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One last post on my frustration at Jose's departure...


Butch

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I promise this will be the last...

You know how they say that a person deals with a loss in stages? Anger, depression, sadness and acceptance (or something like that)? I think it is going to take me a while to get over the parting of ways between Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho. He literally did take the English Premiership, and Chelsea, by storm. He integrated himself right into the fabric of the club and stamped a brand of football, style and mentality, into everything Chelsea did. As such, Chelsea without Jose is going to need time to readjust.

Avram Grant has the unenviable task of the "follow-up gig". Nobody wants to go on stage right after the best show in town. There's too much pressure and too many comparisons will be made. Plus, the audience never wanted to see the best show leave the stage! As such, they will harbor some resentment towards you.

I want to go on record as saying that although I don't want Grant as our manager, it is not as much about the man himself as it is about my personal belief that the odds are stacked too much against him and we don't have the time for trial and error at this delicate stage (of the season and of our club's history).

I think most Chelsea fans, or football fans in general, will understand what I mean about the delicate stage in the season so I won't really go into that. Suffice it to say, the EPL champions of the past three seasons have all has good starts and led from the fore. We are already behind as it is. We need to steady ship as soon as possible.

But I wanted to talk a little bit about my thoughts on Chelsea Football Club's chance of history and my personal ambitions for the club. Don't let anyone kid you, we are not a club with the same footing as a Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, AC Milan or even Liverpool. Yes, on the pitch we can compete depending on the money we plough into the team, but long-term we don't have the same base of supporters to really compete; yet.

I had high hopes when Roman came in, after the initial questions ran into my mind about whether or not we could trust him, etc... But those were not really footballing issues, just ones that could affect the club. But after seeing his obvious commitment, I did begin to see the chance of a good future with him. Clearly, I am happy that we've taken to branding the club through Peter Kenyon's expertise, as well as re-building our youth system, crucial for our long-term future and viability. These things are important, but I think one of the most important things is on-the-pitch success.

I have a lot of old-school Chelsea friends and I love them to death. I really do. But, what happens when the current generation of Chelsea fans die out? Who will be following us? We need more new fans. I understand some old-school fans' dislike for "johnny-come-lately's" or "wagon-hoppers" but I think those are unfair tags for new fans. We need to expand our fan base. You look at all the "big" clubs; they have massive stadia. We're talking upwards of 50 or 60,000 fans for every match. I cannot honestly say that we could fill such a stadium at the moment. I love Stamford Bridge too, but I think if we realistically want to compete long-term with these "big" clubs we will ultimately have to move into a 60-000+ seater "Samsung Arena" or something like that. I think it is inevitable. We've been making fun of Arsenal and the fact they've had to scrimp and save since they've moved into their new Emirates Stadium, but in the course of about a year, they are already making a lot more money and their long-term future is secured. I don't want to give them any credit but I feel I have no choice (Chelsea old-school fans can insert here a comment about me buggering off and supporting Arsenal if I so like what they're doing - but that is not an option for me).

And how do we expand our fan base? Success, pure and simple. Some people would argue pretty football, but I don't buy it. You have to do the basics first and then you can think about the aesthetics. Sometimes Jose Mourinho's Chelsea bored the heck out of me. but you have to admit that teams like Arsenal and Barcelona, pretty as they were to watch, did not enjoy playing us at all. And how can you argue with a 3-year unbeaten home record? That doesn't come from playing pretty football. Pretty football results in big wins interspersed with frustrating losses. I believe we needed to stick with Jose for at least 5 years and probably more like ten years to rack up the culture of sustained success that would win new fans and keep them coming. Only after we accomplish that first phase can we think about tinkering and "improving". What Roman is doing now with demanding "pretty" football is amounting to the Real Madrid/Barcelona approach but without the "winning history" that is keeping them going. Compared to them, we're still flash in the pan; slightly better than Blackburn but not much so. I'm truly disappointed we've thrown a really promising opportunity of really building an era down the drain. How many Jose Mourinho's do you think there are now? People were against us because we were successful and challenging the established powers. I think a lot of people have tried to undermine us, and disappointingly, they have succeeded.

