Everton 1-0 Chelsea – Press Reaction, Goal Video

Newspaper reports

The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: Carlo Ancelotti’s descent from Double-winning manager to unemployment is complete. The Italian had sat in the media suite at Everton within an hour of this last loss, a game surrendered to 10 men and a staggering goal, and pondered what was next. “Officially, I am now on holiday,” he had said. “I’m just not sure how long my holiday will be.”

The confirmation was delivered within minutes, the Chelsea chief executive, Ron Gourlay, meeting the manager at the foot of the stairs to relieve him of his duties with 12 months of a three-year contract to run. The fight had rather been knocked out of the Italian over recent weeks, as it had been from his team once defeat at Old Trafford had killed off their chances of retaining their title. He accepted the decision, instead of protesting it.

The Independent, Chris Brereton: Ancelotti may have delivered the only Premier League and FA Cup Double in Chelsea’s history last season but memories under Roman Abramovich are short and, consequently, Ancelotti’s shelf life even shorter. Survival Sunday meant something entirely different at Goodison Park.

With a win percentage of 62 per cent from his 109 games in charge, Ancelotti has more than done enough to justify his existence and he remains popular with players and fans, but a trophy-less season is simply something Abramovich is unwilling to countenance.

“Relax,” said the Italian when questioned about his future, “I’m officially on holiday from today. I’m not sure how long my holiday will be.”

Daily Telegraph, Rory Smith: Like his team, Carlo Ancelotti wore black. Where the rest of the Premier League spent this afternoon shredding their fingernails, tearing their hair, waiting for questions to be answered, Chelsea and their manager had only certainty. Judgment Day has been and gone. Now it is time for sentencing. So much for Survival Sunday.

Official Chelsea FC Website: A disappointing Chelsea performance saw the side end the season with a defeat after a second-half solo effort from Jermaine Beckford put 10-man Toffees ahead.

The goal

Beckford 1-0
Carlo’s final BBC interview

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There are 72 comments

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  1. Anonymous

     Oh dearie me – here we go again ….  NEXT!

    Makes that eye-watering hit I authorised on my credit card last week to renew my season ticket seem so worthwhile.

    There seems no point in regurgitating the pros and cons of retaining Carlo we’ve rehearsed on here a number of times already.

    I’d just like to thank him for those astonishing high-scoring wins which helped seal the Double last season and carried on for the first 6 games of this season, for those of you with even shorter memories than our suits. Certainly the most gobsmacking performances I’ve ever seen from a Chelsea team in over 40 years of watching on TV and at The Bridge.

    Just The Beautiful Game CL final to endure now before it can all go away till August, or end of June if your a Fulham fan looking forward to the Euro League marathon 😉

    • Der_Kaiser

      Seconded.  Unless the next manager manages to get the back four simultaneously defending and performing abridged versions of the complete works of Shakespeare while the other half sticks in hatfuls of goals in the style of Brazil ’82 at the other end with Cech duelling lions, gladiator style, as a sideshow, I can’t really see what is going to keep Roman and the angry brigade in the stands happy.

  2. Anonymous

     Inevitable decision and apart from the rather brutal nature of his sacking, I don’t think many of us are surprised.

    Going over the merits or otherwise of getting rid of Carlo is pointless but it seems clear that the way we went out to Inter and Utd in the CL over two seasons sealed his fate.

    But like others I’ll always remember the Double, the mad end to last season, the 103 goals and watching him belt out some Italian, opera song on the bus. He’s a lovely guy and very good manager but it’s time to move on now to the next one in our Chelsea merry go round. 

    It’s never dull with us is it?

    • Der_Kaiser

      On the contrary – I suspect I’m far from alone in finding the endless hiring and firing of managers that the club themselves have gone out of their way to undermine for whatever reason very dull indeed.

  3. PeteW

    really busy but wanted to say something and had already posted this elsewhere on a more general football forum:

    there is a case to be made that CA failed to motivate the players for key matches, showed tactical inflexibility and was irritatingly risk averse when it comes to using young players.you could also point out that Chelsea’s managerial-carousel approach has proved more successful than Arsenal’s consistency, and also that Chelsea and United have won exactly the same amount of major trohies since 2003 (albeit at a ridiculous rate of spend). so the chaos system isn’t quite as self-destructive as it may appear.but there is so much to set against that, i don’t really know where to begin.it’s all very embarrassing. most chelsea fans i know are really struggling to give a shit about who takes over as they know whoever it is won’t be around for more than a year. this policy wouldn’t be a problem if there was some stability elsewhere at the football level, but we have lost some very good coaches (Villa Boas, Brendan Rodgers, Steve Clarke, possibly Ray Wilkins) and that is something to worry about.if hiddink comes in as a long-term director of football it will go some way towards mitigating that, but the concern is he will soon lose abramovich’s ear if he doesnt play the political/sycophant game (the cabal around RA are extraordinarily vile and mediocre).I also think Van Basten would be a stone-cold flop.the rumour is Hiddink and Van Basten + five players, with the intimation this has been planned for a long time, maybe even pre-Wilkins.

