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Has Roman Abramovich Engineered This Endgame?


Dorset
Chelsea Megastore
Chelsea Megastore

Chelsea Megastore

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“…it becomes dangerous for the manager if you have a spell where nothing is working. The easiest way to cure the problem is to change the manager. Unfortunately, we’ve experienced that a few times. You can see the reaction of the team every time. Our fans may say ‘yes, we’d like to see more stability’, but we’d rather have the cups. The ideal scenario is Manchester United, where you have the same manager and you win a large number of trophies, but we seem to prove all these things wrong.â€

…. Petr Cech (14/5/13)

Another Chelsea season ends in trophy success and with it comes expectation of more of the same, except, next time, under permanent managerial guidance. Interim instability was, of course, the only thing not to like about this campaign and we were forever told that the uncertain nature of it could undermine Roman’s empire to such an extent it would, like as not, bring the whole silverware-winning edifice tumbling down like a house of cards under the control of a pair of chubby, unsteady Spanish hands. Yes siree, Rafa Benitez has been in charge of our deck and to his undoubted credit, against a constant backdrop of abusive, ill-judged, scepticism, those mitts of his have duly stacked up players position-wise and perceptively to guide us along his rotational path to victory in a European final. Quite frankly, against Everton, should he be anything other than applauded for the part he has played in our Champions League qualification and Europa League triumph it will be a shame bordering on a disgrace.

Indeed, others might also say that the outgoing Spanish waiter has even gone some way towards justifying Petr Cech‘s above assessment through his interim guidance. However, I would not, because the real truth of the matter does not boil down to any euphemistic balancing prowess of a waiter, nor has it got that much to do with ‘the in-play‘, despite Ray Winstone ceaselessly reminding us of its ethereal presence. No, this is ALL to do with the Organ Grinder, not the monkey, and the more the season has panned out in paranoia the more I’ve sought solace in one, solitary, overriding belief. Mark my words, Roman Abramovich has engineered this endgame - and before the scoffing begins, let me explain my thinking behind Chelsea’s approach to a remarkable Premiership season, cradled as it was between two European triumphs and every imaginable spat one club could possibly have with both an FA and refereeing body that bordered on the blindingly incompetent.

But first of all a word on my premise, which has a heading couched in chess terminology for a specific reason. There are three distinct phases inherent in the game of chess - the opening, the middlegame and the endgame, with only one part [the last] subject to any form of manageability, expressed in the form of predictable outcome and the incontrovertible turning of a good position into an inevitable victory. For me, likeminded comparison with the Chels this season is not difficult to make and would span the following lines: an ‘opening’ that had all the unpredictable hallmarks associated with a game affected by so many elements - players performance, money to buy them, officials to, well err…let’s just say ’influence’ them with their decision-making on tackles, simulation, red and yellow cards, what’s said, ball boys etc, etc - that sort of unpredictably, if you get my drift.

The ‘middle game‘, by contrast, equates to the players alone, to power, dominance, creativity, often sheer brilliance, being enough to swing a game in your favour in ninety minutes regardless of circumstance. When aligned with a manager’s astute tactical awareness, goals are scored, or calmly prevented, either way the aim of winning is achieved and there is very little the opposition and their fans can do about it, other than moan of ’it’ being bought by a nasty oligarch and the unfairness of the situation. In effect, the oligarch in question has no real say in either opening or middlegame scenario, other than through cost-covering both, but what he CAN do is finagle his way towards a finish he knows to be favourable - an engineering of an endgame, as in the game of chess, where calculation is not only essential, but has often been carried out at the earliest opportunity, perhaps during a middlegame rich in possibilities, where the outcome was evolving and planned for.

My contention with Chelsea would be (and has been since the start of this season, if you care to read my previous posts) that Roman and his advisers had assessed this campaign as one that offered little for us domestically. The opening was always likely to be heavily influenced by United’s urgent need for immediate retribution after City’s last-gasp title win and, should there have been some sort of behind-the-scenes talk of it being Fergie’s last season, was it really going to come as a surprise? Add to this the Rafa-esque ’fact’ that back-to-back CL trophies were going to be about as likely as one of our goals appearing in, let alone winning, a Sky Goal of the Week competition and you have the perfect scenario for the so-called ‘transitional’ period at the club to take place. Harsh on United? I think not…

So, forget a Premiership title secured early enough in the piece to make it appear that a knight of the realm’s wish came true, asked for whilst perched on Santa Riley’s knee and thereby granted, subsequently appearing glitter-sprayed, odd-shaped and gift-wrapped by Christmas, because it is the NEXT campaign that will see a return to reality - the continued decline of their ageing squad, without world class replacement, and if the final game played against us told the old boy anything at all it wasn’t that his players were already on the beach, as a [once-pliant] press pack would have you believe, it was that a large number of them would soon be ‘beached’ and the likes of De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Cleverly, Anderson and Welbeck weren’t looking fit and proper to even put their towels out on the recliners, never mind reserve a guaranteed long-contracted seat in the sun for themselves.

