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The Disease That Cripples


Spike

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Something is wrong at Chelsea; something internal. Is it intrinsic or has it metamorphosed into this aberration?

It’s not Roman Abramovich, how can it be? Even if it is, how can we as ‘mere’ supporters question this? He doesn’t give interviews to the public media; he doesn’t reveal his intentions through the club’s website or any other official club media, he stays safe behind a wall of silence. How can we even be sure that Roman wants this so called ‘sexy football’ or the ‘tiki-taka’ style? Because the tabloids and weekly rags tell us so? How do they know? They don’t. They have an inside source? Probably doesn’t exist. The only things we know about Roman is that he sits high in his skybox, scowling with furious disappointment or clap with an almost childlike enthusiasm. From his throne he throws money at the club for everything, infrastructure, wages, transfers, he probably doesn’t care how much money is needed, he is valued at over £12 billion. What else is he going to spend all that money on? A bigger yacht? I’m certain that as long as the money exists and he breathes, Roman will continue pumping money and time into Chelsea. He will not leave. I also doubt his benefactor will either, Arkady Abramovich, is just as invested into Chelsea as his father Roman. The owner is not the disease, but he is very may well be the genesis – the instigator to all the woes at CFC. Whether intentional or not, Roman should not shoulder the blame for the club’s current predicament. He is a supporter like all of us and just wants what’s best for the club, save for one crucial difference. His mandate is divine, ours is voiceless.

Is the disease our much maligned centre forward Fernando Torres #9? No, El Niño is not to blame. However, he is merely a symptom of the disease, much like how jaundice is a symptom of scurvy. The blond goal assassin is not a Chelsea fan. Fernando is a Torres fan. All he wants is personal glory, medals, a legacy. Chelsea is his means to an end, or so he thought. It’s a paycheck and an opportunity to fill his trophy case. Can you blame him for not caring about Chelsea? I don’t. He is an Atletico Madrid kid through and through. I do blame him for not putting 100% into games, its one thing to not care about the club; it’s another thing entirely to meander around a pitch for 90 minutes. It’s your damn job Torres. At any other job in the real world you’d be fired a dozen times by now. I can just see the flaxen haired warrior working at McDonalds and being fired during the first day. His excuse would be because he doesn’t like the hair nets messing up his golden locks. Grow up Fernando, get a haircut (too late!) and get a real job. The club’s biggest task is offloading this clown to whoever will take him. The sooner the better, jaundice is a very ugly symptom.

Everything I’ve said about Torres and be applied to Rafa Benitez - doesn’t care, a means to an end etc. If Torres is the jaundice of scurvy, Rafa is the lethargy and malaise. This reflects the team’s performances oddly enough, shameful performances. The sum of the squad’s talent is less than it’s parts under Rafa. It’s hard to amp up for a game if the manager is too busy stuffing himself with gambas ajillo and paella, dis ish eh fakt. Bugger off, hypocrite. Don’t forget to wave a plastic Liverpool flag on the walk out.

Is the board the disease? As far as I’m concerned they are. They are the ones that sanction transfers; they are the men with Roman’s delegated power. They are the fuck ups. How is a board of directors replaced? I have no idea. Who will they be replaced with? Again I have no idea, it’s not as easy as a swallowing a few Vitamin C pills. Buck, Gourlay, Emanalo, Tenenbaum; they seem to be the card holders at Chelsea. Everything stems from them. I’ve nothing to prove this and I may seem hypocritical due to my lambasting of those who criticise Roman without any proof but I know for a fact these are the men that run the club day to day. It’s even come to my attention that a lot of the higher ups are Tottenham supporters…this shouldn’t make a difference in the professional working world, but the football world seems to play it fast and loose with the meaning of the word ‘professional’. Maybe people like Le Saux and Zola, those that understand the internal machinations of modern football would be suited to the board of directors than those that are so distant from the real world. A manager (Jose Mourinho) with total legislative power much like Red Nose at Manure would be nice also… But then again what do I know? I’m ‘merely’ a supporter.