    • Der_Kaiser

      The whole ‘chaos’ thing should also be viewed against the fact that the core of the team during that era were Mourinho moulded winners who pulled the team through some fairly difficult patches – Cech, Frank, JT, Drogba and one or two others.  Not a debate I’d choose to revisit under most circumstances, but with a degree of hindsight does anyone really believe that they didn’t have as much, if not more to do with our run to Moscow / title charge that season than Avram did?

      With most of these guys now in the final stages of their career, the worry is that you’re replacing them with, well, the likes of Torres who simply doesn’t appear to have the same mix of single minded determination, attitude and frankly, huge cohones as our class of 04-05.  Without that mentality in the group, no managerial continuity and a boardroom consumed by self-interest and political positioning, I really do fear for the future.

      • Anonymous

        Agree entirely, indeed I asked the same question near the start of the last blog about who could lead the team when that current core disappear as they must soon.

        While I’m sure clever accountants will continue to produce “cash positive” statements to confuse UEFA’s new financial regs. enforcers it still seems a shocking waste of money to repeatedly throw millions down the drain to pay off each set of discarded managers and their side-kicks [£5 million for Carlo according to reports today].

    • Anonymous

      It’s a dilemma.

      Would I rather look across from row 16 of the West Lower at the chaos of the changing management team on the far side or instead at a stable Arsene Wenger, wringing his hands and kicking water bottles whilst he agonises over another whimpering defeat?

  4. bluebayou

    PVA has signed a new contract

    Good to see he’ll be sticking around. Should dovetail in nicely.

    I’ll get my woodwork apron………..

  5. Cunningplan

    I’m only posting because I like symmetry, this will be post number no. 333 I suppose that could well be the same ammount of managers we’ll get through by 2020

  6. bluebayou

    Ian McGarry tweeted that Hiddink would return as DoF and Van Basten as coach. The market then hardened very much in favour of Van Basten. He also tweeted that Carlo had been undermined way back and that this change had been planned for a long time.

    If this holds a grain of truth then why did a contender in the recent elections for president of Sporting Lisbon, Bruno De Carvalho, who according to one piece I read, was backed financially by a Russian Consortium present  Van Basten as the prospective coach of Sporting Lisbon  should he be successful?

    De Carvalho lost to the incumbent on a recount in the election on March 26th

  7. Ososdeoro

    I can’t think of anyone who deserves to be undermined less than Carlo. If it’s true that he has been, I’m glad he’s leaving for his own sake because he is going to find a better job. Hope it’s Roma (though winning to make it to Europa League may have saved whatsisface).

    Anyone coming to Chelsea had better insist on complete control over things like lineups and personnel, or he has no chance.

  8. bluebayou

    Following on from what Tony had to say on the previous string, it’s true that with each managerial change comes the opportunity for the Chelsea fanbase to rip into each other in a very public fashion, particularly now on Twitter.

    Well, that’s unfortunate and can in many ways be contrasted with the solidarity being shown by the twitteratti in the ongoing super-injunction furore, which has caused some commentators to call up the famous scene from Spartacus.

    Well if  sword and sandals is the order of the day we should be looking no further than that man amongst men, Russell Crowe, for the way forward.

    So as we watch the doors of Stamford Bridge and Cobham for a sign of the new management team to emerge, let’s remember the immortal words of Maximus,

    “Whatever comes out of these gates, we’ve got a better chance of
    survival if we work together. You understand? If we stay together, we

    (see at about 2.30 into the attached clip)


    • Anonymous

      Yes, I’m fresh from a Twitter skirmish with someone called CFC_Clive. Apparently the only views he respects are those of fans who actually go the games. Thats 99% of our worldwide fanbase he refuses to acknowledge then.  

      i did also try and deliberately light our own PeteW’s blue touchpaper by mentioning Moyes, but sadly he saw through my cunning ploy damn him! 

      • Cunningplan

         I would like to add it’s not me, as I don’t have a twitter account.
        Besides I gave up caring about how we treat managers during the Bates era, nothing surprises me anymore.

        • Anonymous

          I remember one of Bates’ more breathtaking pronouncements being that he thought his fault lay in staying too loyal to some of his managers rather than sacking them when they deserved it [I think he was referring to Hollins in particular at the time]. 

          Looking at the list in the link on BB’s last blog neither Hollins nor any of his many successors under the bearded one seem to have got much longer than Carlo just had. 

          • Anonymous

            The obvious difference is that, after John Neal,  Bates appointed a long list of incompetents up till Hoddle who were incapable of winning anything apart from Mickey Mouse cups invented for them, while Carlo won the club’s first ever League-FA Cup double at the first attempt.

        • Anonymous

          You’re far too polite and reasonable to be CFC_Clive. Politeness and reasoning are not his MO.  

  9. Ososdeoro

     Sadly when I think of Gladiator and Chelsea management the only thing that comes to mind is “busy little bees.”

