Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Quest for the Holy Grail taken to a new level

Apart from the joy of football, every club in the world has one thing in common – to be successful.

To have their name in bright lights, carved into the history books for the rest of the world to see. People will do almost anything to achieve success, whether it is by buying the best players or hiring the best managers. What do people want after taking their first bite out of the success cake? They want even more success.

However, what follows is greed, jealousy and lust. But there are some people who relish and crave all of that. Namely Mr. Roman Abramovich.

Abramovich took over Chelsea Football Club 8 years ago and has been the sole reason as to why The Blues have been so successful. The Russian businessman has continuously plunged money by the lorry load into the club, and they have gone on to win 8 major trophies since his tenure started.

However, all 8 of the major trophies have come in England. 3 league titles, 2 FA Cups and 2 League Cups to be precise. Despite spending approximately £600 million on Chelsea since his arrival, they have yet to win a competition in Europe. Their sole aim to win the Champions League hasn’t been accomplished yet.

It’s the one box that remains un-ticked.

Mr Abramovich has tried everything. He brought in Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, who have both won the Champions League with previous clubs. But both managers ultimately failed in bringing the Champions League to Chelsea. In between these two was, Luiz Felipe Scolari – a World Cup winning coach. Scolari was appointed, and sacked after 6 months. With the exception of Mourinho, who left by mutual consent, the other two were sacked for not winning anything, or not being in a quick fix position to challenge for anything. The price of failure is ridiculously costly.

Roman Abramovich is well known for being quick to pull the trigger to sack his managers. However, he’s also quick to pull the cheque book out to sign players, strikers in particular. Here are a few to reel off: Anelka £15 million. Drogba £24 million. Shevchenko £30 million. Torres £50 million. On these four alone, that’s £119 million pounds. £119 million pounds on four human beings!

Yet, that still didn’t get him what he wanted.

Notably, the fact Chelsea lost the 2008 Champions League final. It simply couldn’t have been made up. The final was being held in Moscow, a place Abramovich calls home and it was the trophy he has craved ever since he bought Chelsea. Furthermore, Abramovich had his ‘yes man’ manager in Avram Grant. Chelsea were also against their arch rivals, Manchester United. It was supposed to be Chelsea’s day, yet no one sent Cristiano Ronaldo or Edwin Van der Sar the script.

Chelsea haven’t been back to a Champions League final since.

The failure in the Champions League or in other campaigns have not stopped Abramovich from splashing the cash. Torres was bought for £50 million in January, but has only mustered a meagre one goal in 14 league games. This has led Abramovich to completely reform the Chelsea staff, both coaching and playing. Tottenham’s Luka Modric has been pinpointed as the man to get Torres to score again. Romelu Lukaku and Neymar have also been linked, and guess what positions these two play? Striker! Of these two, Lukaku seems a more viable acquisition, and the club are in talks with him.

News has broken out that Andre Villas-Boas has been appointed, at the cost of about €15 million (£13.2 million) and the expectation levels will be even higher for him following another seemingly huge shopping trip. What adds to the pressure is whether or not he can match or better what the last bloke who went from Porto to Chelsea. You know; that guy who wears a scarf and a beautiful coat – goes by the name of Jose?

Carlo Ancelotti’s dismissal sends a clear message. The message reads - win the lot or be sacked.

The quest for the Holy Grail has been taken to a whole new level.

This piece was written by Christian Brown, you can follow him on his Twitter - @Chris78901, Chris also writes for Football Speak too. All of Chris' work is on his blog, 1-chris78901.

Things you may like to read

The Eternal Struggle -

Why Chelsea must drop Fernando Torres if they are to have any chance of success this season -

An odd Champions League statistic -

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