourth 1-0 win on the trot and they've come a long way short of the fantastic football that was predicted after last season. Sometimes football is funny like that. But sometimes non-football people don't understand.

(Courtesy: www.football365.com)

1 comment:

shireen said...

I confess, I am only a Chelsea fan becos of Jose. And I honestly thought that Roman had an eye for good things when Jose was hired. I thought they were a synergystic team (Roman having the $$$ and Jose the master tactician cum actor hehe). Like you said, maybe there are too many whispering in Roman's ear. I can't help also to wonder perhaps his exit (only now) was orchestrated i.e they needed a beyond-reasonable-doubt justification.