  10. Anonymous

    Can we appoint Imogen to the backroom staff as our opposition scout?

    I’m sure we can agree to the clause in her contract the we know enough about Darren Fletcher already.

  11. Anonymous

    No McEachran in the U21 squad for the summer then, which is hugely disappointing. He’d have proved his credentials and been ready to fight for a first team place, as it is now the new manager will undoubtedly maintain persisting with the current crop is the way forward and so we loan Josh out to prove how good he is for someone else.

    • Anonymous

      Josh is in under 19 squad mind. Rather confused as to why we have U-19 and U-21s to be honest. Why not just have B16&21. (between 16 and 21) 

  12. Der_Kaiser

    Comparisons with Uncle Ken are all well and good, but let’s just remember that while his tenure eventually re-established us as a top 6 Premiership and occasional CL side, his pursuit of the ‘Manchester United of the south’ dream nearly went tits up in a spectacularly unpleasant manner.

    Shouting ‘pah – same as it ever was…’ in a Talking Heads style every time another perfectly decent manager gets the boot with a chunky £5m plus settlement and taking comfort in the fact that Roman has a few quid more than Ken, it might be worth considering that the stakes are now far higher and we have much further to fall if the CFC chaos theory of club stewardship goes pear shaped.

    Still, no need to worry, I suppose.  After all, the Titanic was unsinkable, wasn’t it?

  13. Anonymous

    So, Abramovich-era Chelsea FC exhibit signs of impatience and short collective memory.

    In other news, Sepp Blatter declares that he has on one occasion been offered a bribe.

    A mate of mine works in the newspaper industry. He says that tomorrow’s headlines are going to be dominated by the news that bears actually poop in the woods.

    You heard it here first.

  14. Anonymous

    Balls. Bollocks. Cock. Fuckedy fuck fuck.

    My own personal football transfer sources tell me that Aguero will sign for Real Madrid within 48 hours.

    Arse. Biscuits. And, indeed, arsebiscuits. Really would have liked to have seen us get him. M

  15. WorkingClassPost

    I’d like to thank Carlo for the double.The first bit was last season’s ending, which most Chelsea fans never really bothered to even think about – so unlikely has it seemed over the years.

    The second bit of the double is the end of this season: I now have my life back – football’s OK but life goes on, and I’ve been getting on with mine for the last few weeks/months and Carlo’s team selection has been the biggest factor in that.

    For once the management team have done the right thing at the right time. No speculation or pretend niceness, Carlo knew he was going, we knew he was going, and he went.

    Good luck Carlo. 

    Cash the cheque (or do something worthy with it) and get on with your life.

  16. Gleb

    Please please please NO Van Baster. It’s the most blatantly obvious wrong decision that has ever existed. Fucking hell, are Roman and his clique so stupid as to not see past (who’s still brilliant, mind you) Hiddink’s alleged advice? The guy couldn’t even qualify for the CL. With Ajax. In Holland. It’ll be the biggest letdown of all if he’s appointed. These rich men are crazy. Throw away 5 million quid only to get someone who will be found out within weeks. Then what? I actually believe Roman, naturally, will get more and more reluctant of firing managers because of the inevitable compensations. So whoever we get will have quite some time to ruin our troublesome club.

    P.S. I’ll leave the “Van Baster” typo in case it sticks.   

  17. Harry


    What would you ‘all criticizing Chelsea board and RA
    for that matter, have done? I imagine you would have done far worst. RA has
    spent a fortune on Chelsea FC without any return. RA has done a lot for Chelsea
    FC. It is RA absolute right to be concerned with performances of all who are on
    Chelsea FC pay roll. CA is a very decent guy and a gentleman, however, CA did
    not achieve the objectives put before him when he was at the helm. I wish CA
    best of luck, and I admire RA for his tough stand in dealing with mediocrity.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Not that running a football club is my bag, or anyone else’s on here, but in the first instance, I’d probably avoid undermining the manager (again) by sacking his staff, briefing against him in the press and pretty much openly pursuing the next candidate(s) for the job whilst the guy is still in charge and trying to salvage something from a difficult season.  Probably not the best thing for motivation, wouldn’t you agree?

      Secondly, if I’d spent a number of years chasing the guy across Europe like a horny teenager believing he was the perfect manager, I hope I’d have a minute shred of common decency and meet the guy face to face to relieve him of his duties, rather than get some low-rent lickspittle to do my dirty work for me.

      How about you?

  18. Gleb

    No one’s denying RA has done a lot to get this club back on track. However, no manager can win everything (apart from Villas Boas ;)) all the time. He has to be more prudent and realize that these things take time and require trust, support and the seamless and flawless operation of each and every element within the club. If he keeps on playing games like that, he himself will soon get disillusioned and bored, and might get rid of us. So some sensibility is a “win-win” scenario for all the parties concerned.

