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familiar story...


MannyJello

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...American fans probably know it well. All others, take heed:

An oil tycoon with no previous sporting experience uses his massive fortune to buy one of the country's most storied football franchises. One of his first acts is to rid the team of its skipper and bring in a younger and brash (some would say arrogant) manager who had great success with another team. That new head man instills a renewed sense of team pride among fans and players and will not accept anything less than utter domination. He has an incredible combination of personality that engenders fierce loyalty from his players while also having a great football mind. He is a master tactician employing a thick playbook, and he also knows how to use the media to his advantage. The owner and coach surround themselves with the best and the brightest minds in football, and through a combination of savvy moves and a virtually unlimited war chest, assemble an incredible football machine. The team quickly wins back-to-back championships with a solid core of players in their prime.

However, disagreements between the coach and the owner become apparent and cracks appear in their relationship. The most obvious problem is ultimate control, as the coach wants to select his players and the owner wants to interject his thoughts and ensure a proper return on his investment.

The year after the back-to-back championships is rocky. Although the football team reaches great success on the field and is just a few points from winning another championship, one of its bitterest rivals and one of the most storied football teams in the league reclaims the title. Rumors swirl that the owner already has a new head coach lined up to take over the next season. Key injuries hurt the squad at various points in the year. At the end of the day, the loss seemed to be a foregone conclusion. Although they played well enough to have a shot at the title, they never played the brand of football that would have justified a third successive title. The season sees the team purchase underperforming but world famous players who divide the locker room and the fans.

That is the last straw, and the owner famously sacks the manager. The owner hires another coach who is universally regarded as blazingly incompetent and nothing more than a sorry yes man to the owner. The team still has a massive amount of talent, and based on the strength of the squad assembled by the now-departed young coach, they capture another championship, their third in four years. But the joy is no longer there. The stars of the team are in the decline of their careers. Some depart for greener pastures. The personnel moves, largely orchestrated by the owner and his band of cronies, fall flat in many respects. The team becomes a bloated monstrosity, and the entire country (except the large and somewhat fickle fan base) enjoys the team's free fall from success. The head coaching position becomes a revolving door of lesser talents, all of whom pale in comparison to the manager who brought the zest and the life back to this proud franchise. The owner has managed to run the football team into the ground.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:

(a) Chelsea Football Club, circa 2004 - 2010

or

(:getmycoat: The Dallas Cowboys (American football team), circa 1990 - 2002

Up until the last paragraph, the two clubs have had remarkably similar runs. Let's hope, as Chelsea fans, the final paragraph is not set in stone...

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the worst part about it? also being a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan since I was a young one, there was absolutely no joy in that third championship. NONE whatsoever. you could see the whole season that everything was about to collapse. when we won it, the consensus was, "Of course you won, you had ridiculous amounts of talent amassed by great football minds and oodles of money, if you hadn't won it would have been a disaster." so it was more of a relief than joy when we won.

it's tough to do a real direct parallel comparison of the two teams because the NFL installed a pretty stringent salary cap system right around the end of that run to ensure parity in the league. it is almost impossible for any team to go on the kind of dyanstic run that is possible in Europe because of salary constraints, player personnel moves, free agency, etc. so the downfall of the Cowboys was somewhat inevitable. still, it hurt no less. i certainly hope that history doesn't go around repeating itself in this regard.

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No offense Manny, but to even hint at the notion of Abramovich being the slightest bit like Jerry Jones is ridiculous. Jerry Jones was a former american football player who "thought" he knew enough to make the big decisions. Not only the decision regarding personnel, but decisions as far as tactics as well. The only similarity is that both teams won back to back titles and (possibly in the case of Chelsea) missed out on a third. After that the similarities end full stop.

Aside from Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders, there is no more hands on owner than Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys. Roman to this point has resisted "foisting" players on Mourinho. Yes, Roman wanted Sheva (who wouldn't at the time?) and Jose wanted him too. Jose also wanted Ballack as Eidur had fallen out of favour from a string of dour performances. I don't think the comparison is fair on Roman.

On the bright side? When Dallas lost in that third year running, they came back and won it the next. Let's hope Chels do the same if we fail to retain our title this season!

PS - Manny. I just re-read your initial post. The original coach, Jimmy Johnson (Mourinho in your allegory) resigned immediately after winning the second title. Barry Switzer was brought in the following season and failed to get to the final. You've got your facts a little mixed up mate.

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No offense Manny, but to even hint at the notion of Abramovich being the slightest bit like Jerry Jones is ridiculous. Jerry Jones was a former american football player who "thought" he knew enough to make the big decisions. Not only the decision regarding personnel, but decisions as far as tactics as well. The only similarity is that both teams won back to back titles and (possibly in the case of Chelsea) missed out on a third. After that the similarities end full stop.

somewhat disagree. sure they have different backgrounds, and maybe Jerry loves American football more than Roman loves football, but that doesn't mean much. at the end of the day, they are both very rich owners who closely control their club.

Aside from Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders, there is no more hands on owner than Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys. Roman to this point has resisted "foisting" players on Mourinho. Yes, Roman wanted Sheva (who wouldn't at the time?) and Jose wanted him too. Jose also wanted Ballack as Eidur had fallen out of favour from a string of dour performances. I don't think the comparison is fair on Roman.

agree that Jerry is very hands on. he's on the field each game, and in some instances in the post-Johnson but pre-Parcells era, it seemed that Jerry actually ran strategy near the end of games. and Roman has had a lot less of an impact in terms of selecting squads, sure. but if the rumors are true, it is the foisting of Sheva that might cost Jose his job.

On the bright side? When Dallas lost in that third year running, they came back and won it the next. Let's hope Chels do the same if we fail to retain our title this season!

yes, concur! and then hope we re-write the history books and cotninue our upward trajectory!

PS - Manny. I just re-read your initial post. The original coach, Jimmy Johnson (Mourinho in your allegory) resigned immediately after winning the second title. Barry Switzer was brought in the following season and failed to get to the final. You've got your facts a little mixed up mate.

Jimmy Johnson resigned because he knew he was about to be fired. The 1992-93 season was littered with reports in the media that Jones was taking credit for the Cowboys championships. After that second S.Bowl win, Jones made the public statement that "any one of 500 coaches could have won those Super Bowls" given the type of talent that he had drafted and signed for the team. Jones also stated to reporters at a late night cocktail party that he intended to replace Johnson with former University of Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer. The next morning, however, Jones famously denied those reports by stating that it "was the whiskey talking". In other words, even though Johnson resigned, he was effectively forced out because of Jones interceding with player personnel moves and overall control of the club (remember this January transfer window? any hint of a problem with personnel moves there?)

You're right about the order of the resignation and Barry's championship. Still, it was largely acknowledged that in some ways, Jones was right. A monkey could have won a Super Bowl with that talent.

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The post in general could also be applied to the history of Real Madrid.....

Also, I got confused with the second manager being totally incompetent and a yes man and thought we were on about Claudio again...

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