Chelsea are playing Russian roulette again.
Owner Roman Abramovich has sacked Roberto Di Matteo. The man who managed the team to Champions League glory last May.
The man who was only ever a stop gap appointment in the eyes of the wealthy and trigger happy owner.
The 8th manager of Chelsea Football club in just nine years.
So who would want to go to Chelsea?
Well lots of people actually. After all, you get paid a fortune. You don’t have to plan long term. And you will continue to be paid your contract in full after Roman Abramovich has fired you. Managers will be queuing up to take such a job. In their place, I would not be in that queue.
Call me old fashioned, but I have always tried to only work for men I respect.
Ambramovich rarely has the character to sack managers personally. He usually gets his powerful PA to do that. Or his long suffering Chairman Bruce Buck. Or Chief Executive Ron Gourlay. Anyone but himself. All money and no class, that’s Roman.
As many have remarked today, and to quote Oscar Wilde: (Ambramovich) knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Abramovich is the man who thought Fernando Torres was worth 50 million pounds. The indulgence of a crazy man.
Abramovich was the man who was wrong to dispense with the services of Ray Wilkins as coach, while manager Carlo Ancelotti was in Italy attending the funeral of his own father.
Ancelotti had no warning. Ray Wilkins was the first to tell the then manager that he’d have to find another assistant.
There’s no fool like a rich fool!
I don’t need Chelsea fans, many of whom I went to school with, to tell me that it’s thanks to his money that they have won League titles and the Champions League. I know that. I also know that, like a rich guy playing fantasy football, Abramovich wants to see his team play attacking, attractive football. I know that he wants Fernando Torres in the team, and not on the bench.
After all, he paid a small fortune for him. Though to Abramovich, it was loose change. Relatively speaking.
Best I don’t get started on Torres. Who, incidentally, while crying to his purchaser over being dropped for the 3-0 defeat at Juventus last night, will not exactly be jumping for joy should Rafa Benitez be manager at Chelsea before the end of the week. The pair fell out in their latter days together at Liverpool.
But whoever takes over this semi-permanent position, he will have to play Torres up front. Or trade him for a genuinely prolific striker in January.
Abramovich has been chasing former Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola around the world, waving an ever increasing offer in front of his eyes. Pep Guardiola is a class act as a person and as a manager. I would love it should he tell Roman he cannot be bought at any price.
But, football being what it is these days, I expect Guardiola will be giving Chelsea players a ‘Pep’ talk sooner or later.
Player power is rife at Chelsea. Owner power understandably rules supreme.
Indeed the manager is in the weakest position of all at Stamford Bridge.
Whoever he is, he will be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Between overpaid egos and one very rich and impatient man.
It’s not an impossible job. You can win the League title and, come the end of May, you can win the Champions League.
Just don’t expect to still be in the job six months later.