  19. NorthernVA

    I did forget one thing. If Carlo does go to Roma next season and gets them back in the Champions League. Any bets on how a Round 16 match up would turn out in the 2012-13 Champions League. He’s 51 this is bound to bite in the ass at some point.

  20. greenlightinoz

    There is no doubting that Carlo was a lovely man, who last year played sensational football in winning us an incredible double.

    The complete truth is that we were ponderous at best this season, first 6 weeks aside, showed absolutely no pace and it became very clear that he doesn’t really know how to get Torres and Didier playing together, even after 5 months of trying.

    I don’t dislike Carlo….. But almost always his substitutions were like-for-like, and he showed an inability to affect the game from the bench.

    I’m not sure who will come onto the merry-go-round next, but unless we inject a bit of pace into the side, we will continue to struggle.

    I wish Carlo all the best in the future, and as much as he says he wants to continue in England, I think he will probably be returning to Italy.

    • Anonymous

      I’m a bit worried that there still seems to be a fair bit of price shortening on Mad Rafa [and Sparky] though they all seem to have settled for Guus now.

      Didn’t Scolari come from nowhere in the odds before his appointment, or is my fading memory playing tricks on me?

      • Anonymous

        lets be honest, no-ones going to be happy. Lots of people ranting on about proven success, despite past success being no guarantee of future success. I mentioned Rijkaard, CL winner etc etc, only to be slaughtered by people saying he was a loon and couldn’t handle the big time. Whilst I admit he did lose it a bit in the end of his Barca days, could it even be possible that experience helped him develop and learn a few things? 

        I mentioned Louis van Gaal – same thing, nutter, awkward to press etc etc. So 2 coaches with proven success but not good enough for us. Bearing in mind the only other real living CL successes are , Mourinho, SAF, Del Bosque and Hitzfeld and I can guarantee 2 of those WON’T be coming to us, so we’re buggered. 

        Of course we could look to the international stage. Bearing in mind the failed Scolari experiment this would be risky as well. Capello is a busted flush with the stain of Englands SA 2010 campaign hanging heavy wherever he goes. Del Bosque is an option but again the question hangs heavy as to whether he’d leave Spain in their current dominant state. Plus he’s never shown any urge to manage abroad anyway. Lippi is of course available but he’s 63, and do we really believe Italian style football is the way forward? 

        So , that rules out the calibre of Proven Success coaches around. Unless we’re serious about Villas Boas. At 33 might he not be a bit young to deal with ego’s like Drogba, Torres, JT etc? 

        There are coaches with potential who maybe just need the chance, but if I mention Moyes or Hughes or Martinez or Coyle then no doubt I’ll get slaughtered with the ‘who are they and what have they won’ argument. Who is anyone until given the chance to shine on the big stage. Actually that happens in every walk of life…..who knows whether they can handle the next level until they move to the …..errrr…next level? Actors, singers, engineers, builders……surely that maxim applies universally. 

        So, we can go completely mental and get Van Basten in ….or Klinsmann…….or Rodgers………endless choices. None of whom I suspect any Chelsea fan who was a fan of Carlo would think good enough. And whilst I understand the anger over Carlo, I’d suggest some of the fans look at his failings as well, he was by no means perfect and undermined as he may have been, he still looked meek, weak and perplexed, which from someone so ‘experienced’ seems a mystery. 

        My choice?

        Gus or Claudio as DoF (yes I know I have slated Claudio, but he had an eye for talent even if he didn’t know how to maximise that talent), Rijkaard as head coach, Zola on the coaching team with a view to succeeding in 3 years – like Pep. 
        You read it here first. 

        • Anonymous

          In an ideal world I wouldn’t have a problem with that type of structure. My worry is that Roman (and his shoddy band of advisors) would sack the manager and appoint the coach or the DoF at the first sign of trouble thereby rendering the whole succession planned appointment a bit pointless.

        • Der_Kaiser

          Afternoon chief,

          The last 48 hours or so has been pretty interesting in terms of the way the fans are handling Ancelotti’s departure and discussion about possible successors.

          I can remember how the debate on Mourinho’s departure raged for a number of days (fuelled to an extent by Grant’s appointment which just seemed plain weird and very divisive at the time); I think we’re now so conditioned to managers getting the heave-ho that after the initial surprise – and Carlo’s departure wasn’t much of one at all, really – that it was all forgotten about within a day.  

          The debate then naturally turns to who is going to take over.  This is where things get very skewed for me.  Looking around the football world and the ‘elite’ clubs (a clique that I presume we are aspiring to be members of) that might find themselves in a similar position and you feel there is generally a clear idea in terms of succession in keeping with the ethos of the club.

          Aside of the ‘no trophies’ ribbing, Arsenal will be looking for a specific type of manager when Wenger goes and Barcelona will be roughly similar – they have a very particular mindset crafted over several years and I’m sure that being fairly smart and reasonably well-run clubs, they are probably already looking at young managers in the game and possibly players within their ranks that understand the club and how it works.  United will obviously be tricky – replacing the old goat will be no easy task, but you get the feeling that the issue is being considered  in terms of who fits the club and its overall plan, rather than who fits a short term goal for the next couple of seasons.

