Chelsea fans, do not to buy into the media outrage, whether you agree or disagree with the dismissal of Carlo Ancelotti, I am sure you remember how wrong the media and opposition fans thought it was to sack then Chelsea manager Phil Scolari mid-season. I am sure you also remember how much of a complete a U-turn they would later go and do eventually praising the decision as Guus Hiddink was brought in and proved very successful.
At the turn of the year (2011) when it was thought that the West Ham board were to axe former Chelsea manger Avram Grant there was similar outrage. David Gold & David Sullivan, the owners of West Ham decided against sacking Grant in fear of fan and media outrage, they let the media (who are a fickle bunch) dictate their decision, this is weak, for as much as West Brom were criticised during the same crucial period for some say prematurely sacking their manager Di Matteo, the decision is now paid off and the media has changed their tune, the decision is now lauded as Roy Hodgson has since performed remarkably at the helm and rescued West Brom for the clutch of relegation.
Gold and Sullivan now maintain that they had known Avram Grant was not the right man for a long while, and that in hindsight they wish they had shown more valour and gone with their gut.
Who remembers cries from opposition fans and critics asking “Why sack Ranieri?”
“He (Claudio Ranieri) finished 2nd and in the semi-finals of the Champions League, who can they get that can do better than that?” Were there articles following admitting they were wrong about the decision to sack Ranieri or Scolari?
No there wasn’t, there was even a campaign for Avram Grant to be kept in his job after his efforts to take Chelsea to the finals of the Champions League, the same Avram grant that is now almost universally slated, these people do not have the best interest of clubs at heart.
They will preach to you about stability and they will mention Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger. Chelsea have had a revolving door policy and have still been more successful than Arsenal, as for United? Who are the best team in the world? The general consensus is that this title belongs to Barcelona. The Catalan club have been through a plethora of managers in the last 15 years, they recently sacked a manager in Rijkaard, who had won the club 2 UEFA Champions League trophies. Guardiola was hired and apart from winning La for the club. Liga in his first year he has gone on to win the league title every year and also win a Champions League for the club.
In fact recently new managers have “trashed” this notion of stability, Inter Milan brought in Mourinho, who won Serie A in his first season and then won the league title again in addition to the Champions League in his second season. Didier Deschamps managed to steer Marseille to their first Ligue 1 title in 18 years, this was in his first year at the club. Carlo Ancelotti won Chelsea the double in his first season at Stamford Bridge. If stability was so much of an advantage, considering Chelsea hadn’t spent big money in a good number of years, how did Wenger and Ferguson allow newbie Ancelotti to win the Premiership in his first season with virtually the same squad that hadn’t won it for 3 years?
Carlo Ancelotti had stability at AC Milan and in 8 years he only won the Scudetto once, now, Ancelotti also won two Champions League titles with AC, but then Benitez guided Liverpool to two Champions League finals one of which Liverpool won, Rijkaard won two Champions league titles at Barca.
Would you then say that Benitez and Rijkaard are suitable managers for the Chelsea job? When it comes to judging managers league results and how they perform throughout the season are key.
Regardless of how the media try to paint the picture, Carlo Ancelotti was not sacked for finishing second, there are a whole plethora of other reasons that justify his sacking. The same media and opposition fans condemned Chelsea for not playing Daniel Sturridge after they realised how talented he is during his loan spell at Bolton.
The Ancelotti supporters would be even more bemused to find out that Sturridge scored 5 goals in a single reserve game against Tottenham Hotspur, was rewarded with a start in the FA Cup in which Daniel Sturridge would go on to score 2 very good goals and if that wasn’t enough, to cement his pedigree, Daniel Sturridge would then score 4 goals in an arranged reserve friendly against Bayern Munich. What did all of this mean to Ancelotti? How was he rewarded? Sturridge was given 8 minutes in the next game and this in an environment where Chelsea strikers were all struggling to score.
Chelsea were comprehensively beaten by Manchester United over 2 legs in the Champions League this season, Chelsea played Manchester United a total of 5 times in the 2010/11 season losing 4 out of the 5 games. Ancelotti’s dismissed assistant Ray Wilkins commented on how the Chelsea players looked as if they lacked fire in their belly, during their Champions League games with Manchester United, they clearly lacked motivation, this is a key aspect of a manager’s role, motivation.
There was an interesting theory about Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger’s erratic and anxious behaviour on the touchline seeping into his teams performances, I could say the same for Carlo Ancelotti’s calm demeanour when Chelsea have been in crisis, the team remains calm, but, crucially without fight.
The poster boy for the stability argument is Sir Alex Ferguson, I wonder how Ferguson would have managed the situation if he were making the decisions at Chelsea. Replacing great personnel is always a difficult task, I’m sure Alex Ferguson realises this.
In his search for the “right man” Ferguson went through a plethora of goalkeepers, Mark Bosnich, Raimond van Der Gouw, an English keeper named Nick Culkin made an appearance, Italian Massimo Taibi failed miserably, American Paul Rachubka made an appearance, Fabien Barthez had a shot at filling Schmeichel’s gloves, Scottish goalkeeper Andy Goram was brought in on loan, Northern Ireland Goalkeeper Roy Carroll attempted to make a name for himself, Spaniard Ricardo was brought in and then Tim Howard was brought in all before finally, Sir Alex Ferguson found a goalkeeper he was satisfied with in Edwin van der Sar, but perhaps he should have just stuck with Nick Culkin, after all stability is key!
Read more of Zoffie’s articles at The Shed Ender