Thursday, May 16, 2013

Eight facts

This Chelsea phenomenon is very peculiar.

It is now ten years since Abrahamovic took over, purchasing the club with a total investment of approx £140 million. With their success last night, they have now won eleven trophies in that period, including the Champions League and the Premiership three times. This is an admirable record, despite all the begrudgery.

Fact 1 – money can buy success.

Looking a little further back, it the ten years preceding Abrahamovic’s involvement, they won four trophies – more than Spurs, Everton and Leeds on a combined basis for the same period (Everton – one FA Cup; Spurs - one League Cup). Their victories in this period included the European Cup Winners Cup.

Fact 2 – some of the groundwork was done by the earlier owners and management.

Fact 3 – Chelsea have lorded it over the rest of us for longer than we might want to admit. Our criticism of them buying success may not have deep foundations.

Last night they won the Europa League, a competition they unilaterally derided a few months back, before they were ignominiously dumped into it by Juventus and Shaktar Donetz, two of the current powerhouses in European football. If they claim following yesterday’s victory that they are the first club to hold both European trophies at the same time, they are overlooking the fact that they are also the first Champions League winners to end their defence before the knock-out stages.

Fact 4 – they only sing when they’re winning. Once a meaningless competition, the Europa League now has them swinging from the crossbars.

Fact 5 – Spurs went out of the Europa League in the quarter-finals and Everton didn’t qualify.

Let’s then look at their management, and focus on Chelsea’s infatuation with Mourinho and vice versa. On his part, I suspect the loyalty is to Abramamovic’s billions (on the basis that he’s easily parted with portions of it) and not to the investment bankers who block-book the seats at Stamford Bridge.

But what of the supporters belief that no-one else can do the managerial job for them? Shades of the adoration Fergie has at United but built upon 39 months engagement rather than 312. Since Mourinho left - less than six years ago - there have been eight managers if we include Butch Wilkins who took charge for one game. And we know what happened to him.

Fact 6 – neither loyalty nor patience are a prevalent trait at Chelsea.

There is no doubt that Mourinho did well during his first period there but in reality how well?

To analyse this I assign points to the winning of various trophies and games as follows:

Winning the Champions League - 50 points

Winning the Premier League - 30 points

Wining the Europa League - 20

Wining the FA Cup - 10 points

Winning the League Cup - 7 points

Winning a Premiership game - 3 points

Drawing a Premiership game - 1 point

We then apply that to the remaining seven Chelsea managers and the following league table emerges:

Manager - games in charge – points for CL - points for PL - points for EL - points for FAC - points for LC - points for league wins - points for league draws

De Matteo - 42 - 50 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 10 - 0 - 72 - 9 Total 141 average per game 3.35

Mourinho - 185 0 - 60 - 0 - 10 - 7 - 372 - 40 Total - 489 - average per game 2.65

Hiddink 22 0 - 0 - 0 - 10 - 0 - 48 - 5 Total 53 average per game 2.40

Benitez 48 0 - 0 - 20 - 0 - 0 - 81 - 10 Total 111 average per game 2.31

Ancelloti 109 - 0 - 30 - 0 - 10 - 0 - 201 - 20 - Total 251 average per game 2.30

Grant 54 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 108 - 13 Total 121 average per game 2.24

Scholari 36 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 60 - 11 Total 71 average per game 1.97

Villa-Boas 40 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 57 - 11 Total 68 average per game 1.7

Thus Roberto de Matteo is Chelsea’s most successful manager or - if the credit for the Champions League win is allocated over a complete season - AVB might lift himself off the bottom of the table.

Fact 7 – Jose Mourinho’s record as Chelsea manager is not significantly better than that for others who succeeded him and is bettered by Roberto de Matteo.

Fact 8 – While Chelsea continually want more from their managers, Spurs appear to be willing to settle for mediocrity. Spurs have spent this season giving credit to AVB for what he has achieved (and this included two manager of the month awards) and his record is essentially the same as what he got canned for at Chelsea.

AVB at Chelsea 40 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 57 - 11 Total 68 average per game 1.7

AVB at Spurs 53 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 78 - 16 Total 94 average per game 1.77

Irrespective of my irrelevant argument and logic, the Special One will come marching into the Bridge one day very soon and the Chelsea fans will smile again. It is opportune that it will occur at a time when Manyoo and ManCitee will also have new managers – Mourinho might be able to capitalise on the upheaval at the Manchester clubs and push Chelsea back into the position their money deserves.

Surely jumping up and down about the Europa League shouldn't be keeping a club like this happy for too long.

Friday, May 3, 2013

It could be worse

Look, I know we've got to stump up again with the Property Tax this month, and it has been a succession of cuts to the aorta over the last few years but we need to remember it could be a lot worse.  We could be living in Belgium.

Belgium - at the heart of Europe politically yet unable to form a Government of its' own for long periods of time - a country which ranks Audrey Hepburn among it's top ten natives, which appears to have an unhealthy number of child abusers - outside of the clergy, whose inhabitants consistently look sickly and disinterested in life, and whose second most popular tourist attraction after the Grande Place is a statue of a little boy pissing (refer to earlier point). 

Not got much going for it this place, despite the low taxes (?) and the high employment.  I'd rather be signing on down in Werburgh Street, which actually is the way I'm going these days.

Always look on the bright side of life.