The Bi-Polar Express: Madness to Gladness

Albert Einstein once defined madness as the act of doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. The perfect description for Chelsea Football Club then. Why do I say this? Well, no matter how different we try to become, no matter how the club is run it ends up being the same. We had turmoil during the Mears family era with misguided new stands built to coincide with the austerity of the 70s, driving us into hideous debt for which the team suffered and the merry go round of managerial staff really began. But their days were numbered…

Into town rode Uncle Ken Bates, buying the club for the princely sum of £1 and over the years putting us back on an even footing, saving the ground, installing a faster revolving door on the manager’s office, failing to install electric fencing (no doubt for the health and safety of us fans) before yet again undertaking an ill-conceived development of hotels for Chelsea ‘Village’ and putting the club heavily back into debt and once again on the verge of bankruptcy.

Then came the mysterious man from the East… well Russia, seeking credibility and a plaything. This man was rich beyond the wildest dreams of avarice and he was good. The debt was cleared, the club was once again solvent-ish and the money was splashed and the players came in. The revolving door was removed and in strode The Special One, changing everything before him, instilling a true winning culture and ethos. But The Russian had developed that well known disorder amongst club owners, Trigger Finger, a side effect of the more serious conditions of Chronic Impatience and Power Madness. The money was splashed on a high tech training centre and despite the success of the young arrogant enfant terrible, he was summarily despatched in a Clash of the Ego-Titans showdown. The revolving door was re-fitted as Einstein’s definition started to kick in again until we end up in 2009, an FA Cup safely garnered by Guus from what looked a season of disaster after the failed experiments of Grant and Scolari.

And then came Carlo, a calming presence and the final sated desire of Roman was in place. This was the man, the choice, the new Special One to take us to greater glory. Of course this was so different to the Mears’ choice of Docherty or Sexton, a million miles from Bates’ choice of Gullitt or Vialli. This was where we changed for good.

To be fair it worked for a while, Carlo seemingly enamoured with keeping Mr Chelsea, Ray Wilkins, close by his side, helping in all areas, not least translation skills. The first season under this new dual stewardship, the ‘bromance’ of Ray and Carlo, the players responded, some completed their rehabilitation (Malouda) and some looked like Chelsea cult heroes (Ivanovic), the Double was sought and won and despite a former son dumping us out of the Champions League (well who else would be capable?) all looked rosy. We even saw some of the much vaunted youngsters start to hatch from their incubation pods.

And then came Trigger Finger. Just as it all looked good and rosy, out went Carlo’s ‘bro’ and it coincided with a slump in form not seen since The Special One left only to replaced by a charlatan. And once again, using the PR skills developed under the Mears, finely honed under Uncle Ken, and tweaked even further under the Abramovich dynasty we manage to point the gun at both feet and shoot.

Conspiracy theories rained down upon us, the Twittersphere fired all cylinders and at one point Carlo was about to jack it all in allegedly. The dismal Chelsea PR machine and hierarchy had done the same thing again, no doubt expecting different results.

Three defeats in four, dismal displays in three and a superb but losing display in one. The club maintained its actions were innocent in this slump. And then came MSK Zilina, and for the first time we saw the faint glimmer of a bright future coming from the Academy. Like flowers opening their petals in Spring, the tentative first 30 minutes were about surviving the harsh frost of being up against hardened pros, but having survived that with minimal damage the young flowers went into full bloom. Kakuta was arguably the only casualty not surviving past half time. I don’t know why this was because his link up play was superb and his speed astonishing. I fear his ostentatious displays and undoubted ability have been put through the young footballer development homogenisation process, designed to engender the team player whilst crushing audacious talent and individuality. Let him bloom Carlo, let him bloom. Young McEachran, Paddy Van Aanholt, Danny Sturridge and Jeff Bruma all put in fine turns, and let’s not forget another youngster, the much maligned Ramires who was great in the tackle and the pass, and was unlucky not to show a Rivelino like bender the back of the net. Add into this a fine handling display from Turnbull and all of a sudden the bi-polar transition is once again complete. Once again we drink from the cup of comforting warmth having removed our mouths from the cup of bile and vitriol served by the clubs cack-handed treatment of the fans.