In a way, I think Jose's immediate success has given Roman the false idea that money CAN buy success. I have this feeling that he now feels it is he more than anybody else that is important, and he has the right to expect whatever he wants as long as he ploughs in the money. If that is the case, he is wrong. At this juncture, I wish it were I that were wrong, and I continue to hope I'm proven so. How many clubs of our stature pre-Roman could dream about not just competing with the big clubs on the pitch on a per-game basis, but also competing with them off it. This is a one-off chance and we really need to grab the opportunity to establish this club while we have this level of financial clout. But money only goes so far and so the financial side and the footballing side really need to be kept separate and run by experts in the respective fields.

But what's done is done. My concern is how do we limit the damage already done, and how do we rectify this as quickly as possible. We seem to be keen on bringing in coaching staff to replace that which we've lost, and that will come in and support Grant in his role as manager. I've already said I have my reservations about Avram, although I cannot of course say he won't be successful if given the time. My feeling is that he won't be given the time and all this will just be a waste of time. If we're looking for a long-term replacement, I feel we need to move now. Despite arguments that this season is not yet lost, I think we're bordering on needing a miracle to win any of the big competitions. Maybe a good cup run is still a possibility. Maybe we'll put all our remaining resources into the competition that the players will most easily be inspired to win, not for the manager or club, but for themselves, as it is the remaining competition they haven't won together as a group - the Champions League.

The 2-1 win at the Mestalla was hailed by all and sundry as the turn-around game. I didn't think we played all that great, and Valencia will adjudge themselves unlucky to lose that. But our players did show that there is still something left in the tank and that the right kind of inspiration can help bring it out of them. The return of Carvalho and Drogba of course also played a big part in making us look more solid and dangerous, but it would be a bit of a concern to think we've turned the corner. I don't think we have, and again I hope I'm proven wrong. I have gone on record as saying that while we're still in transition, there will be games where our players individual form will help us produce some impressive results, of which the Valencia result was one, but we will also have some frustrating results as well. It is going to be a ding-dong season until our dressing room becomes harmonized once again. Players are human beings. They have feelings. Sure, they're being paid top dollar and you expect them to be professional but you can't expect them to feel nothing. I am sure the players are trying to stick together as a unit and get back to producing the results. Maybe the manager will win them over more quickly than expected. Maybe we'll surprise everyone.

I'm already seeing a lot of articles with this smug tone of voice from opposing fans, mainly Liverpool ones, who are writing us off with glee. They know we were one of their main challenges to overcome on the way to their main target of the EPL trophy (as well as everything else). Their relatively good start also has them walking on air. Well, I simply don't have the energy to argue at the moment, nor do I have reason as yet because we need to take care of our own business before we can really stand up and seriously argue our chances. But I'd love for this to be a possibility. And I'd love for us to do the right thing and appoint for the long term future - some like, dare I say it, Jose Mourinho.

But as I said, that's it; I'm firmly behind Avram now. I want the best for Chelsea as well; goes without saying, really.

Cheers,

Butch

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Obviously I wanted JM to stay for years and win trophies by the dozen. Another six in the next three years would have done me. But I do wonder whether he wasn't the type of manager to have a set way of doing things - incredibly successfully - but who couldn't adapt to changing circumstances as opponents got familiar with his tactics. I say that but I have no way of knowing if he has the ability to change things when they get stale and reinvigorate the club, because he didn't get the chance. Maybe his purchases were not good enough to take us forward or maybe they weren't his purchases. We don't know. Maybe things hadn't got stale and things would have turned around quickly once the injuries had cleared up.

Books could be written about why he ended up leaving after just three years with a record like his. Another one could be written about why a club with ambitions of global domination would jettison someone who had taken on all-comers and won and was revered by the supporters and replace him with someone with no track record to speak of.

