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Cowboy Management?


Dorset

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Stop the straw poll dancing, the principled cavorting around, the preference for head-of-a-pin nicety, it’s time for a reality check and some serious reasoning on why all the talk is about a change of coach and what the chances are of us getting a new one!

…and so says almost every Arsenal fan at the moment, although you wouldn’t think it if you read the papers or listened to media outlets that, almost to a man and bestial Stan Collymore, prefer to speculate on Carlo Ancelotti’s hangdog expression. Okay, you could apply my same opening paragraph hyperbole to our own Shed End speculation (and would have done had I achieved my objective) but what’s more to the point is why the dissembling exists, bearing in mind that Gooners worldwide have borne stoic witness to six years of carefully crafted continuity, whereas we have just downed a double and have had a mere season-long hangover?

The answer is so obvious to all and sundry that even the Fourth Estate can’t turn a blind eye to it - Arsene Wenger has been mollified and mollycoddled by his club to such an extent that he has become a cosy permanent fixture, a hook to always hang your hat on [or cup, if you had one] without fear of fall or pretty much anything resembling catastrophe. He’s going nowhere, they surmise, and they’re right of course, because whatever the state of play down Emirates way Wenger is performing a required function satisfactorily for those with influence that matter, excepting the fans, who don’t that much.

So, leaving Le Prof alone, as everyone tends to do after the usual end of season period of navel-gazing disbelief, let’s now turn to Carlo and compare situations and levels of press hound-doggerel. Ah yes, the hacks report gleefully, you deserve our worst effrontery because your owner hires and fires like a trigger-happy quick-on-the-draw gunslinger and we don’t like it when good guys like poor Carlo get the bullet. Thus, with no mention of their own constant undermining of Ancelotti from Day One, nor any thought given to the twofaced nature of their actions, the signal failure of stability and continuity at the Emirates gets buried like bad news on yet another good day of Abramovich-baiting.

Still, never mind, at least Carlo knows where he stands with his boss and if it’s right in the firing line he will fully understand the reasons why, whereas, if it isn’t, perhaps a mere flesh wound will serve as a warning. Either way it wont take long for pressgang Doc Hypocrisy to arrive on the scene to pronounce him a much-missed and maligned goner or a dead-in-the-water hop-along casualty destined to eke out his last contracted year of life at the Bridge. Doggone it, that’s the way things are always reported in these ‘ere parts of London, what with No Trophy (Gulch!) being a shoot-‘em-out town in an otherwise law-abiding Premiership community, so let’s look no further for the truth of the matter.

Except that we should because it’s important to realise (even Carlo’s staunchest supporters do) that we came up woefully short in this campaign on a number of levels, not least in the planning and tactical departments. One poster on another site described it as a mess covered-up only by the plaintive call for stability. Furthermore, he cited 5 managers in 8 years and 10 trophies won as clear evidence in support of instability! Delving deeper Carlo’s other prop has always been the team-building theme, yet here the curve is all too obviously downward and elsewhere over the season there have been many examples of faster-improvers (without similar talent available and within shorter timeframe) throughout the leagues. The list is impressive and the standard of football played likewise…

Paul Lambert’s done wonders at Norwich, similarly Brendan Rodgers at Swansea, whilst Neil Warnock has performed his usual miracle at QPR, and all of them have done it without the requirement of long term stability. Mercifully, for the future of football in this country, this vein of unstable success runs through to the lower division as well, with Gus Poyet at Brighton and Nigel Adkins at Southampton carrying the instant success story to every audience prepared to watch, listen and [perhaps] learn. Moreover, every club mentioned plays a good quality back-to-front passing game, which was also matched by once-lowly AFC Bournemouth until Lee Bradbury’s well-coached side came unstuck on penalties after producing some smashing stuff for two hours in their play-off semi-final against a far more artisan Huddersfield Town.

