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Aims and the Man (Part One)


Dorset

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Fact. How easy it is to be judgemental when assessing Felipe’s opening spell and how much more astute we would all be with our findings if we did but know the brief he has been given by Roman.

That said, it hasn’t bowled me over so far and, when he next trundles in at the Old Trafford End, I’m expecting the batty guy at their crease to be given a stern tactical test of a match. What are the chances? Well, as one offs go, this is likely to be one battle in a Premiership war that we seem destined to lose and in such circumstances the aftermath will be both ugly to behold and tough to take.

Looking beyond this fixture, which is what I want to do and what I think we should all be doing, will no doubt be seen by many as an early waving of the white flag, but in terms of halves and Premierships and reports it is necessary to look further to the next term and those that follow. Going back to my first sentence, I’m banking on the Roman brief emphasising this point and Scolari’s part within it is no more than that of a cog in a wheel which has begun to wobble of late, although how much of this is down to managerial design faults is hard to tell and hardly relevant to my theme which is really all about long term aims rather than short term targets. Taking this a stage further, let’s try to second guess this Roman brief and see if we think that Big Phil has picked it up and run with it. You’ll know by now how much I like a good analogy, so here’s one to start us off…

Forget father figures and instilling discipline, Felipe came to Chelsea to generate something akin to the Lynx Effect - you know the TV advert, where two already good looking girls crash into each other to produce an even better looking one for the benefit of a deodorised bloke. Well, in [lynx] effect, that was our new manager’s brief - to combine the drop dead gorgeousness of Brazilian attacking football with the butt ugly, but remarkably efficient, defensive brilliance already in place. Sadly, when the crash eventually happened, the pin-uppy Robinho didn’t keep-uppy his side of the bargain and opted to prostitute his talent up t’North instead, leaving only Bosingwa and Deco to pile in from the samba side and, whilst I’m not saying the merger failed completely, what we appear to be left with is a rather one paced leggy blonde who speeds up a bit when shopping down the flanks, but can’t defend against set pieces. Many Shed End observers have already said that they don’t much like the look of ours, but in truth, how much of the mismatch is down to Scolari and how much is really down to circumstance?

This leads me to the next, far more obvious yet painfully neglected, part of the Roman brief which can best be described as the introduction of players from the Reserves and an Academy set up specifically for the purpose. Accepting that emerging talent takes time to do exactly what it says on the tin, when Miroslav Stoch ‘emerged’ against Arsenal he was flung out on the pitch more as a late plea of paucity than anything else and such an introduction does not bode well for others who might reach the exalted bench status next weekend or at any other time in the future. Under his current boss, Scott Sinclair has yet to even reach the level of previous seasons and at this rate it will be a miracle if we see Gael Kakuta performing at the Bridge before season 2010/11- a frightening thought indeed.

If we are to assume that those out on loan are at least at the same stage as these two, then Michael Mancienne’s stay at Wolves is bound to go beyond January and we must hope that guarantees are in place for him to return here, otherwise the Academy might as well close its doors now, the good it will be seen to be doing us. Big Phil must take his share of the blame in these circumstances, pressure of achieving results or not, and, should we fail to win trophies as well as ignore the best of our youngsters, we will be back once more speculating on the priorities within the brief and who our next manager might be. It has to be said that Scolari has his defenders [on this issue], albeit that many are only sympathetic when taking account the pressure he is under, and I’m sure that [for the majority] the sooner something happens on this front the better it will be for him, not least because it should prompt an improvement in the current morose media perception of our youth policy in general.

Finally, we have the one area that the boss can always cite in his defence. Any fly on the wall in those initial boardroom discussions with him over his appointment will tell you that money for players was probably not [at that time] a problem and the subsequent pursuit of Robinho up to the dizzy height of £30m proves the point. Since then a gleeful Media insist that the credit crunch has affected Russian oligarchs far more than anybody else and we can only assume, by virtue of the total lack of comparable publicity, that the likes of Messrs Glaser, Hicks and Gillett have come through unscathed. We shall see in the coming transfer window if all this is just hype or hope on their part, but in the meantime it is true to say that Scolari initially set his sights on a £30m player, was on the brink of getting him, and now might have to settle for something on loan, tied up in ribbons with a tag declaring ‘From Russia with [Wagner] Love‘. Don’t know about you, but I’d be a bit disappointed myself and so wont be surprised if Felipe feigns his smile at any unveiling and delivers his thank you through gritted teeth.