          For example, it’s not stretching the imagination to think that someone like Xavi will pack in playing in a few years and spend some time coaching the Barcelona reserves and move on from there – you get where I’m coming from.   Yes, there will always be a debate between fans about the pros and cons of the individuals concerned, but most will be thinking along the same lines in what they want for the club as it will almost be ingrained into them over the course of time.

          Ask the same question about us and I’m not surprised that there is friction.  Exactly what do we – or more specifically Roman – want?  This is where it gets cloudy – success, obviously, and specifically the Champions League – but how?  Build over time, sling money at the squad and get a manager who might deliver in a season or two – the former brings in unproven names about whom there will be hypothetical questions as to whether they have the right stuff, the latter being the experienced big guns with a track record who have positives and baggage in equal measure.

          We seem to be veering towards the latter, but possibly with an eye on someone like Guus stepping in until a younger gun is available.  It just all seems very incoherent and lacking in any kind of vision.  And all the while Roman’s retinue is comprised of people with limited football experience and their own personal success tied to the man himself, there will be no-one to stand up and say “this is what we should be doing…” which is another problem.  Unpopular he may have been, but we miss Kenyon in that respect.

          We have clearly been looking around for the next man in the hotseat for a while, but mainly because Ancelotti reached a point where Roman was unhappy with him – any enquiries we made seemed more about the owner having a fit of pique, rather than thinking rationally about what was happening in 6 months, a year or two years down the line.

          Until we move away from chasing a particular goal, rather than having a plan that runs through the club from top to bottom, I think that this will always be an issue.  When Mourinho joined us, it felt 100% right – he was unquestionably the right man at the right time – he was personally ambitious, bold, successful, noisy and keen to make an impact on the bigger stage – his goals mirrored ours.  Any number of the names linked with us now obviously have plus and minus points, but it’s difficult to see a natural fit because our goal is a specific short term one which any number of people may or may not fulfil.  X arrives, doesn’t win the CL, is undermined by Roman and his advisers in some way (which is almost guaranteed) and moved out two years later to be replaced by Y.  And so it goes on.

          At which point, I return to one of our collective favourite adages (albeit for different reasons) – the definition of madness is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting different results…

          • Anonymous

            Evening M’lud – Mrs TG is devising prospective dates for a beer/bite/chat scenario – will drop some dates for you to select one.

            Of course what you say is absolutely spot on as usual and my ‘debate’ yesterday on Twitter was rather bruising, albeit because the other party was an obnoxious ‘old-guarder’ who dismisses anything he doesn’t like, no matter how reasoned the view might be. A self serving cunt one might say. Our very own PeteW was there for part of it, and we also have pretty opposing views a lot of the time in our twitter chats, but always done with politeness and respect for the other viewpoint. 

            My point below was that I find the hive mind of Chelsea fans to be beyond Bi-polar and closer to psychopathic insanity , in fact it’s a complete reflection of the very core of that hive mind, the club itself. Which is dribblingly mad in the archetypal underpants on head saying ‘wibble’ manner. Is it any wonder we’re all patting each other on the back or sharpening our carving knives ready to kill our brothers in blue? I’ve submitted a post which reflects our collective insanity which Nick is probably quivering over whether to publish or not…..it may be a tad obtuse to non Pink Floyd fans….but saying that, being obtuse never stops Professor Bayou….and the blog is all the better for all the collective insane ramblings we cobble together over a year.

            *Message for Nick – despite saying I’d withdraw from writing here because of other publications, as long as this blogs here, and you’ll continue to publish my drivel, then I’m writing it!  

            I just thought it was worth pointing out the unwitting hypocrisy from the fans on who’s right to manage the club. I’ve even seen comments in The Grauniad suggesting it must be a ‘Chelsea’ person who’s played for us and understands the club. Whilst that is honourable and a worthy model as you’ve said yourself in your Barca example, to do this now is as loopy as when Toon appointed Shearer because its what the fans wanted. This was irrespective of his woeful experience in management full stop. If coaches are to be appointed on the basis of club familiarity, then employ me. I reckon I’ve got a good idea of our culture and history. 

            I’ll stick with my pipe dream of the succession planned route starting now with GH and UTFC (as recommended by LTB) and the development of GFZ to the head role in 3 years (CA would have been the PERFECT mentor as well) When GFZ takes the role I’d propose JT as his assistant and when JT takes over, he can employ …well…you get my drift. I seem to recall a succession planning system worked rather well for many years at Liverpool. When Souness ended that system….wasn’t that when everything started to fall away?

          • Der_Kaiser

            Nice one squire…

            I agree with what you say; I think the vitriol when mentioning possible names does come from a degree of rawness about the whole thing like BB suggests, but it’s also very much indicative of where we are.