In the light of this, I believe our hierarchy not only anticipated ‘last hurrahs’ popping up all over place inside Old Trafford, but planned accordingly, engineering an endgame that would maximise the opportunity for us to move into transition under our usual cover of dark-art-ness, at a time when we weren’t going to achieve an awful lot anyway, unless it was clearly defined as ’interim success’ which [should it materialise] would be seen in the Media-led public perception as yet another undeserved bonus for Chelsea, unaccountably obtained by eschewing that priceless commodity known as ‘continuity’, albeit in order to win our eleventh major trophy in ten years.

Who better, then, for us to place at the helm in temporary charge and in such circumstances, than a coach in declining desperation, a devil to despise, a ‘lost leader’ getting all-too used to a losers world? Preposterous though this may seem, Judgement Day on my premise fast approaches with the impending announcement of our new manager and surely not even a maniacal oligarch, who allegedly thinks very little of us Chelsea fans, would have been so off his trolley as to set all this in motion without having any form of engineered control of its anticipated endgame. Behind the machinations has to be a manager worthy of the cause, effectively in place throughout the whole process, muted by his own current contractual requirements, probably for far longer than his supporters would care to conscience.

Jose Mourinho was doubtless prepared to consider a possible return to Chelsea ages ago, way back in the early stages of the middlegame slump that affected both our teams last year. And talk of needing to convince a stubborn Russian of the endgame advantage in appointing him was, in my opinion, always well wide of the mark. Roman has engineered this endgame to perfection and all that remains to complete matters to everyone’s satisfaction is to have confirmation of his appointment and hear that he has got a five year contract, in keeping with what has always been the plan from the beginning - the ultimate in endgame engineering.

Edited by Dorset
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Incredibly interesting theory and you deserve at least a few likes for it. However, I cannot help but have a few contentions with it:

 

1) The board have hitherto lacked the vision for your theory about them 'waiting a season' for Ferguson to retire so they can strike the next season. If anything, they've shown a lack of patience when something goes wrong and that influences their decisions. Sacking RDM after a few bad games was a case in point.

 

2) I've heard stories that they appointed Benitez on the word of Emenalo, being so out of touch that they didn't fully grasp how much of a hate figure he really was here.

 

3) Roman and co. haven't so much engineered satisfactory endgames as they have stumbled their way to a satisfactory one over the past couple of seasons at least. IMO, it was only the immense physical and mental courage of CFC's players plus RDM's cool-headed ways that won us the CL. From Roman's perspective, it was just a last roll of the dice that worked out brilliantly for all concerned. 

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Well written but complete bollocks in my opinion, until Clattenburg we were coasting to a league title, and at the time Robbie was sacked we were only 4 points behind, to suggest he gave up on it at that stage and just brought in the waiter to hand United an easy title to encourage Fergie to retire, and to piss us all off so that when he brings Jose back we're more appreciative, makes no sense in my mind.

 

No-one expected us to win the CL again this year but looking at our squad and United's squad this year, it should never have panned out this way, City were the main threat and they were sh*t all year.

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No-one expected us to win the CL again this year but looking at our squad and United's squad this year, it should never have panned out this way, City were the main threat and they were sh*t all year.

We didn't have enough quality depth in midfield or upfront to mount a sustainable title challenge. Even with RDM we wouldn't have been anywhere near United. Our strikers are mediocre and after the 3 Amigos we don't have enough reliable alternatives. We were down to 2 fit CM's at one point which forced the Luiz experiment. Not to mention that the defending was poor under RDM and continued from in the same vein for months.

Edited by Celery1989
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going from a legend to a legend is never easy, so stick a hate figure in between. Worked to perfection. The hate figure even adds a shiny cup into the bargain.

Maybe sly, but very clever from Roman. I just hope Jose gets the time, the patience and plenty of control over transfers.

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