Carlo said as publicly as he could what he thought of the Emenalo appointment, much like renaissance and classic artists used their paintings to subtly deride society and the ruling regimes, putting their messages out to the proletariat. English may be his alt-language, but this was beautifully executed and although I’ve never warmed to him like I did with Jose and Guus suddenly I find the sparks of admiration of him as a man of dignity starting to glow. It was marvellous and he deserves credit for keeping his head whilst others, many of us included lost theirs.

And there we have it my friends, a quick glance over our shoulders at why we’re seen as bi-polar fans both within and without. And why our club has a permanent sheen of madness over it, because no matter who’s in charge, the minute they take the keys to the door, they are cursed to follow all owners and boards previously.

There are 28 comments

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  1. Anonymous

    Good post Tony.Your tilte “Polar Express” is apt because I’m travelling by train to Newcastle and it’s going to be bloody freezing.

    • Anonymous

      Good luck, they’re hardy lot them there Geordies. I hope for myour sake the snow doesn’t get in the way of the game going ahead.

      • Anonymous

        I think they’ve got undersoil heating so I’m hoping it’ll be on.

        Are you also going? If yes look out for me – I’ll be naked from the waist up to show those Geordies us southern softies are hard enough!

        • FanSinceTheSixties

          Might be best to double check before you leave.

          The problem with snow/ice is that the stands and public access can be deemed unsafe, but they get so much of it up there that they’re sure to have it sorted.

          There’s probably just as much chance of the trains not running.

          Not trying to put you off or anything, we need someone to show a bit of sophisticated southern nipple to them wot lives up there.

  2. Anonymous

    Splendid stuff Tony.

    Although it has kind of ruined my intro to Sunday’s report. I’ll have to think of something else to concentrate on, like the snow or the fact that we could be third by Sunday, or our horrific December fixture list.

    At least Carlo has named the team for us:

    Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Ivanovic, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Malouda, Anelka, Drogba, Kalou

    But the XI does worry me. Bosingwa’s defending since his return from injury has been embarrassing at times and Malouda does have a habit of emptying midfield and failing to track back when he plays inside as part of a 3. And the most disappointing thing is that Josh is again left out for a PL game. Our away performances have been dismal of late and with 1 goal in the past 4 league games, surely Carlo has to realise that without Lamps and Essien, our central midfield needs a change.

  3. Greenlightinoz

    And according to the Mail this morning, the revolving door is still operating in top gear.

    Arnesen has decided that he has seen enough and will be leaving at the end of the year…… What the fuck are we doing here?

    Really disappointed with the way things have gone in the last month. From being almost unbeatable, we have tried to re-invent the wheel unnecessarily and are getting punished for it on the park.

    I hope we really give the Barcodes a spanking this week, and get things back on track, but a trip to the frozen North is hardly what the players need to give them a kick up the arse.

  4. Gleb

    Money on Chelsea (or a draw, which none of us want), so hopefully the boys will get back on track! I’ve been a fan for a long time, but it’s the first ever time I tried football betting, so wish me luck!

  5. Der_Kaiser

    Morning all,

    Nice article TG. Never been that enamoured with our ability in the media department, but in the light of current events I doubt there is anything we could do or say to change the narrative; as has been pointed out, the hacks have written their “Crisis – Mourinho / Grant part 2” stories and they’re sticking to them. This is despite the fact that (still) no-one really knows what went on with Butch in the first place. Add to that the fact that Roman has said precisely jack shit about anything CFC related in public to anyone about the club since he arrived and you’re only going to end up with a heap of speculation from bored hacks desperate to sell papers in ever-dwindling numbers.