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I feel the same way...it's almost like there is a cancer at the club but I don't really know where it is either. I am 99.9% positive that Roman wants that specific attacking style. Chelsea sources have talked about it in the press quite openly (clarifying it as not being "attacking football" but rather a Chelsea style that takes the game to the opponent), but it also makes sense based on the players Chelsea buy. To me, there are three cures to this.

1) I think Roman needs some actual football people around him, rather than just suits. Yes, you need people who can do the sponsorship deals and figure out FFP but you also need people who understand football.

2) Chelsea need to listen to their fans more. That doesn't mean you have to do everything your supporters want, but there's an understandable feeling that the club is completely out of touch with the supporters.

3) Related to the first two, Roman needs to back off a little. Every Chelsea supporter appreciates what he has done for the club, but Chelsea would be better off if he backed off just a little. His impatience, his visits to Cobham to intimidate players and managers, his and his obsession with wanting something specific, etc...

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Agree completely, made this point in the Rafa thread:

Our board is more to blame than Rafa IMO. They took a precarious situation and tipped it over the edge. I'm not defending the guy for sure; his subs and game plans are just unfathomable.


Sacking the legendary Di Matteo was always going to be exacerbated by employing Rafa,a man who had such a fierce history with us and has left his last two clubs at the abyss of mediocrity. The only logical motive behind it was getting the best out of Torres, a feat which any sane footballing man would deem highly improbable and today, practically impossible. Again this illusory feat was driven by a desperate attempt to mitigate the rigor of a flop-destined Torres with no logical thought behind the best move for the club, both present and future. All the positives that were dug out is just farcical.


The boos were inevitable, and although equally unhelpful, the board must have foreseen retaliation on the back of sacking of a legend and employing, like his Spanish compatriot Torres, a deteriorating professional subsisting on the tatters of his "reputation". We need a serious reshuffle and the "yes men" at the hierarchy of our club must be dug out and moved out.

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I feel it is a bit of everything, a sum of different mild problems that have become too big. If we want to continue with the cancer analogy; it has become a metastasis, by now, it doesnt matter where it came from...

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Something is wrong at Chelsea; something internal. Is it intrinsic or has it metamorphosed into this aberration?

It’s not Roman Abramovich, how can it be? Even if it is, how can we as ‘mere’ supporters question this? He doesn’t give interviews to the public media; he doesn’t reveal his intentions through the club’s website or any other official club media, he stays safe behind a wall of silence. How can we even be sure that Roman wants this so called ‘sexy football’ or the ‘tiki-taka’ style? Because the tabloids and weekly rags tell us so? How do they know? They don’t. They have an inside source? Probably doesn’t exist. The only things we know about Roman is that he sits high in his skybox, scowling with furious disappointment or clap with an almost childlike enthusiasm. From his throne he throws money at the club for everything, infrastructure, wages, transfers, he probably doesn’t care how much money is needed, he is valued at over £12 billion. What else is he going to spend all that money on? A bigger yacht? I’m certain that as long as the money exists and he breathes, Roman will continue pumping money and time into Chelsea. He will not leave. I also doubt his benefactor will either, Arkady Abramovich, is just as invested into Chelsea as his father Roman. The owner is not the disease, but he is very may well be the genesis – the instigator to all the woes at CFC. Whether intentional or not, Roman should not shoulder the blame for the club’s current predicament. He is a supporter like all of us and just wants what’s best for the club, save for one crucial difference. His mandate is divine, ours is voiceless.

