Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Where Now Roman? Frank Lampard?

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Our Technical Director has run away, we’re at a crossroads, only Super Frank can fill the vacuum.
Michael Emanelo’s sudden departure was surprising in its timing. There were reports that he was considering his future at the club towards the end this summer’s hugely embarrassing attempts to recruit transfer targets, but to leave with immediate effect in the run-up to January’s transfer window seems to reflect the perception of the Nigerian amongst fans, that he was offering Chelsea a shambolic appreciation of his role.

There are suggestions that key figures at the club, including Roman, tried to convince Emanelo to stay, and a number of club sources are attempting to highlight the great work he did for us over the past decade, from overseeing the scouting and recruitment network both domestically and overseas to the key signings of Eden Hazard, César Azpilicueta, Kevin De Bruyne and Lukaku, the latter two, of course, who were allowed to leave!

Journalists supposedly ‘in the know’ have talked recently of the ‘Kremlinology’ that exists at Chelsea under Roman. This casually xenophobic suggestion presumes that, because Roman is Russian and has ties to Putin, he therefore runs our club in the same way that the Kremlin has been functioning over the years, with constant battles for power amongst the underlings and with a firm and sometimes unfair ruling from upon high. This, of course, hints at a constant struggle for power under Roman and that appointments within the club are based on a political rather than a talent driven process.

We have to admit that the Board and Roman have handled the unique talent that is Antonio Conte poorly since we claimed the Premiership title in May of this year. While Conte’s use of text message to inform Costa of his future at the club was unfortunate and clearly a mistake, you’d think that an institution such as Chelsea FC, with ambitions to be the very best in the world, might have had the reactive abilities to seek out Diego and speak to him about the message he received from his manager. Regardless, however great Diego was for us, his last season at the club – especially after January – was problematic both in terms of form and his increasing desire to leave.

All of these things – Emanelo’s brilliance when it came to Eden’s signing, an outstanding youth set up that has seen Ruben Loftus-Cheek come through the ranks to claim a legitimate place in an England World Cup team, right through to the Nigerian’s part in the hopeless, misguided, and frankly lower-league approach to our transfer negotiations in the summer, and other transfer windows, suggest a change must be made in the club’s management structure.

Of course, Marina Granovskaia is yet to be considered here. Marina’s increasing influence at the club should surely be questioned, especially as she has ultimate responsibility for transfers being signed off and that Antonio was left exacerbated by his desire to strengthen the squad for an attack on all four fronts – an attack that now looks utterly impossible.

Granovskaia has clearly failed recently, not just in the summer, but also in her overall management of player recruitment. She oversaw signings such as Papy Djilobodji from Nantes and other failures. While no club is immune from bringing in players who turn out to be inept, we’ve suffered from some poor transfer decisions in recent years. Most notably, our baffling decisions that saw De Bryne, Lakuku and others sold, at a profit, but without the ability to foresee their innate talent and future value to the team.

When Roman first took over he attempted to convince Franco Zola to stay with us, perhaps not for what he saw in him as a managerial option, but for his presence, his essential iconic status at the club. With JT’s recent departure, and other recent exits involving key characters formally essential to the identity of Chelsea, it’s surely time to consider those icons that have shaped our recent history.

Drogba, Lampard and even Franco himself are or will be available soon, and its Frank that stands out in particular.

Lampard is clearly an intelligent man, his understanding of modern football is apparent, especially evident in his recent TV appreances, during which he displayed the kind of calm, considered opinion that our recruitment process so sorely needs.

Frank loves Chelsea, all of us fans love him too, his knowledge of the game is surely enough to provide Roman with the ideal candidate to fill the vacuum left by an individual who tried his best, but was never really proper Chels’.

Theo Boyce – Former Chelsea youth team player, journalist and communications consultant – Its never been easy, being a Chelsea fan. I’ve always found myself offering unprompted clarification when speaking to people about football that I stood in The Shed when we were a largely directionless, shambolic club. (When we were shit,) that I used to play for Chelsea’s youth team (when we were shit) and that I simply chose Chelsea as a young kid because we were down the road from me when I was growing up (when we were shit.) I live Chelsea Football Club because I love my team with a passion.

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