    Arnesen going has surely been on the cards for a while though, no? There’s been talk of Begiristain coming for some time. Whether Pep comes with him is another matter, of course… 🙂

  6. FanSinceTheSixties

    The oddest part of the Arnesen thing is the timing but perhaps there’s been so much speculation on what’s happening at CFC that he thought it right to go public now.We certainly need to kick some badger butt tomorrow and maybe that’s the sort of motivation we’ve lacked recently.

  7. Ringo

    Did Butch have anything interesting to say on Sky Wednesday night?
    I’m guessing not ,as no-one has said anything.

  8. Ringo

    What did Arnesen actually do?
    Does anyone really know?

    He can’t lay claim to the jewell in the acadmey’s crown, Josh was already there before he showed up.
    I’m guessing he was paid at least 1-2 mil a year ,then throw in the 10mil we had to pay Tottenham ,supposedly.
    Which is probably around 20mil in all over the five years.
    At least Sheva scored the odd goal.

  9. Anonymous

    And today’s completely incomprehensible decision to come out of Stamford Bridge, is that Carlo is to be replaced by Guardiola in the Summer……..

    Probably newspaper bollocks, but if there is even a shread of truth in it, the lunatics really have taken over the asylum.

    Carlo must be wondering what he has done to deserve this!

  10. Anonymous

    I dreamed last night that England were 300 for 1 in Brisbane, then woke up and turned on the iPod to check the day’s play.

    Sadly no nine-goal thrashing of Newcastle in the same dream.

  11. Anonymous

    Come On Chelsea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Salomon Kaloouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Benjamin

    Well we didn’t lose at least.

    If we hadn’t conceded that silly goal I feel we would have won this comfortable, but it gave Newcastle hope and the opportunity to sit back and just defend.

    Without Essien we lose the midfield, without Lampard we cannot score goals.

    Malouda needs to play upfront in the front 3 to be effective and score goals, he is wasted in midfield, but who do we have to replace him there?

    McEachran is a good prospect, but I would play him with Lampard and Essien. Too risky with others.

    I have been saying since we lost Robben/Duff we have been missing a player, that player was needed today and I think we will need before we triumph in Europe. That player is a playmaker and someone capable of beating a player and do something special. Sorry RA but you need to spend!

    The silver lining is simple, Essien, Terry and Lampard have all had a big rest. Come the end phase of the Champions League I think we will reap the rewards of this.

    Also that Kalou miss was lol ;x

  13. Anonymous

    It is simply unacceptable for a striker playing for Chelsea to miss two open goals in a week. I don’t care that Kalou equalised (with a shot that was going straight at Krul by the way) as his erratic finishing just isn’t good enough for us.

    The result is also terrible. Forget the injuries and lack of confidence because against a promoted side, missing Nolan, Barton and their first choice central defenders, getting a draw just isn’t enough. Newcastle are a pretty poor side and to drop two more points against them is beyond worrying. So we’re second now but after fucking up an easy November our December fixtures could easily see us in 4th by 2011.

    Put simply, playing like this will result in no trophies and Roman doing something stupid like sacking Carlo. Oh joy. Isn’t it great to have the real Chelsea back?

  14. Anonymous

    Utterly dreadful.

    Anyone know the point in blooding the kids midweek and overlooking them in favour of the usual under-performers? Absolutely crying out for some creativity and yet we continue to plod along with the same faces.

    Hard to know what’s gone wrong. The back 4 looks a shell of the formidable unit it once was. There appears little communication or leadership exists any more, and there’s too much complacency with the forwards. They know they’re picked and it shouldn’t be the case. We’re getting nothing from Drogs at the moment, Kalou got lucky with a deflection and proved later on with the goal at his mercy how little he can be relied on.