Is the disease our much maligned centre forward Fernando Torres #9? No, El Niño is not to blame. However, he is merely a symptom of the disease, much like how jaundice is a symptom of scurvy. The blond goal assassin is not a Chelsea fan. Fernando is a Torres fan. All he wants is personal glory, medals, a legacy. Chelsea is his means to an end, or so he thought. It’s a paycheck and an opportunity to fill his trophy case. Can you blame him for not caring about Chelsea? I don’t. He is an Atletico Madrid kid through and through. I do blame him for not putting 100% into games, its one thing to not care about the club; it’s another thing entirely to meander around a pitch for 90 minutes. It’s your damn job Torres. At any other job in the real world you’d be fired a dozen times by now. I can just see the flaxen haired warrior working at McDonalds and being fired during the first day. His excuse would be because he doesn’t like the hair nets messing up his golden locks. Grow up Fernando, get a haircut (too late!) and get a real job. The club’s biggest task is offloading this clown to whoever will take him. The sooner the better, jaundice is a very ugly symptom.

Everything I’ve said about Torres and be applied to Rafa Benitez - doesn’t care, a means to an end etc. If Torres is the jaundice of scurvy, Rafa is the lethargy and malaise. This reflects the team’s performances oddly enough, shameful performances. The sum of the squad’s talent is less than it’s parts under Rafa. It’s hard to amp up for a game if the manager is too busy stuffing himself with gambas ajillo and paella, dis ish eh fakt. Bugger off, hypocrite. Don’t forget to wave a plastic Liverpool flag on the walk out.

Is the board the disease? As far as I’m concerned they are. They are the ones that sanction transfers; they are the men with Roman’s delegated power. They are the fuck ups. How is a board of directors replaced? I have no idea. Who will they be replaced with? Again I have no idea, it’s not as easy as a swallowing a few Vitamin C pills. Buck, Gourlay, Emanalo, Tenenbaum; they seem to be the card holders at Chelsea. Everything stems from them. I’ve nothing to prove this and I may seem hypocritical due to my lambasting of those who criticise Roman without any proof but I know for a fact these are the men that run the club day to day. It’s even come to my attention that a lot of the higher ups are Tottenham supporters…this shouldn’t make a difference in the professional working world, but the football world seems to play it fast and loose with the meaning of the word ‘professional’. Maybe people like Le Saux and Zola, those that understand the internal machinations of modern football would be suited to the board of directors than those that are so distant from the real world. A manager (Jose Mourinho) with total legislative power much like Red Nose at Manure would be nice also… But then again what do I know? I’m ‘merely’ a supporter.

So we are. :clown: I like you're posts Spike, since i joined the TC family i always enjoy reading you.

I want to talk about Benitez !

"Coaches are role models for players and fans. They have a duty to behave better than anyone else." I love this quote, it is so meaningful, Rafael Benitez never gave a fuck about our current situtation, never gave a fuck about the supporters, never gave a fuck about the reputation of the club, all what he wants is to prove to himself & to his doubters that he is a good manager, that the Inter Milan fiasco was not his fault, but in two years he didnt change, still idiot, still arrogant.When your team concede two goals in five minutes, its the manager fault, not the player.The board thought that Rafa is the solution for our problems, but even us who are "only" supporters knew before he came that he'll not be "da man" .We are not idiots.

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The thing that I'm scared about is losing the fear factor. Liverpool use to have it, now it's gone, arsenal use to have it, no it's gone. I don't want to get to a stage where our players lose sight of what they must achieve. We use to be regulars for the title, certainties to go through the group stages and also pick up a domestic cup trophy as well. Now we are fighting for top 4, like arsenal, getting knocked out of cups like arsenal, and thinking CL qualification is enough. With the old guard still here I wouldn't be worried, they knew it wasn't good enough. But, these new lads might not, and they may start getting comfortable with this underperforming mentality.

