Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Oh what a circus!
I was going to write today about the sense of schadenfreude that seems to have taken over the messageboards and chatrooms since last night when Chelsea lost 0-3 in Turin and more or less signed their own exit warrant from this seasons Champions League, but the worst kept secret in football has now been broadcast loud and clear across the nations airwaves.
Supporters of 'smaller' clubs in the English football pyramid often look up at the lofty peak of debt ridden, baby Bentley driving, tax avoiding, mercenaries that are, in their opinion, ruining the game and ask when they can have 'their' game back. With the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo this morning you can only hope that it will be sooner rather than later.
Keith Burkinshaw, another of football's nice men but from a different era, remarked on his departure from Tottenham, caused by a disagreement with the then chairman, "There used to be a football club there", it's a comment that could be applied to so many of the English Premier League and Championshsip sides. Supporters are the one constant in any football club, everybody else's connection is purely economical, the happenstance of employment. It's why so many footballers claim teams other than the one they play for as their favourites, there is little to be gained in having an emotional attachment to an employer who can sell you or sack you on a whim.
If you are Pep Guardiola waking this morning in New York, where you are enjoying an extended sabbatical, digesting this news over your eggs and muffins what would you be thinking? The outgoing manager rescued Chelsea from elimination from last seasons Champions League, after another manager had been sacked, and led them to success in the world's major club competition. Of course they rode their luck against Napoli, Barcelona and Bayern Munich but the ultimate fantasy of the owner was to see Chelsea's name up there in lights as the Champions League Champions 2012 and that's what they did. This season hasn't been the best of starts, one win in eight games and a fall away from leading the league to being in third place, but just think how Tottenham, Everton, Liverpool or even Arsenal supporters would swap their league positions and resources in a heartbeat with Chelsea.
From the outside Chelsea look like a club in disarray, a club that has been in transition for the last two years and yet despite success another manager is sacked. The more cynical supporters (of other clubs it must be said) are now posting that this opens the door for the 'dream ticket' of JT and Fat Frank. Appointing the former would of course be in keeping with the current standards of public relations and a kick in the teeth for those who believe that the former England captain should now be regarded as persona non grata but of course should these two, and not Pep, Rafa or Jose, get the gig there would be no shortage of football fans lining up hoping to watch them fall.
Posted by Paul at 9:46 AM