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Chelsea's Problems and How to Fix Them!

Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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It's clear that our club is in turmoil off the pitch and it is now correlating to poor performances on the field. There are so many problems with our club at the moment, that I could write a whole book about it at the moment, but I'll try to outline the problems best I can and how we can potentially fix these problems. I want Chelsea to succeed like the next person, but serious changes must take place for it to happen. 


I'll list the problems and summarise them and then try to explain how we can fix the problem.


1). Rafa Benitez as coach:

Clearly the appointment of Rafa Benitez was never going to be accepted by Chelsea supporters, so the appointment was perplexing to start off with. Benitez had not had a managerial role for two years after he had been sacked by Inter Milan two years ago. Since then he was a media pundit in Dubai and he wasn't sort after by other clubs. To me this suggests that clubs know he's an overrated manager and that after the disasters of Liverpool at the end and with Inter Milan, he's not worth risking to have as a manager. What makes the appointment so much worse is the fact that he replaced a Chelsea legend who was respected and admired by Chelsea supporters. Since his appointment, Rafa has proven to be a failure as we expected, and despite some convincing wins against Aston Villa and Stoke City, his overall record has been poor. As a matter of fact, it's poorer than Roberto Di Matteo's record this season as manager for Chelsea. Rafa has demonstrated to the supporters that he fails to react to crucial moments in matches and clearly he isn't a good motivator or communicator with the players. That element of managing is crucial in becoming successful, and if you don't have good communication skills, it's doomed to be a failure, as it is right now. The greatest annoyance to Chelsea fans is the excuses that Benitez has made throughout his brief tenure at the club such as a lack of depth, hectic scheduling and the fact that we the fans are not backing him and supporting him as manager. The longer Benitez stays at the club, the worse the season is going to get for Chelsea FC.t's clear as day that Rafa will not receive the support of Chelsea fans, even if he's somehow successful which is unlikely and the results demonstrated by the team under his managerial reign have been poor and unacceptable. We have won 2 out of the past 9 matches.


How to fix the problem: The most appropriate action for all concerned is to sack Rafa Benitez as soon as possible and begin looking for a new interim manager that Chelsea fans won't disrespect and despise. Some have said we have limited options, but there are two managers we should pursue. They should be Fabio Capello and Frank Rijkaard. Both managers have proven to be a success in club level and they have the experience to guide us along for the rest of the season. Give one or the other a 3 month contract and we'll assess their performance at the end of the season.


2). The Sacking Of Roberto Di Matteo:

The sacking of Roberto Di Matteo was nothing short of a disgrace. It shouldn't have happened in the first place and the sacking was unjustified and it's just been proven with Benitez's appointment that this was a huge mistake by the board. The sacking wasn't only shocking because RDM wasn't performing badly on the pitch, but because he was such a well-respected and admired figure by the Chelsea faithful. What makes matter worse is that he delivered us the FA Cup and our first ever European Champions League success six months earlier. Surely successes like this warrant you substantially more than six months to stamp your authority on the team. RDM was far from perfect as manager and he had his flaws, but at least he demonstrated his passion for Chelsea in every match and he was delivering results which the fans were satisfied with. Admittedly, he had a slump in November, but every manager goes through a dip in form throughout the season. It shouldn't have warranted his dismissal. The most insulting thing about this sacking was the fact that Roman and the board weren't sure as to whether to give him a contract to manage Chelsea this season despite the amazing success he had. Overall, this sacking has proven to be a bad one and one that will hopefully come back to haunt Roman and the board.


How to fix the problem: Unfortunately it would be too embarrassing to now re-appoint Roberto Di Matteo as manager soon after he got sacked, but the board can still try and put a positive spin on this. For starters, they should apologise to Roberto for the mistake they made in sacking him and they deeply regret it happening. Secondly, the board should acknowledge to the supporters that an error of judgement has taking place and that they're willing to admit their mistake in sacking RDM and thirdly, they should bring back Jose Mourinho in the summer of 2013 as our new long-term manager starting from next season.


3). Frank Lampard's Contract Debacle:

Frank Lampard's contract talks seem to have broken down and it isn't likely that he'll be playing for Chelsea next season unfortunately. I think it has been disgraceful by the board to let Frank have his contract renewed at Chelsea. It's clear to everyone who loves Chelsea that he wants to stay, his performances this season justify it and the board should show some loyalty for once and give something back to a man who has delivered so much success for this club in the past 12 seasons. Apparently Frank was also willing to take a pay cut to stay at Chelsea which just goes to show he devoted he is to play for Chelsea and wouldn't it be nice to see a legend to finally take over Bobby Tambling's goalscoring record. While Frank may be 34 years old, he's still an asset as a player and he's still very much a major contributor to this Chelsea team. He may have lost a yard of pace, but talent never disappears and if we lost him we have lost a major talent. 