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So...I fought laziness and registered for an account just to reply to this thread :)

Can I just throw something out there? Since Emenalo was promoted as technical director, have we even come close to putting in a strong challenge for the title? Serious question…….when last were we (through out the duration of a season) considered strong contenders for the title? I don't know about all of you, but I find it very unsettling that this is now the SECOND consecutive season that we’re having to “write-off”..... the second consecutive season that our performances has been poor (to say the least) and this is also the second season in a row that we're having to battle it out with spurs and arsenal for a third/fourth place finish despite the fact that we've poured millions into this squad. It's not a coincidence that this is all happening under Emenalo’s tenure as Technical Director. Infact I would venture to argue that since Emenalo’s appointment, not only has the gap between us and Manchester United widened but now Manchester City has also overtaken us. We're gradually pulling away from the top yet we're among the top spenders in the league. My question is, why aren’t we as fans holding Emenalo more accountable for this mess? Why is there so much accountability being placed on an INTERIM manager (who had absolutely no input into the composition of the squad) but none being put on the technical director of the club who for the second season in a row, has completely failed to build a strong squad that can challenge for titles?

Looking back at the past two years….the "disease" or cancer that's surrounding the club began to grow when Carlo (the manager who just won us the league the season before and had taken us to a 2nd place finish) was booted out of the club and Emenalo suddenly became responsible for the direction of our transfer dealings and team affairs.....since his appointment, there's been more madness and chaos than ever. Not trying to scapegoat the man but if indeed there's a cancer in this club then Emenalo is right in the thick of it. Do we need to go through another failure of a season before we start pointing fingers at the technical director?

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Something is wrong at Chelsea; something internal. Is it intrinsic or has it metamorphosed into this aberration?

It’s not Roman Abramovich, how can it be? Even if it is, how can we as ‘mere’ supporters question this? He doesn’t give interviews to the public media; he doesn’t reveal his intentions through the club’s website or any other official club media, he stays safe behind a wall of silence. How can we even be sure that Roman wants this so called ‘sexy football’ or the ‘tiki-taka’ style? Because the tabloids and weekly rags tell us so? How do they know? They don’t. They have an inside source? Probably doesn’t exist. The only things we know about Roman is that he sits high in his skybox, scowling with furious disappointment or clap with an almost childlike enthusiasm. From his throne he throws money at the club for everything, infrastructure, wages, transfers, he probably doesn’t care how much money is needed, he is valued at over £12 billion. What else is he going to spend all that money on? A bigger yacht? I’m certain that as long as the money exists and he breathes, Roman will continue pumping money and time into Chelsea. He will not leave. I also doubt his benefactor will either, Arkady Abramovich, is just as invested into Chelsea as his father Roman. The owner is not the disease, but he is very may well be the genesis – the instigator to all the woes at CFC. Whether intentional or not, Roman should not shoulder the blame for the club’s current predicament. He is a supporter like all of us and just wants what’s best for the club, save for one crucial difference. His mandate is divine, ours is voiceless.

Is the disease our much maligned centre forward Fernando Torres #9? No, El Niño is not to blame. However, he is merely a symptom of the disease, much like how jaundice is a symptom of scurvy. The blond goal assassin is not a Chelsea fan. Fernando is a Torres fan. All he wants is personal glory, medals, a legacy. Chelsea is his means to an end, or so he thought. It’s a paycheck and an opportunity to fill his trophy case. Can you blame him for not caring about Chelsea? I don’t. He is an Atletico Madrid kid through and through. I do blame him for not putting 100% into games, its one thing to not care about the club; it’s another thing entirely to meander around a pitch for 90 minutes. It’s your damn job Torres. At any other job in the real world you’d be fired a dozen times by now. I can just see the flaxen haired warrior working at McDonalds and being fired during the first day. His excuse would be because he doesn’t like the hair nets messing up his golden locks. Grow up Fernando, get a haircut (too late!) and get a real job. The club’s biggest task is offloading this clown to whoever will take him. The sooner the better, jaundice is a very ugly symptom.

Everything I’ve said about Torres and be applied to Rafa Benitez - doesn’t care, a means to an end etc. If Torres is the jaundice of scurvy, Rafa is the lethargy and malaise. This reflects the team’s performances oddly enough, shameful performances. The sum of the squad’s talent is less than it’s parts under Rafa. It’s hard to amp up for a game if the manager is too busy stuffing himself with gambas ajillo and paella, dis ish eh fakt. Bugger off, hypocrite. Don’t forget to wave a plastic Liverpool flag on the walk out.

