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Aims and the Man (Part Three)


Dorset

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Having spent the first two parts of this trilogy covering the supposed fact and frivolous fiction surrounding Roman’s reign and Scolari’s inaugural season, now is the time, quoting another Chelsea fan, to get back to basics - after a cricketing summer, whatever did happened to John Major’s sporting allegiance in wintertime? Oh who the hell cares, let’s get on, there is a lot to read…

Before two footedly tackling the back to basics and future (put in for Backbiter‘s benefit), let’s first deal with some simulation on our own doorstep by dispensing with that envious element known as ’Luck’. As much as I would love to see the Chels have, for want of a better phrase, a turn of events in the current campaign the longer it goes on the more unlikelier it becomes. Many fans, including Giles Smith on the official site, set out a plausible case for us being plain out of luck of late, but I’d be more inclined to go along with this if we hadn’t already reached the even out stage of the season having had a winless record against all of the top teams so far. There are some mighty big breaks still to be received each and every time we go head-to-head with ManU, ’Pool and the Arse, and all away from home. The simple truth is - the better you play the luckier you seem to get. Tangible proof? Derby against ManU, first leg Carling Cup, nuff said and even Fergie couldn’t argue with it. Having cooked that goose, time to get back to those basics…

Distinguishing between facts and fictions, let alone factions, can only ever be achieved satisfactorily by relying on incontrovertible proof. I used the word ’tangible’ in the topic title for a reason and here is an example of exactly what I am getting at. If we are going to be brutally honest, the tangible proof regarding the Abramovich craving for entertaining football is limited to what the Media have told us and our own fertile imagination. It doesn’t take much to believe that a Brazilian coach is going to want his team to play a samba style game, just as a Sam Allardyce team always lumps it long or an Ozzie Ardiles one will never do anything other than attack. Stereotypical in every sense of the word I‘d say, but most fans have gone along with the belief that Roman has demanded a samba beat, the whole team must dance to it, and the fact that his coach happens to be Brazilian [which could just be the beginning and end of the matter] simply isn’t definitive enough for the masses.

Well, he did try to buy Robinho might be an argumentative cry, yet after failing to do so that same striker/wide man position has still to be filled by another of his countrymen, casting doubt on the premise that nationality is an imperative. This leaves us with mere tactics as evidence of change and in this area too there must be grave reservations about Brazilian football boiling down solely to the use of attacking full backs while dropping a holding player into the middle of a back three. Little by way of tangible proof here then and, when forensics are called in on the Case of the Abramovich Listed Priorities, it wont take Perry Mason long to deduce that there really is only one great galumphing fact staring him in the face. There it is, newly risen, a looming structure on the Cobham landscape - an Academy fit for future kings of the game.

Evidence does not get any clearer than this, despite hacks from every quarter ignoring its existence in print [sometimes even while sitting in it or near it to compile their copy] and studiously avoiding reporting on what has been a steady flow of loanees emerging from it to play high grade football. In short, this building, together with a back up of coaches at all levels of youth development, is True Blue tangible proof of THE Roman Abramovich statement of intent and at this stage of the journey towards 2014, following Premiership title success and Champions League last hurdle failure, it has to be at, or very near, the top of his agenda when it comes to fulfilment of aims. Believe me, the steady flow from here to the Chelsea first team has to start - and start soon.

Yes, mistakes have been made in other directions with inflated transfer fees and who can argue that branding isn’t everyone’s cup of china tea, but nobody in their right mind can criticise the investment in youth - unless, of course, Chelsea as a club fail to benefit from it in the long term. That long term is getting shorter and, without more obvious evidence, tangible proof, call it what you will, in any other area, we supporters have to assume that the youngsters on this production line are going to start coming through at around about the age of twenty or, in exceptional circumstances [and, with the money that is being spent, there should damn well be some of these] a year or two earlier.

Enter Luis Felipe Scolari, just as the two stay-at-home young hopefuls, Scott Sinclair and Miroslav Stoch, are given squad numbers, yet the first half of the season has drifted by with other concerns, rightly or wrongly, taking irritating precedence over their continued development. Okay, Big Phil has standards to maintain and league tables to stay at the top of, but are supporters being too spiritualist in asking for some sign, any sign, that one or two youngsters are trusted to make the transition rather than another trip elsewhere, this time to Birmingham in Scott’s case.

Put bluntly, for Scolari’s fortunes to improve in the second half of the season, salvation has to arrive in the form of breakthroughs from the Reserves, loanees and Academy and this need not take the form of a cavalry charge of explosive talent because we the fans are more considerate in this area than those suits in the hire them, fire them arena seem to realise. If the way has be cleared for them, by the culling of several expensively contracted players, then so be it. The notable exceptions should be Cech, JT, the Coles, Essien and Frank, who are charged with the responsibility of seeing a team’s spine live on without, some would say, its [viperous] heads, as both Drogba and Anelka appear destined to be severed connections in the intervening close season.