            Every potential candidate has faults, but gone are the days where the average fan (and probably owner) thinks “he ticks 7 out of 10 boxes which will do” because they know it won’t be good enough as the bar is set so high – those 3 out of 10 ‘faults’ will eventually be seen by Roman and the crowd of idiots that surround him as weaknesses to be mercilessly seized upon and used as an excuse for the inevitable P45 moment when it comes.  You manage people at work, like I do (occasionally) – if they show areas where they need help, you don’t use it to crucify and undermine them, you try and improve things; surely that goes for the crazy world of football too?

            It might be a slightly crap analogy, but with our managers, both current incumbent and potential, we’re (and I mean us and the club) now like some kind of comedy bloke at a dating agency in a Fast Show type sketch; the pictures come out – Cindy Crawford?  Nah, don’t like the mole.  Beyonce?  Strewth, bit of a fat arse.  Angelina Jolie?  Too many sodding kids.  Elle McPherson?  She’d be in the gym all the bloody time.

            And so it goes on.  No-one will ever be good enough for us because the perfect manager to deliver the “we want to win it all with brilliant football and be loved by neutrals the world over and do it without spending billions on players and work with disabled children and sick animals and and and just EVERYTHING” toddler on Christmas Eve dreams just doesn’t exist.

  21. Anonymous

    Agreed. The other thing is that Drogba and Kalou get cut some slack because of a civil war in their homeland. Yet Carlo’s Dad died around the time of our slump, yet this isn’t supposed to have an effect?

    I sincerely hope whoever we get manages to win something, but if we are in this situation again this time next year we’re going to start struggling to attract anyone remotely decent.

  22. Anonymous

    “Zola on the coaching team with a view to succeeding in 3 years”

    Setting aside all arguments about the merits and demerits of individual coaches: Tony, how can you *possibly* believe that the Chelsea suits are capable of sticking to a three-year plan?

    Or even a two-year plan?

    Or, let’s face it, a one-year plan? Presumably both Uncle Avram and Beeg Phil were hired because, er, someone thought they were the right manager for Chelsea. But then that same someone decided they weren’t. Within the space of less than a year.

    I’m not going to slaughter anyone for suggesting any names. It perfectly obviously doesn’t matter who the manager is. They’ll be manager until they lose too many games, and then they won’t be. Therefore the only “correct” choice as manager is one who will never lose too many games. Which is, obviously, no one.

    What José did in his first two years didn’t matter when his third and fourth years came along. What Carlo did in his first year didn’t matter when his second year came along. What Rijkaard/Zola/Sparky/Franco/Spaletti/Mad Rafa/Guardiola/Alan Shearer/Old Uncle Tom Fucking Cobbleigh does in his first X games/months/years won’t matter after X-plus-a-few games/months/years. The possible exception is if O.U.T.F. Cobbleigh presides over a CL victory, in which case he may buy himself an extra year or two’s goodwill. But if anyone thinks that one choice of manager is going to help us win the CL, they’re insane (and should reflect on the fact that Benitez won the CL, and that the closest we came to winning it was under the guidance of … Avram Grant).

    It’s a total effing nonsense, the whole business.

  23. Cunningplan

    If we get mad Rafa I’ll be ironing by old Man Utd shirt hanging up in the wadrobe behind glass which says in bold print, use only in emergencies!

  24. Anonymous

    OK. Now I see the odds on ‘Arry are dropping too, so clearly the bookies have got no more clue than any of us what’s happening. 

    As Limetreebower says whoever it is willl be gone before we notice, anyway.

    So here is the ideal candidate, clearly with the verbal dexterity and brass neck to argue his dubious case with the suits and a handle on the kind of timescales they understand for achieving those pesky targets:


  25. Anonymous

    Interesting that the press are running with headlines like Carlo Ancelotti sacking by Chelsea ‘bad for football’


    I’m surprised there are no headlines like ‘Ryan Giggs bad for game’ or ‘Gareth Barry bad for game’.

    These two seem to be avoiding the wrath of the press compared to the attentions given to JT and Ashley (they shag who they want).

    • Der_Kaiser

      Given that G*ggs (well, you never know who is watching…) is 37, still playing at the very top level, has two kids AND manages to find the time / energy to do the wild thing with some page 3 stunnah (or equivalent) 10 years his junior, I think there is a degree of awe / respect for the man’s sheer stamina above anything else.

      On the other hand, there is probably just sheer disbelief that someone as unfeasibly dull as B*rry had it in him in the first place…

  26. bluebayou

    Good man JD, you and LTB have saved me a lot of hard typing. Between you, you’ve summed up pretty much how I view it. It’s regrettable that you’re taking such stick Tony, but perhaps people are a little raw at the moment and emotions are running high, though saying that, I’ve been kind of shocked by the groundswell against Carlo. I mean, “Where’s the love?”

    My only quibble with JD would be his stating that we’re over it in a day.

    I think there’s at least one person, me, who will take a bit longer.