It goes without saying that success or failure isn’t all down to the coach, but try telling the hierarchy at these clubs that they should have stuck with previous incumbents because ‘continuity works’ and it is they who would think you were the laughingstock, rather than accepting that the label is theirs for the wearing. Fair enough (or not, as the case might be) some of these higher-flyers will fail or be sacked next season, Warnock might even go before it arrives, but there will be no major outcry built on false premise, whereas at Chelsea, should Carlo go, bloody outrage will pour along the gutter press as if he’d been gunned down in the [no-it’s-not] OK Corral and all the while his supporters will bemoan the lack of partial redemption and regret the lack of a lingering farewell at the Last Chance Saloon.

Of course, no matter your preferred outcome, the ultimate choice is Roman’s and, if he decides that transition is an all-encompassing pursuit, a posse of Zhirkov, Bosingwa, Malouda and Kalou may have company if they’re run out of town. In contrast and somewhat ironically bearing in mind we are constantly being told that Abramovich interference knows no bounds, should we also expect mounting dissatisfaction when the meddling manifests itself in the arrival of new recruits? Somehow I doubt it… and that’s because we’re a fickle, expectant bunch, quick to realise that the sight of Malouda and Kalou disappearing over them-there hills doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve seen the last of the Mohicans.

Edited by Dorset
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Nice angle to that, Dorset. So, continuity = stagnation (see Arsenal*) and revolution is the recipe for rebuilding and rapid success.

This is clearly a bit much for our press to get their heads around, but I could see Martin Samuel coming up with a well-researched and entertaining article on it.

*Manure are a separate case here, obviously.

Edited by Backbiter
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If we want to build a dynasty we need continuity. That equals sustained success. Mourinho built a dynasty here, and the squad has survived right up until now. Had he stayed I'm sure we would have dominated the league like United and Liverpool have done. We need to assemble the right coaching team, with a clear vision concerning playing style, long term goals and youth and stick with it to achieve more than sporadic success. I'm not convinced that Carlo is the man to take us to that level, but I do think he's a good manager.

Rapid success is all well and good but its becoming tiresome. I'd much rather have lasting dominance and I'm sure most fans would agree with me.

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We don't need to look any further than our own team to see clearly that a Manager doesn't need to be long term to achieve success but that doesn't mean more success couldn't have been achieved if a Manager was kept long term.

Not many would argue that had Mourinho stayed although we might have had a couple of baron seasons while arguments over signings and total control continued if he had stayed in charge with a bit of give and take on his and Romans part our trophy cabinet would have been more cluttered than it is now.

That said Carlo came in and proved he has what it takes and with that same basic squad bar a couple of new faces and the loss of some established faces to win the double with a team Jose knew way back then needed revamping.

I am convinced any good Manager could win trophies with this squad and Romans backing and any new man will likely get a warchest on top of the two January signings that makes his first season here a very good one, what I'm not convinced about is that he would do as much with that backing as Carlo could with the experience he now has in this league and his knowledge of the players.

I don't think the difference between the few Managers we would all label as top Managers will make a huge difference to our progression and for that reason I see no reason to change again.

Let the man stay until his contract is up and then have a proper look at his achievements, see if he can with players of his choosing add the ingredient that this team has lacked to go that extra step instead of bringing him into a squad on the decline, watching him break records all over the place and win our first double, taking some class players away from him and leaving him a small squad then sacking him because he couldn't repeat his first seasons glory.

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Dorset, you of all people should know not to let the truth get in the way of a good story.

It is amazing that the our managerial carousel is viewed as a horror show when the results would be right out of most football fans fantasies.

We have come to accept that "one man club" players are pretty much a thing of the past, the game has changed in ways which makes this persona extinct..... why is it so difficult to imagine that the same change has come with managers?

Indeed we accept that every faucet of football has changed. Huge money has come into the game, it is now about results and revenue, not history and "local bonding/continity".

Odd that the club "lacking history" is the one the media most expect to the uphold the history of long term managers.