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To me Mourinho is the best tactician in world football, bar none. He is a massive loss for the club and we will suffer for a while under any manager (especially one without a big prescence ala Avram Grant).

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A good post Butch...

Agree with much of what you say about Jose and the 'follow up act' we have in Avram.

However I'm not in the slightest bit interested in attracting 'new' supporters.

I really cant see why our supporters would care about new supporters jumping in on the act.

Supporters dont care about expanding the fan base,I frown at the bandwagon riders.

We have big support within the home counties and thats how its always been...

.....The support wont just 'Die out' its alive and kicking right this second!

Also Butch,leaving the Bridge??

No thanks....

....Chelsea FC is Stamford Bridge and without it we will have completely LOST our identity!

We are what we are,we're not Arsen*l....we're not M*n Utd.

I dont care how many c**ts they pack into there Lego built stadium's.

We are Chelsea....

...we dont have the numbers around the World that they have,and thats just fine by me!

We've got proper support who turn out on mass,but we dont want to let the club rip us off anymore (Rosenbourg attendance).

Chelsea here........

england-kent.gif

Chelsea there........

London_borough_map.gif

Chelsea EVERY F**KING WHERE!!

south-east-england.jpg

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Obviously I wanted JM to stay for years and win trophies by the dozen. Another six in the next three years would have done me. But I do wonder whether he wasn't the type of manager to have a set way of doing things - incredibly successfully - but who couldn't adapt to changing circumstances as opponents got familiar with his tactics. I say that but I have no way of knowing if he has the ability to change things when they get stale and reinvigorate the club, because he didn't get the chance. Maybe his purchases were not good enough to take us forward or maybe they weren't his purchases. We don't know. Maybe things hadn't got stale and things would have turned around quickly once the injuries had cleared up.

Books could be written about why he ended up leaving after just three years with a record like his. Another one could be written about why a club with ambitions of global domination would jettison someone who had taken on all-comers and won and was revered by the supporters and replace him with someone with no track record to speak of.

Great post Butch sane and sensible.

I agree with what Backbiter says too, we will never really know if Jose could have adapted to changing circumstances because frankly he was not given the chance. Getting the push 6 games in can tell us little what with the injuries and anyone to score our goals. If the team pick up the pace and start motoring along playing basically the same football as before under Grant well then what was wrong with the Chelsea machine? People cannot make presumptions either way in my view about how things would have gone but I doubt that now was the right time, it should have happened in the summer.

Will the truth ever come out about the real reasons why he had to go? Doubt it, only two people really know - Roman and Jose.

Pity it had to end but it has done and I hope both Chelsea and Jose go on to have more stellar success apart.

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Good post, i agree we should have been building a dynasty under JM and have blown a great chance by getting rid of him now.

I have to agree with Glory 55 about 'new fans'. We HAVE a great fan base and to be fair even without any real succes in our past have always been able to attract big crowds. Liverfool and Le Arse in comparison to our league title successes are miles in front yet if you look at their all-time attendence records they average only 1000or2000 more than us.

I know that is likely to change now the Emerites holds 60,000 but extending the bridge and lowering the prices is more the way forward. Arsenal have cup games on season tkts and for the league cup the other night had other tkts on sale for ?10 or ?20.

The croos-roads the club is on now is whether Kenyon would rather keep its old fans (while welcoming new ones of course) and have 60,000 ?20's or price some fans out and have 30,000 ?40's. It does'nt take a genius to work out extra fans at the ground(spending money/making noise) is the better option.

Keyon is to busy making sound bites at press conferences instead of being the marketing genius he's supposed to be.

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I don't think there was ever much chance of building a dynasty around Jose. He doesn't have a reputation of staying anywhere for a massive length of time and he had already made noises about moving on to the Portuguese international job at osme stage. My guess is that even if we had kept him AND if he got on with Roman then he would still have moved on within two, or at a maximum, three more years.

