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Chelsea are in a Transition… not a Crisis

I don’t want to call this a crisis as being a Chelsea fan for over 20 years I have seen the club in worse positions then it is in now, but in truth this current “issue” has been bubbling under the surface at Stamford Bridge for a while. In all the opinions and views I have heard and read, no one seems to point out that the problem could well be, that we are still watching the same Chelsea side assembled by Jose Mourinho in 2007. Fast forward four years and the Chelsea squad is now an ageing, shell of a side it once was and exposing Chelsea’s lack of squad investment and future vision.

Due to the high turnover in managers, Roman Abramovich rightly tightened his purse strings and has not invested in the squad since the “Special Ones” departure. This in turn has left Carlo Ancelotti with the task of getting the best out of ageing squad that is now struggling to stay fit and find any consistency. When you add the departures of Ballack, Belletti, Carvalho and Deco in the summer that were never back filled, the squad is now bare, placing a heavy burden and work load on the remaining first team players and a handful of unproven youngsters.

Non Chelsea people who read this will struggle to find any sympathy for the club and I don’t blame them, as the early days of the Abramovich era we happily wasted money on players like Veron, Mutu, Shevchenko and Wright-Phillips. Adopting the approach to buy for the now and neglecting the future and it is this philosophy that has come back and bit us firmly on the backside.

Chelsea are now in a period of transition, our reputation and fear factor has been shattered and opposing managers no longer set their up teams to avoid defeat as the believe they can grab a victory against us. It is a tough period for the club at the moment and in all of this I feel for Carlo Ancelotti, as he watches the expected demise of an ageing Chelsea side unravelling in front of his very eyes. As in every case a dip in form ultimately leads to the departure of the manager. In this case however the Chelsea board need to look at themselves and the players before making any decision on the manager’s future.

The board made the decision in 2007 to stop the spending and promote some of the youngsters from the academy, with the investment made in improving the academy, they probably felt the need to show some results. However if the big wigs at the bridge are realistic and understand football they have to understand that this kind of transformation will take time and possible periods of no success.

As for the players too many of the current squad are playing off their reputations and popularity with the fans and when the chips are down most of them have failed to show any passion and desire or raise their performances. At the moment we look flat, uninterested and out of ideas, even the introduction of £50 million Fernando Torres and £23 million David Luiz hasn’t kicked started the players in to performing, leaving us in the unfamiliar position of being out of the title race and all domestic cup competitions.

As for the manager the work Ancelotti did with same set of players last season, securing the club’s first ever domestic double indicates the calibre of manager he is. What the Chelsea hierarchy need to do now is publicly back Ancelotti and allow him the opportunity that his management and services to the club has warranted and give him the chance to build and shape his own Chelsea side.

This transition has probably come at a good time for the club, if we had continued to compete this season it would have  papered over the cracks and this would have continued to roll on and be exposed at a later date.

But given the improvement in teams like Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham, the “Big 4” has now become the Big 6 meaning that it is going to be even harder to seal one of the 4 Champions League spots as a minimum, so this transition needs to be a quick one. I am not suggesting a complete over haul, just the chance for Ancelotti to have his chance to do things his way. However the longer Chelsea leaves the issue bubbling the longer we can expect a spell in the domestic and European wilderness.

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