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If we want to build a dynasty we need continuity. That equals sustained success. Mourinho built a dynasty here, and the squad has survived right up until now. Had he stayed I'm sure we would have dominated the league like United and Liverpool have done. We need to assemble the right coaching team, with a clear vision concerning playing style, long term goals and youth and stick with it to achieve more than sporadic success. I'm not convinced that Carlo is the man to take us to that level, but I do think he's a good manager.

Rapid success is all well and good but its becoming tiresome. I'd much rather have lasting dominance and I'm sure most fans would agree with me.

Agree with that.

I worry about what damage has been done to the status of the role of Chelsea manager, ie. if the Queen changed monarchies every 2 years it would turn the instititution of the roaylity into a (bigger) aughing stock.

Im not 100% sold on Carlo either but if we change managers every 2-3 years how many good coaches will knock back or not even consider coaching over Chelsea because they dont want to work for Roman? It seems like a lame duck position.

If he invested his money and took a non interfering approach we would be in a much stronger position imo but he won't so im just resigned to the fact we will turnover managers 3 or 4 times a decade, its sh*t but it is what it is.

But again yeah you are right.

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and another thing this is not just a roman issue this goes well before him, lost hoddle to england, gullit sacked, vialli sacked./............

it seems very weird to me that whenever we get a winning manager you can start counting down the days to his departure and yet more .0historically successful clubs will persevere with managers through tough times, definitely a flaw at chelsea.

if you want success you have to be patient, instant gratification is only a shiort term mentality.

what ferguson and matt busby have built at old trafford will last for decades, if roman pulled out tomorow we be back to square one?

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and another thing this is not just a roman issue this goes well before him, lost hoddle to england, gullit sacked, vialli sacked./............

it seems very weird to me that whenever we get a winning manager you can start counting down the days to his departure and yet more .0historically successful clubs will persevere with managers through tough times, definitely a flaw at chelsea.

if you want success you have to be patient, instant gratification is only a shiort term mentality.

what ferguson and matt busby have built at old trafford will last for decades, if roman pulled out tomorow we be back to square one?

Why jump from managers (Ferguson and Busby) to owners? And why would Abramovich consider pulling out? Isn't it more likely, hasn't it always been more likely, that if the much prophesied boredom actually set in, that he'd sell the club? While it's true that there is a limited supply of billionaires who'd be both willing and able to buy the club, our achievements and higher profile over the last decade or so plus the actual location of the club (don't ever underestimate that prime West London real estate) gives us a better chance of finding a suitable buyer than just about any club in the country.

As you rightly say, and as has been previously pointed out, we've actually got a tradition of appointing short term managers, that goes all the way back to Dave Sexton, and he was only at the club for seven years. From 1905 to 1974 the club had a total of eight managers, the eighth being Dave Sexton. During the next tten years we went through another eight managers. Since then no manager has lasted more than four years. Incidentally, Ranieri was here for almost four years, and he was our longest serving manager since John Neal.

The problem I have with the call for stability as essential to success is that managerial stability is a rarity. If you can achieve it and be successful, so much the better. Stability alone is NO kind of reason for keeping a manager. Stability with the right manager. Now that's another matter entirely.

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Why jump from managers (Ferguson and Busby) to owners? And why would Abramovich consider pulling out? Isn't it more likely, hasn't it always been more likely, that if the much prophesied boredom actually set in, that he'd sell the club? While it's true that there is a limited supply of billionaires who'd be both willing and able to buy the club, our achievements and higher profile over the last decade or so plus the actual location of the club (don't ever underestimate that prime West London real estate) gives us a better chance of finding a suitable buyer than just about any club in the country.

As you rightly say, and as has been previously pointed out, we've actually got a tradition of appointing short term managers, that goes all the way back to Dave Sexton, and he was only at the club for seven years. From 1905 to 1974 the club had a total of eight managers, the eighth being Dave Sexton. During the next tten years we went through another eight managers. Since then no manager has lasted more than four years. Incidentally, Ranieri was here for almost four years, and he was our longest serving manager since John Neal.

