I ask you, the public, who is to blame for Chelsea's poor season?
I have heard many conversations from many different sources, and the three names that always come up are Carlo Ancelotti, Roman Abramovich and bizarrely Fernando Torres??!!!
Now, as a football fan, and someone who has played the game, I can make a case for each of the first two in that shortlist, but not for the Spanish striker.
Fernando Torres is a world class striker, no discussion, yes he is way out of form, yes he hasn't reached his own high standards for a season or so, but a player of that calibre doesn't become a bad player overnight, the instinct doesn't disappear, the goal scoring knack doesn't dissipate, so why hasn't he got off of the mark for his new club following his £50 million move from Liverpool??
Well, here's what I think. Liverpool had the likes of Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard who when they received the ball, instantly they looked for the run of Torres, trying to put him in behind the defense and release him as early as possible. Whereas at Chelsea, they do not play that way, with the midfield players such as Lampard and Essien the ball gets worked wide, using the two attacking players that play on the wings along side Drogba. This then gives Lampard and Essien the opportunity to make runs into the box and in return they get their goals as we are all aware that Lampard does on a very regular basis.
I have watched Torres for Chelsea and as soon as a midfielder receives the ball he is still looking for the quick release, but it never comes, because the rest of the team are not used to playing that way. The more patient build up is what they are used to and have had alot a success with so why should they change???
I thought the signing of Torres would give Drogba the kick up the ass he needed as I felt he has been coasting this season, rather than feeling his place in the team was threatened in any capacity. But what has materialised is that he clearly feels disgruntled and doesn't want to play with the new £50 million man.
As a result the manager is then put in a predicament, does he stick to his guns and play HIS team, an approach that won them the double just last season?? Stick with Drogba, Malouda and Anelka and leave the new addition on the bench?? Or does he play Torres and risk people slating him for the lack of form and goals of the front man?? Needless to say I think Torres is in no way responsible for the poor finish to the season, of course if he had hit the ground running and got off the mark in his first game the situation may well be different, but Chelsea fans will see the best of Torres next season, when he and the team have a pre-season to build around him, because at £50 million, that's the kind of player you HAVE to build the team around.
Next person into the dock is Abramovich.The enigmatic owner, the billionaire who likes to get involved with the footballing side of things.....straight away this is a lose lose situation. This was one of the big reasons we now no longer have 'the Special One' in the English game.
When you are a business man who has succeeded like the Russian, you do have the right to be involved as much as you want, but only when your opinion is valid, and in the footballing arena it is not.
I believe that Torres was HIS signing, not Ancelotti's, this puts immediate pressure on the manager. If he rolls over and plays Torres, even though he is clearly out of sorts, and Torres doesn't perform/score, and he has to bring him off, he gets daggers from the owner. If he leaves him on and he still doesn't perform, it looks even worse, if he brings him off and Drogba comes on and puts in a performance like he did against Manchester United Tuesday night, it must feel good from a managers point of view, if, Torres wasn't his signing. If Ancelotti did want Torres then why does he look so confused and much like a man banging his head against a brick wall during games??
Ancelotti looks like he'll be given his marching orders at the end of a fruitless campaign, so is the Russian roulette working? Er..no. You can't keep changing managers and expect to stay one of Europe's big teams, there is no sense in it at all. Ancelotti delivered the double last season, so surely he deserves time???
Last but by no means least is Ancelotti himself, the Italian as i said delivered the double to Stamford Bridge last year, his team flew out of the blocks at the beginning of the season winning I think it was eight out of eight in the opening couple of months, and in doing so scoring plenty of goals. With the start they had, many people had already crowned them champions again come the end of September, me for one of those.
Every team has a bad spell and Chelsea's was disastrous, and in that bad spell they lost alot of ground in the title race and even slumped to sixth. Cue the panic buy of Torres, now whoever signed him, he will be a star for them, but for a January but I was never convinced it would change their fortunes in the league, maybe so in the Champions League but not domestically. They managed to pluck David Luiz from abroad and he certainly added something they were missing, but Torres was always going to create more problems than solutions for the rest of the season.
So in my opinion, I blame Abramovich and Ancelotti. The Russian for interfering with football matters no matter how trivial, and Ancelotti for not having the balls to stand up for what he believes in. Ancelotti wasn't happy about the sacking of Ray Wilkins earlier in the season, he should have issued Abramovich an ultimatum over that, and again over NOT playing Torres against Manchester United in the second leg, he should have told Roman that he wanted to play Drogba and leave the mis-firing Torres on the bench, and if he didn't like it then resign. They are massive decisions but one's I think the manager should have made, or at least in some part. Because come the end of May he will not be getting any sympathy or thanks from the Russian owner I can tell you.
Who do you blame?? Tell me if I am wrong.......please do