It appears there’s an element of the blind leading the blind at Chelsea.
A little bit of blindness in the boardroom because Todd Boehly and his people haven’t got the experience yet and a little bit of blindness in the dugout because, as Graham Potter has quickly discovered, managing Chelsea is very different to Brighton.
It’s like managing a supermarket after running a newsagents. With respect to Tony Bloom and Brighton, there wasn’t a clamour for Potter to be sacked every time they lost or to explain why he wasn’t out of his depth when the team played poorly. He was always going to face that scrutiny at Chelsea….CONTINUE READING
But who educates the uneducated? You can’t buy experience, you can’t borrow experience and you can’t pretend you’ve got experience.
Experienced or not, the aim of any club owner – yes, I’m banging on about owners again – is to bring in someone to arrest problems, not create them. Unfortunately for Boehly, Potter is creating problems. He doesn’t know what to do with the players he’s got and doesn’t know what to do with the environment he’s in yet.
You’ve got to be pragmatic when hiring a manager. You’ve got to ask yourself: What have I really got here?
I’m not entirely sure Boehly and his guys really thought that through when making their first managerial appointment at this juggernaut of a club.
Potter spoke last week about his mental health and death threats and how difficult it is to manage such a big squad. He shouldn’t be talking like that.
He should be talking about fixing the problem, the challenges he faces with certain players, why he hasn’t got a centre forward and why he’s changing his team left, right and centre.
Ultimately though, it appears Boehly appointed someone who, to coin a popular phrase, wasn’t oven ready for the job. As the owner, you don’t want to admit you made a mistake because when you fire somebody, it’s as much a failing of you as it is them.
I knew I shouldn’t have employed Peter Taylor at Crystal Palace and the team disappeared into mediocrity. Peter was a funny guy who did a great Norman Wisdom impression, I just didn’t want him doing it in my dugout every Saturday. I abdicated responsibility, I hoped.
The moment you start hoping you’re in trouble – and that’s potentially where Boehly is now.
Let’s not forget we’re in unchartered territory here. This is Boehly-nomics.. No one’s ever bought a football club for £2.5billion. No one’s ever pledged a further £1.75bn on top, spent £600million on new players and put them on eight-year contracts.
Everything’s different so there is a possibility that Boehly won’t go down the traditional route – as Roman Abramovich would have with a Nero-esque thumbs down – and bow to the myth that managers can’t turn it around but very rarely does conventional wisdom get superseded by the new.
Chelsea have given Potter an embarrassment of riches but the cart’s in front of the horse. The manager has to embrace what’s there and improve it, rather than the club improving the manager. That’s bonkers, the manager needs to improve the club!
As an owner you must not abdicate responsibility from the truth. You’ll know when a manager’s time is up. I knew with Trevor Francis. The only two things keeping him up was me and his suit and when I fired him he was relieved.. It has to be their strength of character leading the club not yours.
Neil Warnock once called after a heavy defeat and said: ‘F****** hell chairman, I don’t know what to do anymore.’ I told him I should be worried but I’m not because I’ve got you. That’s ok if you do it once but no more.
There are mitigating factors. Potter was appointed mid-season and only had five months. He’s had to deal with injuries and integrating new signings but surely new brooms sweep the cleanest? Surely Chelsea expected better than this?
They must be having reservations now. They must be thinking this is not where we thought we’d be. We didn’t buy a football club to be knocked out of every competition, sit 10th in the league and listen to background noise about how little we know.
There’s a small window of opportunity for Potter to address this but if Chelsea keep stinking the place out and lose to Leeds on Saturday and get knocked out of the Champions League, then he really is in trouble.
Besides funding the club, an owner’s most important role is who you hire and when you fire them. My attitude to firing managers when their time came was: ‘I don’t know how we’re going to get along without you but as from Monday we’ll try.’
It’s ruthless but there’s no place for sentiment.
If Chelsea think his time is up then get it done. If you have doubts, confront them, confront the reality of what you’re looking at objectively, take personal pride out of it and make a bloody decision. If you still believe it’s going to turn, stick with him. But the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.
Are Boehly-nomics really going to reach as far as inordinate tolerance for a manager clearly floundering? The problem with giving people time when you can see it’s not working is you are delaying the inevitable and obviating responsibility.
The football mafia gang up and demand people are given more time but that’s self-serving, self-perpetuating nonsense. It’s fine if you’re taking steps forward but if you’re not, you’re only making things worse.
It’s not the American way to stick with someone because they were your appointment. The American way is cutting clean. If Chelsea don’t perform in the next four games, the recommendation must move towards amputation.
Benn wants to sue? Preposterous!
Conor Benn’s suggestion that he is going to sue boxing chiefs is preposterous. Suggesting there is an agenda against him because his dad, Nigel once tore up his boxing licence is nonsense.
You failed two drugs tests Conor. You tried to build a case around the fact there was contamination and bad practice in testing regimes which is also nonsense.
That was booted out and now eggs in his diet is considered a reasonable defence —and we find out that was introduced into the equation by the World Boxing Council. Are they his defence lawyers now?
So who runs boxing? Is it the promoter, followed by the fighter, followed by the media and then at the bottom of the pile, the governing body, the people you pay the least amount of attention to.
How can that be right? You’ve got the promoter calling the sport’s general secretary a bulls*****r and you’ve got the fighter who has come up with the ruse of suing the governing body.
I’m torn because I’d like Conor to exonerate himself but who failed the bleeding tests?
Ambition is no longer taboo… about time too
I see Amanda Staveley was predicting the future at Wembley about how Newcastle would be back to win the Carabao Cup, FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League.
There was a time when that was taboo.
It was considered unnecessary expectation and pressure. But I don’t have a problem with it. When Palace were relegated I wouldn’t let Andy Johnson leave, kept the squad together and supplemented it with signings and then had the audacity to say I expected to win the league.
The media went potty and the football fraternity were outraged — apparently it was ridiculously unnecessary of me to utter such things. No one’s saying that now about Staveley —and I think it’s great…..CONTINUE READING