    Seems to me we’ve no choice but to weather a storm that’s pretty much done for our season. United have been shit all along and now sit two points clear. Long way to go and all that but there needs to be something to kick us on. And it needs to be done soon. We play United soon and even in their form they’ll blow us away. We drew with a second-string Necastle today FFS. If that’s not embarrassing enough, the players can fuck off.

  15. Cunningplan

    I think we just have to put November down as a bad month, without doubt. At least the last two league games we created, and played a lot better than of late.

    A couple of points about the game, mainly Marriner. He certainly seemed to favour the home team, two examples that stuck out for me, the Branners/Carroll shoulder charge in the first minute, a free kick to Newcastle, seriously?? And the second one where Carroll backs into Branners from a high ball and just stood his ground, and yet another free kick.

    At least Drogs is looking a bit sharper, wonderful finish from the disallowed goal, and what can you say about our enigma that is Kalou. He scores the more difficult goal, and then misses an absolute sitter.

    Roll on December, these are the games that will show if we’ve got it or not, and I’ve got a sneaking suspicion we’ll get the required results.

  16. Benjamin

    Kalou is a good squad player and is a nice option to have on the bench, he is not first team material.

    Sturridge for me needs to calm down, for his age he is very immature in terms of his decision making.

    Losing Benayoun was massive, what a difference he would have made today as well 🙁

    Really think we need 3 world class players, defender, attacking midfielder (to play in the hole) and a striker.

  17. TrueBlue

    Bollocks … have we come unstuck for the season? Can we pull it together?

    Is Carlo leaving??

    Oh it’s fun be a chelsea fan

  18. Cunningplan

    Sorry guys, just can’t believe some of the doom and gloom on here. We’re 15 games into the season and 2 points off the top of the table. Yes we’ve had a bad run, but at least we put a stop to the rot today by not losing, the last two games have been much better for us, and with a bit more luck we could have won both.
    If we lose the next 3 games then we will be in trouble, we have key players coming back from injury and suspension which should make a big difference to the team.

    Do people honestly think Utd will go unbeaten and win every game between now and the end of the season? they’ve ridden their luck a few times. I think the only tricky upcoming game for us out of the big three will be Spurs, they’re the team that appear to have momentum at the moment.

    December is a new month, so lets see what happens, the title isn’t won or lost in November, so I think some more opptimism is the order of the day please.

    PS Don’t shoot me, I’m only working for the Chelsea PR dept.

  19. Anonymous

    Yes, Cunningplan, probably a little over reaction (most of the blog expect it from me), but to look at the fixture list and see Sunderland, Birmingham and Newcastle, noone would honestly admit to expecting the awful results and performances we got.

    Yes, injuries and stupid suspensions have gone against us, but it’s made it clear we either don’t have anywhere near the strength in depth needed, or Carlo doesn’t have the faith in the squad. And, to a lesser extent, neither do sone of us fans.

    I hate picking on players, and the fact I’ve never been his greatest fan counts for most of this, but I couldn’t give a shit how good a squad player Kalou is. He’s had so many chances and opportunities and hardly ever made me feel he’ll get any better. Given the same chances, I honestly believe Sturridge, Borini or many others would have offered more to the team.

    Without Essien and Lampard to hold his hand, Mikel has gone back to the same player we all wondered what the fuss – and pounds spent – were all about. Shit passing, no tackling and general lethargy all round the pitch. Ramires looks like a joke signing, sure, when there are 10 regular performers to carry and nurture someone his selection would be fine, but we seem to be wasting a place on the side for him. Would we be any worse off having played McEachran instead? I think not.

    I don’t know what the problem is. I’m sure the complete idiocy in the background doesn’t help, but it’s not Wilkins, Arnesen and Emenalo (sp?) playing the matches. The players need to be more accountable. Simply pulling on the strip then being fucking anonymous for 90 minutes when the club is in a ‘crisis’ is inexcusable. Grow a pair, man the fuck up and show us why you should be playing for Chelsea.

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