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Excellent post Butch.

Our loss is our competitors gain. What Jose built in 3 years should have gone on until the end of his contract, then given him the option the renew. It should have been a dynasty but you can't seriously call 3 years a dynasty.

We had the best, but we lost him - for whatever reason, it's a shame it all turned sour so soon.

We must lick our wounds and get on with the rest of the season, but Avram is not going to and donesn't inspire me the same way Jose did, I'm just left wondering what might have been. There will be many instances during the season I'll ask myself I wonder what Jose would have done or said, unfortunately he won't be around.

I don't like it but (said through gritted teeth) it's time to move on. We had the best manager in the world and lost him, and replaced him with someone who doesn't have a qualified coaching badge, if it wasn't so sad it'd be comical!

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I agree largely with Glory here, I have no interest in building a dynasty and competing with Manu Barca et al for years to come. What I want from my club now is for the real fans to be happy, not for tourists to have a lovely day out at the samsung arena! This is a really strange feeling because I have always wanted Chelsea to win everytime they play now I seem to be saying that I don't want this??? It was good fun prior to the successful years because any win was celebrated with real feeling, we didn't expect to win so it was a pleasent suprise when we did. Now if we beat Bolton at home, we go home satisfied that it's job done again, we don't celebrate. (Random thoughts being typed here so forgive me for the way this must be reading). That said winning the league the first time (in my life anyway) was the best feeling in the world.

There is a really difficult balance at football clubs at the moment because as a club people have to want to win. For the fans, players and managers that means everytime they play a match, for the boardroom that means financially. If that desire is taken out of any one of those groups you may as well pack up and go home because you'll be on a hiding to nothing, for Cheslea though because of the money that's currently available we can win on every front, we can build whatever we set our minds to, we WILL leave Stamford Bridge and managers and players will continue to come and go. That's why I feel like I've lost my club, I'm a working class bloke that likes beer and football, always have been, the make up of the club though is now so far away from that that I don't understand it any more.

If anyone made it through that lot thanks, if not just read from here on it's a bit of a summary!

Chelsea were; a club that constantly shot itself in the foot, one great result was followed by a dozen shockers, we weren't much different in the boardroom, a great deal done followed by near bankruptcy time and time again. There were only ever two constants, less than 20,000 real solid supporters many of whom would go home and away. And Stamford Bridge.

Now; Chelsea are a play thing for the rich, the real fans are diminishing almost by the week and when we leave Stamford Bridge a massive number will turn their backs on the owners (not the club because that can never happen) for good. We are desperate to be a southern manu (Bates was the first one to declare that and I think the Russian has just carried on in that bid) with a massive fan base around the world regardless of what that does to the fans that have made the club to date.

If we ever want to be in a position to compare ourselves to the likes of manu, real madrid, milan etc etc, we will need be win the league and champions league regularly for the next 10 years playing good football and full of characters that the press like. It aint gonna happen, we are what we are. We are Chelsea.

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Good post Barn, cue the 'you want us back in the old 2nd division with Leeds standing in and inch of piss at half-time' posts.

I understand for the club to move forward they have to attract a global support base (foe moent alone if nothing else), and inturn want these people to come to the bridge. But the club should realise they shouldn't do it at the expense of the fans who have made the club what they are today. Don't alientate your current fan-base in persuit of a more well paid middle-class/rugby crowd.

Unfortunately thats whats happened.

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I really tried going down the "I want us back in the second division" route because there's a balance, finding that is pretty much impossible and as Chelsea fans have proved, we're an impossible bunch to make happy. If we were middle of the table and occassionaly had a good cup run, we'd be moaning about a lack of ambition!!!!

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I just mentioned it becasue any time I make a post of the same nature I get replies saying I don't want us to be sucessful and want us back up sh*t street etc.

I don't. I just wanted our club to carry on and grow and become bigger and better and more successfull building as we went. Not to sell out it's original support and become an entirely new club all together!

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