When Carlo Ancelotti took over as Chelsea manager in July he was the man who Roman Abramovich believed would lead Chelsea to glory on all fronts this season. However, the clubs recent form and suggestions of split among the players could mean the Blues end the season empty handed.
They might be still vying for the double of the Barclays Premier League and FA Cup – if they do so then they will become only the sixth team in the 114 years of English football to achieve the league and couple double. Other teams to do the double are Tottenham, Arsenal, Man United, Aston Villa and Preston.
But, it does not disguise the fact that they’ve played very poorly in their last two games, especially against Inter Milan on Tuesday and the draw against Blackburn yesterday. The game against Milan wasn’t the first time that Chelsea have been bossed in a game this season; you just have to look at their 4-2 defeat at the hands of Manchester City to see that.
Recent reports say that there is a clear split in the camp at Chelsea, after the John Terry/Wayne Bridge fiasco with a lot of people supporting the latter. Also revelations of serial cheater and naked snapper Ashley Cole will be taking its toll and affecting team morale. You can’t have controversy like that and not be disturbed by it.
After a fantastic start to the season Chelsea’s form has dipped lately towards the latter part of the season where form really counts. The problem with Chelsea is they have not evolved since Jose Mourinho left two years ago and that was very clear in the game between the two clubs with the Special’s One mark still written all over the team sheet.
Is it facade to suggest Roman Abramovich should not have forced the Special One out?
The answer is no. The Russian billionaire has had too many knee jerk reactions over the past couple of years to defeats. Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Guus Hiddink have all been and gone since Mourinho left.
By securing the services of Carlo Ancelotti a man with plenty of Champions League pedigree having won it as manager and a player – he was expected to deliver European glory which Blues fans crave.
Ancelotti will now be under a significant amount of pressure having failed in Europe and if Chelsea miss out on the Premier League title then Italian will be in an even more precarious position.
If Ancelotti lasts at least until the end of the season, it will mark the first time that the Londoners have completed a full season under the leadership of one manager since Jose Mourinho in the 2006-07 campaign.
As we saw when he was in charge of AC Milan, Ancelotti is not an advocate of buying new players but rathers working with what he has got. When probed about his squads’ age he replied – “I don’t think this team is old. I won a Champions League with players who were 39 years old.”
He may not have a player as old as 39 at Chelsea but most of his key players are the wrong side of 30 – Ballack (33), Anelka (31), Drogba (32), and Lampard (31).
If Chelsea fail to win the title or/and the FA Cup then Ancelotti could be shown the door along with a couple of players. Win the title and the FA Cup and Ancelotti will have rescued Chelsea from the abyss.
The Blues will need to spend big during to summer if they are even to think about challenging on all fronts next season. Abramovich needs to help and not hinder this process and for that to happen Ancelotti needs to stay in charge.