Is the board the disease? As far as I’m concerned they are. They are the ones that sanction transfers; they are the men with Roman’s delegated power. They are the fuck ups. How is a board of directors replaced? I have no idea. Who will they be replaced with? Again I have no idea, it’s not as easy as a swallowing a few Vitamin C pills. Buck, Gourlay, Emanalo, Tenenbaum; they seem to be the card holders at Chelsea. Everything stems from them. I’ve nothing to prove this and I may seem hypocritical due to my lambasting of those who criticise Roman without any proof but I know for a fact these are the men that run the club day to day. It’s even come to my attention that a lot of the higher ups are Tottenham supporters…this shouldn’t make a difference in the professional working world, but the football world seems to play it fast and loose with the meaning of the word ‘professional’. Maybe people like Le Saux and Zola, those that understand the internal machinations of modern football would be suited to the board of directors than those that are so distant from the real world. A manager (Jose Mourinho) with total legislative power much like Red Nose at Manure would be nice also… But then again what do I know? I’m ‘merely’ a supporter.

Out of interest, is there a reason that you didn't include David Barnard in that last paragraph?

Overall, it's a well-written piece but a little over the top. We're in a bad spot and it made get worse but there's so many good things happening at the club that the long-term prognosis is actually pretty positive.

So...I fought laziness and registered for an account just to reply to this thread :)

Can I just throw something out there? Since Emenalo was promoted as technical director, have we even come close to putting in a strong challenge for the title? Serious question…….when last were we (through out the duration of a season) considered strong contenders for the title? I don't know about all of you, but I find it very unsettling that this is now the SECOND consecutive season that we’re having to “write-off”..... the second consecutive season that our performances has been poor (to say the least) and this is also the second season in a row that we're having to battle it out with spurs and arsenal for a third/fourth place finish despite the fact that we've poured millions into this squad. It's not a coincidence that this is all happening under Emenalo’s tenure as Technical Director. Infact I would venture to argue that since Emenalo’s appointment, not only has the gap between us and Manchester United widened but now Manchester City has also overtaken us. We're gradually pulling away from the top yet we're among the top spenders in the league. My question is, why aren’t we as fans holding Emenalo more accountable for this mess? Why is there so much accountability being placed on an INTERIM manager (who had absolutely no input into the composition of the squad) but none being put on the technical director of the club who for the second season in a row, has completely failed to build a strong squad that can challenge for titles?

Looking back at the past two years….the "disease" or cancer that's surrounding the club began to grow when Carlo (the manager who just won us the league the season before and had taken us to a 2nd place finish) was booted out of the club and Emenalo suddenly became responsible for the direction of our transfer dealings and team affairs.....since his appointment, there's been more madness and chaos than ever. Not trying to scapegoat the man but if indeed there's a cancer in this club then Emenalo is right in the thick of it. Do we need to go through another failure of a season before we start pointing fingers at the technical director?

Personally I think this is one of those kneejerk reactions that a few people have and that if you look at the problems at the club, they started way before Emenalo was appointed. We had a stupid transfer policy based on short-term thinking rather than anything approaching long-term stability.

I hate to keep sounding like I'm defending the guy because I'm simply not joining in the criticism of him. I actually think that we were going to be fucked whoever was in charge because the club hasn't been run properly for a number of years. That's actually changed with the wages being restructured so we aren't throwing money at established names and us actually looking for value in the transfer market over the long-term.

Of course things are pretty shitty at this moment in time but there does seem to be a path to greater glories sketched out for us.

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Personally I think this is one of those kneejerk reactions that a few people have and that if you look at the problems at the club, they started way before Emenalo was appointed. We had a stupid transfer policy based on short-term thinking rather than anything approaching long-term stability. I hate to keep sounding like I'm defending the guy because I'm simply not joining in the criticism of him. I actually think that we were going to be fucked whoever was in charge because the club hasn't been run properly for a number of years. That's actually changed with the wages being restructured so we aren't throwing money at established names and us actually looking for value in the transfer market over the long-term. Of course things are pretty shitty at this moment in time but there does seem to be a path to greater glories sketched out for us.