In all seriousness, whoever arrives in January [unless by some miracle it is Robinho] our boss has every right to feel short changed and you wouldn’t blame him for making the broken promise of financial backing in the transfer market a central plank of any defence he may need to cobble together for himself at the end of the season. Once again, the contents of that Roman brief and its priorities would hold all the answers and I suppose a fair summation at this early stage of his tenure might be a curt ’could do better’, which may well become a ’must do better’ at the end of term. Returning to those cogs in wheels, let’s not forget that Luis Felipe Scolari is just one of several component parts in a bandwagon careering towards 2014 [when it is Chelsea’s aim to be No.1 in world football] and if there is a graduation day in any this it is set for four years time in the 2013/14 season - until told otherwise, all aims are in that direction and over that time span.

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Good piece and on the whole I agree with most of your points bar the lack of Academy products coming through to the first 11.

Although it may be just circumstance due to the PL allowing 7 substitutes rather than the previous 5, we do now see far more youngsters on the bench - which does do them good, even if they don't get a game.

Di Santo has been given a handful of minutes this season and although he'll feel he hasn't made the most of these minutes, he has at least made his debut and got experience playing in front of 41,000 people - the same applies to Stoch.

Think about the other top four, bar Arsenal, rarely do you see them start a young player or see them come of the bench any more frequently than ours do. Man United's fullback, (Rafeal?) has been given a few opportunities but only because of Neville's inadequences to run for anymore than 2 minutes and the fact the kid is a right fullback and United lack depth in that area - even here Rafeal doesn't start every game for United.

Liverpool's N'Gog (sp?) gets around the same playing time as our Di Santo and both have preformed equally when given an opportunity, N'Gog, however, has only had his chances due to Keane's generally sh*t performances in red and Torres's injury whereas Di Santo has Anelka and Drogba ahead of him.

I think when our youngsters reach 20, they should be pushing the first-teamers for a starting place and when Mancienne returns from his loan (probably at the end of the season) he should be given more opportunities. Scott Sinclair, I have concluded, is unlikely to make it at Chelsea - he seems an all pace with no quality type player and although Stoch and Kakuta seemingly have bundles of potential we can't expect them to be pushing our forwards for starting places just yet.

I say give quite a few of them a game against Southend (Di Santo (if fit), Stoch, Kakuta, Sinclair) and continue playing them in the early round sof the cups until they reach an age where they can be expected to pressure our mult-million stars out of the way.

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Forget father figures and instilling discipline, Felipe came to Chelsea to generate something akin to the Lynx Effect - you know the TV advert, where two already good looking girls crash into each other to produce an even better looking one for the benefit of a deodorised bloke. Well, in [lynx] effect, that was our new manager’s brief - to combine the drop dead gorgeousness of Brazilian attacking football with the butt ugly, but remarkably efficient, defensive brilliance already in place. Sadly, when the crash eventually happened, the pin-uppy Robinho didn’t keep-uppy his side of the bargain and opted to prostitute his talent up t’North instead, leaving only Bosingwa and Deco to pile in from the samba side and, whilst I’m not saying the merger failed completely, what we appear to be left with is a rather one paced leggy blonde who speeds up a bit when shopping down the flanks, but can’t defend against set pieces. Many Shed End observers have already said that they don’t much like the look of ours, but in truth, how much of the mismatch is down to Scolari and how much is really down to circumstance?

It says how I'm feeling about Chelsea's performances under Big Phil of late that I read your analogy as a one legged racy blonde.....

Love the Lynx Effect analogy, great post as usual Dorset.

Talking of ads, may be he needs to "Do the shake and vac and put the freshness back" into Chelsea perhaps? It would cheer me up no end to see Scolari doing this little number on the touchline.

Shake and Vac - youtube

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