    I’m now a two hanky man (don’t snigger, it’s for my tears) as I’m still mourning Claudio. (But strangely not JM, even though I didn’t want him to go. I suppose it’s because he got enough love from everyone else.)

    It is not that I don’t care who comes in, but like many others I’m operating without the real, inside knowledge about the prospective candidates and certainly without any real idea of what it is they’re supposed to achieve. Strangely some of the past board decisions make me think they’re in the same territory.

    Unlike some posters above, I think they (this faceless crew) are getting off too lightly. Who’s taking responsibility for constantly creating confusion? For God’s sake, I never thought I’d ever be caught saying anything positive about Ken Bates, but at least he fronted up. There was someone to point at and say “Oi, that’s enough.” He ignored us or swore at us and blithely went on his way, but at least you knew who was doing what? It was a strangely one sided dialogue, but a connection none the less.

    So all in all I’m feeling a bit upset.

    You see, it may be a sign of stunted emotional growth, (may be?) but I still have this boyhood need to form a real emotional attachment to the players and the team, not just the “club”. If they’re in the shirt, or the coaches tracksuit then all their very human failings as well as their football failings fall away.

    I rarely if ever really dislike a player. Oh I scream and shout and swear at them, but it is of the moment and passes.

    Despite the problems this season, I liked the team and the coach. Logic doesn’t really come into it. And the way we’re chopping and changing, I’d say the same goes for the board and owner.

    Now, I’ll have to start all over again. A difficult prospect to face, for someone who is getting too attached, too often. Yes I’ve enjoyed the winning, the success, but you almost get no time to savour it before the negative vibes start to emerge and then it’s all over.

    The Cranberries once asked

    “Do you have to let it linger?”

    Well for me, yes you do.

    So I’ve really chosen the wrong club, haven’t I?

    So it’s go elsewhere or grow a pair.

    Or maybe I’ll join the Foreign Legion and forget. Beau Geste anyone?


    I’ll get my Kepi Blanc

  27. Anonymous

    Does anyone know of a super-injuction in place that would prevent me from revealing that Jimmy Greenhoff is “bagging” the tall one from “Legs & Co.”?

  28. Jon

    I don’t understand the panic over the firing over CA. It makes perfect sense to me and I think RA is taking us in the right direction. The only manager he fired that I thought was a mistake was Jose. RA knows it, we know it and Jose knows it. 

    Let’s look at the managers since Jose: 

    1) Avram – nuff said? He was always meant to be a care taker manager, and rightly so. 

    2) Big Phil – at the time we all thought he was a good choice. He had international pedigree and therefore we rightly expected results. Clearly he was not up to the task and was correctly removed from his postion. 

    3) Hiddink – he was also a care taker manager and was not fired. His contract was to stabilise our team again and try and get something out of the season. He did his job well and we thanked him for it by giving him a cushy advisor role for the last 2 years. 

    4) Carlo – when he came we all were very happy again. Great pedigree, has won the CL and clearly a talented manager. His first season was great but there was no progression. We went backwards in his second season and dissent was mustering from fans and players alike. Perhaps the removal of Ray was instrumental in this but if it was Ray that was getting these great results then even more reason to sack the manager. Maybe Ray should get the top job? In my opinion it was not the lack of silverware that caused RA to sack him, but his inability to raise the team out of our terrible mid season slump. It took him too long to get us back on track and our tactics and subs were stale.  

    RA is a smart man. He has a plan for chelsea and he will keep looking for the right manager. I have a feeling he wants Pep or Boas and if they show progress (not necessarily silverware but an indication of youth being promoted and the team moving forward in terms of flexibility of tactics and clever subs during match play) there is no reason to remove them. If it takes Boas or Pep 4 months to get the team out of a slump then they are rightly out. you don’t see ManU slump for that long … 

  29. Anonymous

    Saturday 9 July – Vitesse Arnhem away
    Saturday 16 July – Portsmouth away
    Thursday 21 July – Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur
    Sunday 24 July – Thailand All Stars in Bangkok
    Wednesday 27 July – Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong
    Saturday 30 July – Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong
    Saturday 6 August – Rangers away

    Seriously? WTF as the kids say. 7 games and not one at home. Think that’s been the case in other seasons. Why? Why on Earth do we never have friendlies at home?

    • bluebayou

      You’re right. Particularly as we’re not in the Charidee Shield this year.

      You’d think that a pre-season introduction to the new line-up at home would be an annual event to parade the new signings (provided Ron and his team actually manage not to cock it up this time and end up buying them at Christmas instead) and the new coach.

      Still, Hong Kong and Glasgow in high summer. Guess which one gets an average of 17 rainy days at that time of year?

  30. Anonymous

    “RA is a smart man. He has a plan for chelsea and he will keep looking for the right manager.”

    And keep looking. And looking. And then have another look. Oh wait, here’s one! Oh no, that wasn’t it. Here!! — sorry, no … wait … Here, I found it! Or thought I had. Nope, that’s wasn’t it after all. How about over here? Have I tried down the back of the sofa?