How to fix the problem: The board and Frank will need to sit down together in a civil and peaceful manner and discuss this contract issue rationally. I think the board should propose to Frank that they'll offer him a new 2 year contract with a pay cut, and that while first team football is not guaranteed every weekend, he'll always have the full support of the board and the supporters. A two year deal with a pay cut that Frank is happy with is a fair compromise.


4). The Sacking Of Managers Is Becoming Too Frequent:

Under Roman's ownership, the sacking of managers has become too prevalent. The first victim of the sackings was Claudio Ranieri back in 2004 and the latest one just took place in November 2012 when Roberto Di Matteo was given his marching orders. While Roman and the board may believe otherwise, the sacking of managers has done more harm than good. It may have resulted in one or two extra trophies, but Chelsea has built up a reputation of being a 'managerial death-trap' and therefore the number of quality managers available is drying up quickly. The first ruthless sacking that serious consequences and I still believe is affecting Chelsea to this very day is the removal of 'the special one'. The sacking of Mourinho or as the board would say 'leaving by mutual consent' was truly shocking and we had the first real glimpse of how ruthless Roman is. Since Mourinho's departure, we've witnessed the sackings of Avram Grant, Luis Felipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas Boas and Roberto Di Matteo. That's simply not good enough. Avram Grant's sacking was harsh. He didn't have the full backing of the fans and his profile wasn't big enough which Roman wants, despite him signing a 4 year contract 6 months before he got sacked. The man gave us second position, a runners up spot in the League Cup and he should have won the European Champions League, but unfortunately John Terry slipped over in the penalty box when it mattered most. Luis Felipe Scolari's sacking was also harsh, but some weren't as outraged about his sacking. The team wasn't performing to expectations and he lost the players and fans. Scolari didn't work out as manager in the end. Things like this can happen, so the sacking wasn't questioned too much considering Hiddink rejuvenated our season. Ancelotti's sacking was awful, especially as it's been reported that he was sacked at the Goodison Park tunnel in the final day of the season. Ancelotti delivered instant success in his first year as he won the double, but in his second year the team didn't perform well as it was ageing and he failed in the Champions League, something Roman expects all managers to do extremely well in. In the end, Ancelotti's fate was sealed, and it reiterated how ruthless Roman and the board are. Like all the other managers, AVB was gone within seven months of his appointment. I was one of the few who felt AVB deserved three years to re-build the Chelsea squad as it was ageing and declining. Roman expected too much too quickly and when certain tactics weren't working and Chelsea were struggling, AVB was shown the door as well. Apparently Roman sacked him personally. RDM's sacking has already been mentioned and that was just as harsh. 


How to fix the problem: Unfortunately Chelsea has built up a bad reputation of sacking managers all too frequently and something has to change. I think to ensure that our club is successful in the future, we should only be sacking managers for very justifiable reasons, not knee-jerk reasons like it has been in the past. I think Roman and the board need to address the fans and acknowledge their past mistakes with this. At least then, the supporters will feel somewhat satisfied that the board is learning from their mistakes. As I've said already, I think Jose Mourinho needs to be pursued heavily.


5). Roman's Ownership Of Chelsea And The Board:

This interconnects with the sacking of managers and the board's relationship with the fans.


Roman is a hard character to analyse. I think he can be split up into the good, bad and ugly scenarios. 

Good - Roman could arguably be the best owner Chelsea has ever seen because of the on-field success that has occurred as a result of his ownership of the club. He's invested so much into making the club extremely successful with consistent amount of trophies year after year. Under his ownership we've been able to capture some of the best players in the world, play in the Champions League year after year and have some quality managers at the club. Another thing that could make Roman a great owner as opposed to others is the fact that he seems to have genuine love for the club, as he sits in the stands most weeks and he hasn't used Chelsea as a way to pay off his debts as opposed to other owners in the EPL. Also despite me not liking this element so much, we have attracted more supporters around the world because of him and the Chelsea 'brand' is huge at the moment.