Funds thereby raised and the 2009/10 season upon us, one big name striker can arrive without the usual ‘buying the Premiership‘ tabloid headlines. I’m not going to speculate anymore on his name as his immediate transfer to the red half of Manchester would surely follow. Not too concerned though, because we do have clear and present danger with our current Number 9 - well, you don’t give this talismanic shirt to anyone destined to have a short stay [unless he’s a stopgap ginger haired midfielder] do you? Paired with [whoever] this campaign should start with Franco Di Santo leading the line, ably supported by a midfield of Mikel, Essien, Frank and an alternating choice between Michael Woods and Lee Sawyer that may well fail to blend quickly enough to win titles initially, but at least their inclusion would provide added encouragement for the rest.

The big imponderable at that time, however, would be the shelf life of our coach. Given the financial climate, the payout involved on early dismissal and his [mutually agreed] mere two year contract it must be a given that he will see it out, thus defining our future, good or bad results-wise, until the following season, when I’m sure the vast majority of us do not see an extension being offered, especially on the evidence of what we have seen from him so far. Anything happening earlier, brought on by disastrous results rather than the recent just-about-get-by-ables, would see the Media have a field day and, after all is said and done, transition is what transition does - take you from previous good times, through a mediocre one or four (cue Arsene) and on to better days, which may well have to be season 2010/11.

Options aplenty after the World Cup [i hope we are not distracted] and spoilt for choice - definitely an Italian, but assisted by an Englishman, or could that be a Scotsman? No doubt dependant upon success at other clubs in the interim, the new managerial team must continue to promote the youngsters and, if he hasn’t knocked the door down earlier, establish Gael Kakuta as a first team regular. Add to this the swift introduction of Jeffery Bruma and Patrick Van Aanholt, maybe even the return of Shaun Cummings to complete [on occasions] an all English back four with JT, Mancienne and Ashley Cole, who by then could be severely under pressure from Ryan Bertrand for his place. Into the mix might also go Rhys Taylor, Magnay, Mellis and Bridcutt, as potential first team squad members, and you have the nucleus of players to take us through the crunch seasons up to 2013/14.

The observant amongst you will have noticed that, amidst all this Roman Empire aiming high for 2014, the rise and rise will need to be achieved with just the one striker from Argentina, together with a figment of my imagination plus a back-up mixture of youth and experience. Well, let me put that right by adding the names of Frank Nouble and Fabio Borini to that of Di Santo. Both will be 22-years of age in that specified season and I anticipate that both will end up making the first team squad to give us three strikers with differing attributes combining power, speed and natural goal scoring ability. Di Santo will be 24-years old by then and the mystery man paired with him throughout the intervening years and beyond [if I had my way] would be a compatriot. Of course, like Brazilian coaches and samba-style football, correlation should not automatically be assumed. As George Gershwin once said [lyrically] - It Ain’t Necessarily So.

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Nice trilogy of posts there Dorset 10/10

I doubt very much Scolari, who has said this will be his last 4 years in football (if he see's out his contract) is the man to bring on our youth products. I'm sure he has other priorities, like trophies, rather than give us a squad future generations will be envious of, while he's sipping a Pina Colada on a beach in Rio.

I think his plans are short term, he has 4 years left in football to win something in Europe, not build squads for the next bloke to reep the rewards, unless of course a real gem emerges.

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Dear old Dorset,

For once, I've read through one of your epics and, for the benefit of those who are allergic to the fanatical use of the sub-clause (ironical use herein duly registered), I'd like to summarise your post for the time-starved.

You are basically saying (correct me if I'm wrong here):

1. Everyone - stop harping on about us having bad luck. It doesn't wash.

2. I'm not sure if Roman wants entertaining football

3. Please can we have some new talent break through from the reserves?

4. We may need a new striker soon

5. We'll probably need a new coach in 2010/11

6. We'll definitely need some new kids to break through by then

7. And maybe some other people.

Hope I didn't miss anything.

Your pal

Me <_<

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Dear old Dorset,

For once, I've read through one of your epics and, for the benefit of those who are allergic to the fanatical use of the sub-clause (ironical use herein duly registered), I'd like to summarise your post for the time-starved.

You are basically saying (correct me if I'm wrong here):

1. Everyone - stop harping on about us having bad luck. It doesn't wash.

2. I'm not sure if Roman wants entertaining football

3. Please can we have some new talent break through from the reserves?

4. We may need a new striker soon

5. We'll probably need a new coach in 2010/11

6. We'll definitely need some new kids to break through by then

7. And maybe some other people.

Hope I didn't miss anything.

Your pal

Me :300:

Hi Mike,

Good of you to take the time to read at least one of my posts right through and to let me off so lightly with such a bland appraisal and no penalty points. You should post less more often.

Your pal too,

Dorset <_<

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Great post again mate!

How do you know about all these youngsters? I personally get most of my information off the highly reliable Football Manager 09 when considering youngsters, and, if that has any truth behind it, young Nouble should have bashed in about 10 goals in 12 appearences for the under 18's this term? ;)

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