AVB: He MUST be given time to take this club forward. Will he get it?

I think we all agree that the Chelsea job isn't exactly a bed of roses based on the levels of expectation put on you as manager. You wo...

I think we all agree that the Chelsea job isn't exactly a bed of roses based on the levels of expectation put on you as manager. You would imagine that only the most confident, determined and focused managers would even entertain the idea of taking the hot seat here and a task of taking the club out of the shadows of the Jose Mourinho era at the club.

That's the problem that Avram Grant, Luis Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti have all faced since "The Special One" left the club a few years ago.

Some have prevailed such as Grant leading us to the final of the Champions League albeit with Jose's team. Hiddink the FA Cup with again, the basis of Jose's team and Carlo Ancelotti winning the double with yet again the core of Mourinho's side.

The only way AVB will be able to begin the process of doing so will be when big, big decisions are made that concern players who have been here, seen it, done it and won it at the club since back in the Mourinho era.

He has spoken of the experience of these players, has spoken of them being winners at the club and a must for his side in order to be successful but you have to wonder if this season now is one season too many.

Isn't it strange that the whole Mourinho era still hangs over the club and in some cases eclipses the achievements that Carlo Ancelotti had here in his first season when we won our historic league and cup double.

For me I think it was because we had everything in 2004/5 and 2005/6. We had defensive stability along with attacking flair and it was the best we have ever seen.

We have been striving to achieve the same levels ever since and have struggled as it's always been one or the other. However, back then it took some time to build on our defensive shape, to get it right and once that happened the players we allowed to express themselves.

We had natural width in Arjen Robben and Damien Duff. Your powerhouse centre forward in Didier Drogba and THE MOST underrated link man and goalscorer I have ever seen in Eidur Gudjohnsen. These players were backed up by the likes of Claude Makelele, Frank Lampard, Tiago, Scott Parker, Jarosik and Alexi Smertin.

The game has changed since then, every side in the Premier League has adapted to formations away from the standard typical 4-4-2, have got stronger squads themselves and are able to cope with the way we play.

Back then, virtually everyone found it difficult to cope with as we rolled teams over week in, week out. It's simply a case of not being able to do that anymore.

That's the pressure every manager at our club has to face now. Roman wants attacking flair coupled with three points every time and AVB is now finding out exactly how difficult that can be.

Now whether or not that's down to our tactics or the players in the squad, that's the questions inside his own mind that AVB is waking up to at the moment and if it does come down to the players he has available in the squad, then some serious questions will need to be asked and answered in the coming months.

It will take balls to replace the likes of JT, Lampard and Drogba at the club from the playing staff and until that happens, people will refer to Chelsea as still being the core of Mourinho's team.

We have to remember that players will come and go through the doors of Stamford Bridge and some will leave as legends and history makers, but there were others before them.

Before JT there was Desailly, LeBouef, Pates and Rougvie etc. Before Lampard were Poyet, Wise, Di Matteo, Nevin, Spackman, Bumstead, Thomas, Hollins and Wilkins etc and before Drogba the likes of Gudjohnsen, Hasselbaink, Zola, Hughes, Dixon, Tambling etc.

Big decisions at important stages of players careers. All I am hearing at the moment is how JT is passed his best, has lost his pace and is being found out week after week at the moment. How Drogba isn't the same player he used to be and is now far to inconsistent. As for Lampard, he plays well in some games and disappears in others.

There have been reports last week of a "frosty" meeting between Roman and AVB (which has since been denied by the club) where it was made clear to AVB that Roman wasn't impressed with keeping Lampard on the bench earlier in the season. Maybe AVB like all the others before him, has been told to make sure the experienced players that have delivered three Premier League titles and FA Cups, should be playing?. We will never know.

However, AVB needs to build a side in his own mould. A side representative of his philosophy and beliefs in how the game should be played. Some argue at the moment with a few additions, he is simply looking after the core of the same side he was scouting for seven seasons ago.

People have been saying to me that from now until the end of the season we should do away with the old guard and bring through the youngsters such as Romeu, McEachran, Bertrand, Lukaku and Piazon now. Take the hit this season and plan to make important signings of younger established players to join these youngsters who by the end of the season, would have had half a season to get used to the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup but for me it's far too soon to even consider it.

Based on the signings he has made, the existing squad he has, it's important that AVB gets rid of players he deems surplus to requirements as early as January. He needs to focus on his best eleven in a settled team and formation and work with it from there.

The players not in the side, need to buck their ideas up, work hard to get back in there. Competition for places is what we need now not a sense of go to training, keep yourselves fit because you will play as part of our squad rotation in the next game. It should be "You aren't in the starting eleven, now show me you want to fight to get back in there!".

Whatever happens, I do appeal to Roman Abramovich in this case, to not suffer a knee jerk reaction to what has happened of late and to stick with his manager. To back him in the transfer market and to work with him to take this club forward again in the right direction.

Roman helped Jose Mourinho transform the club into League Champions, pushing for major honours in each season and I am sure he can do the same again with AVB.

He just needs time.


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Post a Comment

  1. yeah;that's all we need:overhaul changes & stability in management.




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