Bad - While Roman's ownership has demonstrated good elements, it has also displayed bad elements as well. Roman has made poor decisions over the years as well and he should be held accountable for them as well. Some of these has been appointing people like Bruce Buck, Ron Gourlay and Peter Kenyon to run the day to day activities of the club. Due to these three men, we've seen enormous mistakes take place under Roman's ownership. For the first few years under Roman, Chelsea still seemed to uphold its traditions and there weren't many issues taking place especially under the Mourinho era, but after Jose left by 'mutual consent', Roman's ownership is more flawed than we first anticipated. Ever since Mourinho's departure, the expectations of the club have almost been unrealistic at times and sackings of managers has become second nature. As a result, Chelsea has been unable to re-build a new squad because of a tyrannical owner and the patience of manager's has been so unreasonable that new managers have been unable to stamp their authority on the team. Another thing that has become more noticeable over each passing year is the distant relationship between Roman and the supporters. Roman seems like a shy person, and I don't hold that against him but it would be nice if he interacted and communicated with the fans every so often. Due to a lack of communication, fans feel like that they're not treated well and they have no idea on how the club is running. 


Ugly - As well as the good and bad, we've seen ugly elements of Roman's ownership of Chelsea. The ugly being the way he's treated managers and certain legends of the club without any respect whatsoever. The recent sacking of RDM really demonstrated the ruthlessness that Roman has in him and despite knowing that RDM is a much loved figure at Chelsea, he ended up sacking him despite the results being quite good, even though we as a club were going through a slight slump at the end of RDM's tenure. What made the sacking even worse, was the fact that Roman appointed Rafa Benitez who is a much-hated figure by Chelsea supporters. Did Roman not think Rafa would not be accepted. It was a sign of man who didn't care what the supporters think. Despite the sacking of RDM, the sackings of Mourinho, Grant, Ancelotti and AVB were just as bad. The sacking of Mourinho was in particularly bad as Mourinho was a cult figure at Chelsea and he brought us a lot of success over the years. How can a man who's won 2 EPL trophies, 2 League Cups, 1 FA Cup, 1 Community Shield and made the Champions League Semi Finals twice be sacked and he's done all of this over three years. This sacking just proved how unreasonable and unrealistic Roman can be. The sacking of Ancelotti was extremely harsh as well. In his first season, Ancelotti delivered us the EPL title and more FA Cup success, but in the following year he was sacked for having a poor season where Chelsea still actually finished 2nd. Roman's decision to sack Carlo was terrible as Carlo was unable to re-build an ageing squad and his treatment despite the initial success was disgraceful. The sacking of AVB also boggled the mind as well. AVB wasn't performing to a lot of fan expectations, but to only have 7 months with an ageing squad and to expect instant success was clearly unreasonable by Roman, and I don't blame AVB for hating our club now. The sacking of managers all too often has been the main example of the negatives of Roman's ownership. Other issues under Roman's ownership is the transfers he's made over the years without consulting the manager. The signings of Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Ballack at the start of the 2006-2007 proved to be the beginning of the end for Jose Mourinho. Mourinho never wanted to sign these players despite the high-profiles they had. Shevchenko proved to be a bad signing as he couldn't reproduce his form from AC Milan and Michael Ballack while reasonable throughout his Chelsea career, he was nowhere near as strong as he was at Bayern Munich. Another bad signing was Fernando Torres for 50m. At the time, a lot of Chelsea fans thought Torres would be great, but he's clearly been the worst signing Chelsea has ever had and yet Roman's stubbornness to not admit Torres has been a flop has been of great annoyance to Chelsea fans. Due to Emenalo and Roman's interference in transfers, this hasn't helped the club become bigger and better.


How to fix the problem: Roman and the board need to understand that what they've be doing lately has been hindering Chelsea's chances of further success in the future. Whoever the next manager is, Roman needs to give the manager greater control when it comes to transfers and management. All he should be doing, is funding the cheques for transfers like he was in his first three seasons at Chelsea. After he bought Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Ballack without Jose Mourinho's approval, Roman and his team have developed a bad habit of purchasing players without the manager and his staff being even aware of these signings. If Roman changed his style in terms of the way he runs Chelsea, he would be a great owner, but if he can't change his ways, the club will continue going backwards and therefore for the sake of his love of the club, he should sell up. 


6). The Squad Needs Re-Building:

Our squad needs major re-building as well. For starters we don't have enough strikers, our defence is vulnerable and our midfield is hardly dominated without Mata or Hazard. We will also need to sort out the Cech and Courtois situation and who takes the mantle of the number 1 goalkeeping position in the future. I think signing the likes of Falcao, Fellaini, Shaw would be a great start and our team would look a lot better. We should sell Torres, Malouda, Benayoun,Ferreira and other players who are 'dead rubber' and are liabilities to the team. However in saying this, the next manager in charge and his staff will need to analyse the squad and make the appropriate changes to move our team forward, so I don't think the interference of the board will help our cause and their judgement will distort their views on the squad. 