The problem I have with the call for stability as essential to success is that managerial stability is a rarity. If you can achieve it and be successful, so much the better. Stability alone is NO kind of reason for keeping a manager. Stability with the right manager. Now that's another matter entirely.

Your point about stabilty with the right manager is spot on,but without stability how can you find the right manager?.

If as a club owner you appoint a man to manage the team, when, do you make the call that it was a mistake and that maybe he wasn't the right appointment?.

In a nutshell,this season has been a failure and as such the manager should go,but if it was that clear cut then maybe Jose should go to and David Moyes,Harry Redknapp,Arsene Wenger and with all the money spent, maybe Mancini,plus Mick McCarthy and so on.

I belive that Jose engineered a move away from Stamford Bridge,(for whatever reasons),and he was the right manager,but thats all history now.

If the critera was success every season or the sack,Ferguson would have been gone long ago,but, I guess he was the right manager at that time,maybe Carlo is to,maybe he needs a good right hand man,maybe he needs another season to learn about life in England,who knows?.

But one thing is for sure,as the ONLY manager in the clubs history to win a league & cup double,(setting goalscoring records),he get's my vote,I don't think that many others would have done a better job with all the bullsh*t that comes with the post,(take note all the behind the scenes backstabbers).

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Can we please stop buying into the media termed "managerial circus". The truth is Roman has only really had 2 managers, with caretaker managers in place in between and the sackings all had merit ro at least a semblance of reason. Firstly he was always gonna bring in his own man and unfortunately that meant Claudio was gonna go, no matter how nice a man he is. So Jose comes in, sweeps all before him and becomes a hero. He then has a clash of ego`s and leaves, replaced by his Judas Avram Grant as a caretaker manager. In comes Scolari, a massive massive mistake from the get go which is soon rectified by bringing in another caretaker Hiddink. He doesnt want it full time and another search is on, with Roman deciding on Ancelotti. And here we are, 3 managers, 1 off which was a mistake and one of which was a clash of ego`s, and 2 caretakers in 8 years so hardly the merry go round its said to be. Now its not brilliant, but its also not as bad as many make out.

Edited by dkw
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Why jump from managers (Ferguson and Busby) to owners? And why would Abramovich consider pulling out? Isn't it more likely, hasn't it always been more likely, that if the much prophesied boredom actually set in, that he'd sell the club? While it's true that there is a limited supply of billionaires who'd be both willing and able to buy the club, our achievements and higher profile over the last decade or so plus the actual location of the club (don't ever underestimate that prime West London real estate) gives us a better chance of finding a suitable buyer than just about any club in the country.

As you rightly say, and as has been previously pointed out, we've actually got a tradition of appointing short term managers, that goes all the way back to Dave Sexton, and he was only at the club for seven years. From 1905 to 1974 the club had a total of eight managers, the eighth being Dave Sexton. During the next tten years we went through another eight managers. Since then no manager has lasted more than four years. Incidentally, Ranieri was here for almost four years, and he was our longest serving manager since John Neal.

The problem I have with the call for stability as essential to success is that managerial stability is a rarity. If you can achieve it and be successful, so much the better. Stability alone is NO kind of reason for keeping a manager. Stability with the right manager. Now that's another matter entirely.

Hutch you know your onions no doubt about it. and I agree with your point of "lets not keep a manager for the sake of stability reasons" however .............it shouldnt just be about who the head man in charge is. if you look at barca they could change managers every other season but what wont change is the ethos of the club, the way they go about producing young players and their style of football. They are engrained and embedded in the club to such an extent that the position of manager is almost like a figurehead rather than waht the club is all about. What they have is not stability but more like CONTINUITY.

I still feel compared to our more historically successful rivals we lack an identity. We do not have a patriach (footballing wise) that has stamped their mark on the club (maybe you could say Tommy Doc?????).

