Pep Wouldn’t Touch Chelsea With A Bargepole

I was at Stamford Bridge this weekend and saw Bournemouth do what an increasing number of sides are doing these days against Chelsea.

Playing without fear, knowing that if you defend well, stay organised and keep a misfiring front line quiet, you can go down the other end of the pitch and do just what Glenn Murray did.

Chelsea fans were streaming out of the ground before the end and I sensed a waft of resignation in the air that a side built on the budget of several small nations won’t even get into Europe at all this season, never mind retain the Premier League trophy.

Borrowed Time
So what happens next? Well for me Jose Mourinho is toast. He’ll be the latest manager, however special he thinks he is, to probably be dismissed before the season ends, which would take sacking payments to managers in the Roman Abramovich era to well over 120 million pounds. A staggering and frankly obscene amount of money for an organisation to spend.

The Chelsea experiment is in danger of exploding at a time when they feel they can grow most.

An ambitious stadium holding 60,000, aggressive marketing journeys to far-flung parts of the world to sell the brand are but two of the things Chelsea are doing to desperately put them in the United, Liverpool or Arsenal bracket when it comes to trophies and history.

But what is about to happen to Jose and what has happened to managers at Chelsea in years gone by probably means that they can never be looked at in the same way as their more illustrious, decorated rivals.

Hiring And Firing
Sure, Chelsea have had unprecedented success in the last decade, it’s almost impossible not to with their spend, but the amount of chopping and changing, the culture of “if it breaks a little, just change it” approach to managers and players means the club will probably always compete but never dominate like a United or Liverpool have. So they have to start by changing their reckless hire and fire policy.

Carlo Ancelotti is a well-respected ex-player, man and manager. When he talks to elite managers about his experiences of clubs, what do you think he’d say about Chelsea? Some great players? Yes. Great location in a great city? Yes. Somewhere where however well you do you’re going to be there two years max with a serious pay off? Yes. And there’s the problem.

Chelsea will never attract a long term Fergie or Wenger type figure because the owner is too impatient and Chelsea are known for extraordinary pay offs.

Two things that a manger knows, if he’s devious enough, can get him out of the Bridge having won a pot or two and onto the next payday with 15 million in his arse pocket.

That’ll keep you in the hunt but as a policy to become one of the great clubs, not a chance.

Long Term Plan

Chelsea need a manager and a philosophy that is durable and stands the test of more than a boom and bust 2 year cycle. The fans deserve it, they pay top dollar to watch their football.

Some of the people I know at the club who work tremendously hard deserve it, but I fear as long as Roman and his money can tempt, entice then pay off the latest man, most managers worth their salt who have a serious project (Pep), wouldn’t touch Chelsea with a bargepole.

It’s the hire and fire madness we used to laugh at, at clubs like Real Madrid. But they have countless titles, countless European Cups and are already established as the biggest club arguably in the world. If Chelsea want to be in that bracket, they need stability. A long term vision and a man with a long term plan.

And special that he was, and may well be in the future….that was never Jose, was it?