How to fix the problem: Obviously we'll need to buy new players, but our next manager will have to analyse the problems within the squad and make the appropriate changes in going forward. All the board should be doing is funding the transfers and nothing else. Let the football related situations be handled by the manager and his staff and they control the finances of keeping Chelsea secure and away from debt. 


7). The Board's Relationship With The Fans:

At the moment, the board's relationship with the fans is at an all-time low. The Chelsea fans including myself are feeling disillusioned and almost forgotten with the way the board handles difficult situations. I don't think I've ever seen Roman interact with our supporters once under his ownership. To me, he's almost this figure in the stands of Stamford Bridge that owns the club. Despite being controversial, Ken Bates was a great owner, not only because he revolutionised our club throughout the 80s and 90s, but due to the fact he interacted with the fans every so often. To this very day, he's still my favourite owner by a country mile, even if he did barrack for QPR as a child, because he always had the club's best interests at heart. He was a very underrated businessman.While in the context of problems, this isn't a big issue, but nevertheless it needs to be addressed. I think fans are starting to feel detached from the club and they're losing passion of why they love Chelsea so much. 


How to fix the problem: I'd like Roman and the board to interact with the fans in some way, if that's going online to 

inform the members or supporters of how the club is progressing. Even if it's only once a month, it would be refreshing for them to talk to us even if it's through a letter, blog, video link etc. As a result, the fans won't feel disillusioned on what's going on at Chelsea. 

Edited by Jezz
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The board are AWARE of whats been done .They are just powerless to go up against the ROMAN....He is so rich n powerfull he probably has NEVER had anyone stand against him (and the body ever be found again)...Everyone needs to contact ROMAN to let him know this is not exactly the chelsea way...Also , as has been stated many times....He is also a little miffed with fans for not allowing him the ground shares

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If that's the case, what's point of hiring the likes of Gourlay, Buck and Emenalo. They have more involvement than we think, but Roman is one of the most flawed owners in football history. 


What do you think of my points? Overreaction, realistic or completely off the topic?

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Thank you Phillip :)


I really want this club to succeed badly, but I feel success is only a dream now and the only way it's going to happen is if major changes take place as I highlighted in my opening post.

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I lkie the post, but like all fans, you're looking at problems & solutions in the most simple terms.


I'm starting to believe that the only way forwards is for Roman to either:


A) Stop with any involvement in the running of the club.


B) Sell the club & leave.


I've loved our success but is the price becoming too high? For me it is.


Roman doesn't love the club like a genuine fan, he loves it like a favourite toy!

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The board are AWARE of whats been done .They are just powerless to go up against the ROMAN....He is so rich n powerfull he probably has NEVER had anyone stand against him (and the body ever be found again)...Everyone needs to contact ROMAN to let him know this is not exactly the chelsea way...Also , as has been stated many times....He is also a little miffed with fans for not allowing him the ground shares

No offense but I simply do not understand the English expectation of what an owner of a professional sports club is. Roman bought the club and owns it, he has spent over a billion in the past decade. This spending has brought us supporters to the far stretches of joy all the way to the other side of the spectrum, where we may be today.

This whole lets ring him up or send him an email is a bit ridiculous. He does not have to answer to us as we do not have to support him and his club. We are not shareholders of the club as if this were a publicly traded company. We have very little say and the only stage to display what little say we do have is at the matches. In looking at our record of late this obviously has not gone down so well.

I am just as upset as the next supporter on how things have dissolved so quickly at the club. I also wish we actually did have a voice that Roman would listen to. Unfortunately, this more than likely will not happen because frankly it doesn't have to. Its not a majority vote, its what Roman wants and that's how its been since the beginning with this guy. He didn't make his billions asking people what they thought did he? So why should we expect anything more now?

I am happy he bought the club and while we are all seeing the double edged sword in a time like this, the situation over the past decade has unfolded very well for us. Sure, we are a rudderless ship at the moment piloted by some fat Spanish waiter through a sea of ice. I doubt Roman wants to continue this and will make corrections to get the club out of this mess. I don't picture him the type to simply throw in the towel and walk away because of some emailing...

My point is, while I hope he does take an open view at the state of the club and its supporters and make some benefitting changes, he doesn't have to. He is the owner and we are all along for the ride...

Edited by DoubleHelix74
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