We dont have a Rinus Michels, a Matt Busby, Herbert Chapman or Bill Shankley type figure who created a system of doing things the "Chelsea way".

As much as anything changing managers so frequently since Sexton has hurt Chelsea more than it has helped us. At some point we have to back someone and say "this is our man rain or shine"...................If Carlo does get the bullet this summer we will probably be in the same boat 2-3 years down the road talking about how the next manager is not up to the task and that culture is what needs to be changed.

PS. Point regarding "if Roman left" was not like he will get bored and leave, more like we depend on him too much and need to breed success from within our very walls rather than being reliant on his chequebook.

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Allright, heres a point Hutch that will be your cup of tea.

Look at how Rangers have struggled financially the last few years and been in dire straights, struggling to find a new owner but who has kept that club together through it all, the bankrupcy, tax problems eveything? Wattie.

We NEED a Walter Smith at Chelsea.

Now who is coming to replace him? Ally McCoist a Rangers man too, they are promoting from within and that is a intelligent move.

Edited by Benches
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Allright, heres a point Hutch that will be your cup of tea.

Look at how Rangers have struggled financially the last few years and been in dire straights, struggling to find a new owner but who has kept that club together through it all, the bankrupcy, tax problems eveything? Wattie.

We NEED a Walter Smith at Chelsea.

Now who is coming to replace him? Ally McCoist a Rangers man too, they are promoting from within and that is a intelligent move.

Dont mean to be harsh on Rangers, but in that league Rangers and Celtic could both spend nothing for years yet would still win pretty much every single title. Its a different kettle of fish in the English prem.

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Yes but by rights Celtic should have pissed that league this season or last.

Rangers sold their best striker in the transfer window (Miller) and have barely bought anyone in the last few years cos Lloyds had them in liquidation and so wouldnt approve signings.

Never underestimate Walter Smith, one of the best football brains in Britain.

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Can we please stop buying into the media termed "managerial circus". The truth is Roman has only really had 2 managers, with caretaker managers in place in between and the sackings all had merit ro at least a semblance of reason. Firstly he was always gonna bring in his own man and unfortunately that meant Claudio was gonna go, no matter how nice a man he is. So Jose comes in, sweeps all before him and becomes a hero. He then has a clash of ego`s and leaves, replaced by his Judas Avram Grant as a caretaker manager. In comes Scolari, a massive massive mistake from the get go which is soon rectified by bringing in another caretaker Hiddink. He doesnt want it full time and another search is on, with Roman deciding on Ancelotti. And here we are, 3 managers, 1 off which was a mistake and one of which was a clash of ego`s, and 2 caretakers in 8 years so hardly the merry go round its said to be. Now its not brilliant, but its also not as bad as many make out.

Its not the changing its the undemining/interfering that is the problem imo. appoint a bloke and then let him do the job.

Also regarding Claudio, remember the Dead Man Walking phrase? Roman met with Sven Goran Erikson in that season which imo was not a good move, its hard to manage when speculation about your job security is always in question.

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Its not the changing its the undemining/interfering that is the problem imo. appoint a bloke and then let him do the job.

Also regarding Claudio, remember the Dead Man Walking phrase? Roman met with Sven Goran Erikson in that season which imo was not a good move, its hard to manage when speculation about your job security is always in question.

Im not sure what your point is, everyone knew Claudio wasnt Romans man and would leave fairly early on that season. He may have met with sven but thank christ he didnt hire him.

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The point is you don't constantly undermine the bloke who you have in charge.

Claudio took us to 2nd and a Champs League semi that season (best ever on both counts apart from 1954/55 championship) despite being the dead man walking.

The same interference is what got Mourinho the hump and thats probably why he left too.

There is a discernible pattern here.

Anyway its all academic really like I said earlier I am resigned to changing a manager 3 times a decade at least. It used to annoy me now I just accept that there will never be any continiuty at Chelsea. "If its broke fix it, if aint broke fix it anyway" should be our motto.

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