So I’ve just watched my team draw 1-1 with Real Madrid, a result which sees us drop out of the Champions League at the group stage for the second successive season. Manchester City have spent £875 billion on new players since the Abu Dhabi Group raided the loose change in their piggy bank in 2008. Surely we should be winning the Champions League by now. This is just not good enough. Sack Mancini now. Sack the board now. Bring back Maine Road. Alan Ball for manager.
Ten years ago, like the fans of every other club in the world, City fans were jealous as hell of Chelsea and their new found billions. Now, we wouldn’t touch Roman Abramovich with the pole of a barge. If we did then the crap I’ve just written could well be happening (okay, maybe not the Alan Ball bit), judging by the latest side-splitting goings on at Chelsea. Following Andre Villas-Boas’ sacking in March this year, Roberto Di Matteo was appointed ‘interim’ manager. How did he finish the season with Chelsea? On 5 May last year Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-1 to win the FA Cup, then on 19 May they beat Bayern Munich in a penalty shoot-out to win the Champions League (pictured below) for the first time in the club’s history. The Champions League was always Abramovich’s priority. Di Matteo must have gone into his good books?
Well yes, seemingly, when on 13 June, prior to the start of this season Di Matteo was appointed permanent first-team coach, given a two-year contract (a tellingly cautious length). How has he done so far this season? Well, after nine games Chelsea were top of the Premier League, through to the Q/F of the League Cup after beating Manchester Utd in the 4th round, the FA Cup has yet to start and they were lying second in their Champions League group. All good then. Not only were they placed well in all competitions but they were playing attractive, positive football. Unlike their Champions League success last season which was impressive, but a bit of a fluke, they deserved to be top of the Premiership – they were playing the best football in the league.
That was three weeks ago. Since then in their last five games Chelsea have won once, drawn twice and lost twice, dropping to third in the Premier League and third in their Champions League Group, two points behind Juventus and still in with a chance of qualifying through to the knockout stage. Clearly the wheels have dropped off and Chelsea are now staring at relegation in the face as earlier today the club made this statement…
“The team’s recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner and the Board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season.”
This is a joke, right? Well, no. Abramovich clearly wasn’t happy with Di Matteo’s achievements, he must have fallen short somewhere. Maybe if John Terry, Ashley Cole and Fernando Torres could have acted and performed like professionals, or perhaps if Di Matteo had the knee-sliding celebratory skills of Jose Mourinho (oh no, he’s one of the nine managers now dismissed by Abramovich) he would have stood a chance. The truth is no manager really stands a chance under Abramovich, as unlike the City Sheikhs who appear to realise Mancini knows more about football than they do, Abramovich thinks he knows best. He doesn’t, and his latest decision proves it…
“Chelsea Football Club can confirm Rafael Benitez has been appointed interim first-team manager until the end of the season. The owner and the Board believe that in Benitez we have a manager with significant experience at the highest level of football, who can come in and immediately help deliver our objectives.”
Bentitez had some success at Liverpool, but wasted an alarming amount of money on substandard players. He’s clearly not good enough to manage Chelsea, otherwise he’d have been given the job permanently, surely? Apparently he’s there until the end of the season only. He’d better make sure not to win the Champions League and the FA Cup otherwise he’s fucked.
Some people say money is ruining football. I disagree. Stupid people ruin football. Oh, and cheats, agents, racism, abusive players and a backward-thinking, corruption-ridden governing body.