    As I believe the kids today say: /facepalm.

    … EDIT: Jon! I was walking underneath a window of the Abramovich mansion in Knightsbridge not two hours ago, and by an amazing stroke of luck a piece of paper fluttered down to the pavement right at my feet. Using my uncanny ability to read neatly handwritten Cyrillic and my fluent knowledge of contemporary Russian, I realised that you’re 100% right after all, our beloved Roman does indeed have a plan for Chelsea, and, astonishingly, this was in fact the very piece of paper on which Roman himself had written it down!

    It read, in full:


    By R. Abramovich

    1) Win every game.

    2) Otherwise, fire the manager.”

    • Der_Kaiser

      I’m sure we’re all terribly grateful for what Roman has done for us, but wasn’t one of Brian Clough’s many pearls of wisdom that if a club chairman sacks a manager he initially appointed then he should go too?  The uneasy feeling that the board are making it up as they go along is getting more and more difficult to escape as time goes on and yet another manager gets the chop.

      • Cunningplan

        And to me another sad fact with this fiasco, is that we’re being ridiculed by fans, pundits and the media, rather than the usual dislike we used to get when your succesful.

  31. Anonymous

    @Cunning plan…

    Whilst the outrage and villification of Shagger Giggs remians oddly muted…..

    JT and Ash must be well chuffed…..

    • Cunningplan

      Ah! but you forget Tony, Mr Giggs is a model pro, has been faithful to Utd for his whole playing career, and of course plays for Manchester Utd, all that surely grants him immunity from villification.

    • Der_Kaiser

      To be fair, I think folk are just laughing at Giggs.  My legal expertise in the area is pretty limited, but if someone charged me £50k plus to suggest suing a company based in a nation where freedom of the speech and the press is well established in the First Amendment of its Constitution, I’d ask to see his legal qualification to make sure it wasn’t written on the back of a cornflakes packet in crayon.

      The joke of it all is, had he not taken the injunction out in the first place I doubt anyone other than him and the old tart in question would know about it.

      • Cunningplan

        I rather think it’s unfair of you to call Imogen an old tart (surely that’s Rooney’s type of woman) I think she’s rather attractive, but perhaps there’s no accounting for taste on my side.

        At least the story has generated a bit of excitement, unlike like us backward folk in cider country who have this bit of shock headline news , you wait it’ll be on crimewatch soon.  http://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/9045666.Police_appeal_after_sandwich_theft/

        • Anonymous

          Ah, the joys of rural life!

          In my old part of the Scottish countryside any self-respecting tea-leaf would have made off with the CCTV camera as well, though.

          I see Giles Smith has formed the Anyone But Harry Association, perhaps you could brighten your dull country existence by doing the same for Mad Rafa?

  32. PeteW

    Loads of stuff to unpick here, so my thoughts in bullet point form.

    *There is no obvious candidate to replace CA. All the rest have fairly obvious flaws. So why spend £6m replacing one successful but flawed manager with another who has no prior knowledge of the club, rapport with the players, reasonable record of success etc. What is the point?
    *No manager has been allowed to invest in the team since Mourinho, and until this is rectified we are going to struggle. We missed the best chance we’ve had for years to do this last summer.
    *There is no reason why somebody like Van Basten or Rijkaard may not turn out to be a perfectly good manager, but there is nothing about their record or reputation that suggests they would be a better bet than CA. 
    *Should we really be taking such risks at this stage in our development. 
    *I wonder how a manager is ever going to be allowed to make the tough decisions need to replenish the squad, given that they will almost certainly impact negatively on results.
    *Ditto the use of young players. 
    *If a manager has flaws – and they all do –  surely the sensible approach is to support and protect them and try to work out solutions rather than undermine and then sack then? It’s idiocy of the highest order.
    *The above is the pattern that applies to EVERY manager we have had under Roman, so why on earth should we expect things to be different this time round?
    *Is there any chance people who ask we take a risk on unknowables like Van Basten or Zola will support them if they go through a sticky patch (as they inevitably will), or can we expect more toys-out-pram at the ignominy of finishing SECOND in the strongest league in the world. I’m really not sure I can take another season of people squealing about middling results while failing to acknowledge the serious issues about the club that need to be looked at.
    *I think that Ancellotti, like Mourinho, was consistently undermined by other figures at the club who want to protect their position near the power and wealth of Roman Abramovich and there is no way we can proceed as a club until this is dealt with. All the problems faced by CA were imposed by other people, who took zero responsibility when it all went inevitably wrong.
    *How on earth can anybody believe there is any serious plan for a successor policy when every reasonable candidate (Clarke, Villas Boas, Rodgers) has been allowed to walk out the club and take on plum jobs elsewhere? That’s our legacy, right there. Idiocy and short-sightedness.
    *Is blind faith in Roman Abramovich and his advisers to make the right decisions really something any of us should have after the events of the past season, starting with the sacking of Wilkins (without even looking at the Mourinho/Grant debacle)? 

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