After The Celebrations...
It has been a week to the day since Chelsea FC triumphantly lifted the Champions League Trophy away from home in Munich, where home team Bayern were tipped as favourites by anyone and everyone except the CFC faithful who dared to believe in their team against all odds. With their Captain John Terry forced to sit out after seeing red in the first leg match against Spanish giants Barcelona and an otherwise injury plagued squad and with the Germans sure to be buoyed by the home advantage the Blues came back from a most underwhelming showing in the first half- I thought they’d gone to sleep- and multiple missed chances by the home team, Chelsea’s fans and players alike must have felt that someone in the heavens was smiling down at them because they went on to win the match in a heart stopping round of penalties, then a sudden death shoot out that had every fan, sceptic and hater alike chewing their nails and pulling out their hair.
Chelsea’s road to success was tough and long in coming it all began with the arrival of Russian multimillionaire- or is it billionaire? - I’m not too sure which it is but Roman Abramovich sure spent his dollars in first clearing the struggling club of their debt then improving the club, sparing no expense in buying the best, biggest named players and since 2003 managers.With all his spending on players Claude Makélélé, Geremi, Glen Johnson, Joe Cole and Damien Duff and despite their runner up finish in the EPL the Champions League eluded the blues under Claudio Ranieri he was then give the boot! Then Abramovich dipped into his rather deep pockets and splashed some cash to lure José Mourinho to do what Ranieri had failed to do; get Chelsea some silver ware! Who certainly had a trophy winning reputation with two Portuguese league titles, a Portuguese Cup, a European Cup and a UEFA Cup with FC Porto.
The Revolving Door of coaching staff:The ‘Special One’ as he became known certainly brought his magic to the club, bringing with him the success of back to back wins in the English Premier League and an FA Cup. But still the Champions League was to elude the Londoners in 2006-07 when they were beaten by Liverpool in the contests semi-finals in a penalty shoot-out. The ‘Special One’ then left after months of friction.
In strolled Israeli Avram Grant who could only guide the Blues to their first final ever where they were defeated by Manchester United which the Red half of Manchester won in a penalty shoot-out (what is with Chelsea and penalties?). Grant without was left without a job just three days later.Then came Brazilian Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari, who was behind Brazils 2002 World Cup success and Portugal to the runners up spot in 2004. Despite this reputation and early success in the EPL Scolari was shown the door in early 2009 and the seemingly endlessly revolving door kept swinging and next in was Guus Hiddink who was the clubs caretaker and manager until the end of the season, Chelsea finished third in the EPL and reached the FA cup final which they won but the Champions League was to cause the Blues more misery as the lost to giants Barcelona in an extra time equalizer by Andrés Iniesta.
In June of 2009 Carlo Ancelotti replaced Hiddink which he began by beating Manchester United 4-1 in a penalty shoot- out, and take home the Community Shield. That year also ended very well for the Blues as they took home both the Premier League Trophy and the FA Cup. Carlo Ancelotti was to see the door when he failed to bring home any silver ware in 2011. But the acquisition of David Luiz for £21.3m from Benfica and Fernando Torres from Liverpool for a record breaking sum of £50m at the close of that years transfer did not seem to immediately help matters.The revolving door seemed endless as Abramovich appointed André Villas-Boas on a three year contract he may well have live to rue. In a managerial career that seemed to teeter seamlessly between okay performances and downright dreadful ones. A period in which Juan Mata, and Ulises Dávila were bought and both Nicolas Anelka and Alex handed in their resignation papers. Through it all Chelsea still had not experienced the joy of hoisting the elusive Champions League trophy.
That would all change with the sacking of AVB by Chelsea’s board of directors after a 1-0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion and the appointment of the only man not of Abramovichs’ choosing and the teams assistant coach Roberto Di Matteo as the teams caretaker manager. Within a matter of months Di Matteo would lead them to lift both the FA Cup and one they’d waited for so long to lift the Champions League trophy which they joyously paraded around the streets of jam packed London.
And The Job goes To:
Now with Drogba heading out of London on the high of a win he was instrumental in making a reality for better and greener pastures the question remain- how many more millions will Abramovich spend in the summer transfer window to buy a player or players to hopefully equal Drogbas star striker quality? (when he wasn’t rolling around on the turf in theatrics) And will an increasingly unhappy Torres stay with what will hopefully become Di Matteo’s Blues? Or will Abramovich and the board throw everyone for a loop and retain the services of yet another big name coach? One thing is clear not many managers can stage the kind of 180 that the once Chelsea Midfielder Di Matteo did this season and just for that along with the love and respect that not only the fans but the players feel for Roberto he should be first in line to receive the top job full time... He won the elusive Champions League trophy something that his seven predecessors could not do. That seems to be more than enough reason to give him the job.