You’re right that our transfer policy has 'evolved' and that we’re no longer targeting big name players who are already “finished products.” We’ve shifted to a model of buying youth and there’s now a conscious effort by the board to move to a more “sustainable” approach in regards to wages and transfers. And I applaud the board for their commitment to this, for their new stance on reducing the wage bill, for their efforts in bringing in young players and for their new focus on the future. However I take issue with our transfer policy for a number of reasons - despite targeting youth, we haven’t actually spent less on transfers in-fact we’ve spent more. Despite spending 80 mil in the summer window, we really only strengthened one position. Despite being the defending European champs and knowing full well the extra competitive matches we needed to partake in, there was absolutely no planning for squad depth for what should have been a HUGE season for us. Half way in we're left with a bare thin and exhausted squad with players that have played 45 games. 80 mil went into this squad. I think it’s a sad state of affairs when a club endowed with so much resources has to play a left back as a left winger not because of any tactical reasons but simply because of a lack of viable options. You can choose to call this “a path to greater glories sketched out for us” I’ll call it what it is – incompetent management.

I’m pointing my fingers at Emenalo because he holds one of the most important positions (if not the most important) in respect to our transfer dealings and in respect to the composition of the squad. It's his responsibility to oversea of all this and frankly, under his tenure, our squad simply has not been good enough to mount a strong title challenge in spite of millions being invested. Under his tenure, we're basically averaging 2 managers per season and struggling to finish in top 4. Again, where is the accountability?

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You’re right that our transfer policy has 'evolved' and that we’re no longer targeting big name players who are already “finished products.” We’ve shifted to a model of buying youth and there’s now a conscious effort by the board to move to a more “sustainable” approach in regards to wages and transfers. And I applaud the board for their commitment to this, for their new stance on reducing the wage bill, for their efforts in bringing in young players and for their new focus on the future. However I take issue with our transfer policy for a number of reasons - despite targeting youth, we haven’t actually spent less on transfers in-fact we’ve spent more. Despite spending 80 mil in the summer window, we really only strengthened one position. Despite being the defending European champs and knowing full well the extra competitive matches we needed to partake in, there was absolutely no planning for squad depth for what should have been a HUGE season for us. Half way in we're left with a bare thin and exhausted squad with players that have played 45 games. 80 mil went into this squad. I think it’s a sad state of affairs when a club endowed with so much resources has to play a left back as a left winger not because of any tactical reasons but simply because of a lack of viable options. You can choose to call this “a path to greater glories sketched out for us” I’ll call it what it is – incompetent management.

I’m pointing my fingers at Emenalo because he holds one of the most important positions (if not the most important) in respect to our transfer dealings and in respect to the composition of the squad. It's his responsibility to oversea of all this and frankly, under his tenure, our squad simply has not been good enough to mount a strong title challenge in spite of millions being invested. Under his tenure, we're basically averaging 2 managers per season and struggling to finish in top 4. Again, where is the accountability?

Here's the thing with Emenalo - he's been in his current position for less than two years. I give him almost zero credit for the Champions League win (as I'm sure many people here do), so to be fair I have to assess everything else he has done accordingly. The problems we have aren't ones that arrived with him and they aren't ones that will be solved overnight - that simply isn't how football works. What we have are long-term problems that need long-term solutions, and as you identified in your first paragraph there are clear signs that we are moving to a more responsible way of operating.

You say 'despite being the defending European Champions', but we were also the sixth-best team in the league last year. In Hazard, Oscar and Azpi we're strengthened three positions by my count and it may just be the case that Benitez likes Bertrand on the left-wing because he's a naturally defensive coach. Yes we spent £80 million in the summer but against Newcastle, £30 million of that was banned.

We all seem to want long-term stability in the managerial position, but people seem to have few qualms in calling for 'the board' to be sacked.

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