Saturday, September 22, 2007

Special One can’t coach in England and why Chelsea lost the plot

Tottenham fans will just have to sign and Jol over. Even if the post at White Hart Lane were open, Jose Mourinho has agreed not to return to the Premiership until next season as part of his multi-million pound settlement with Chelsea.

It must appear I am obsessed with this story, and to some degree I am. I am still shocked at the idiocy of it all. Maybe it’s just my failure to understand Russian businessmen or the arrogance of the super rich. Maybe I just liked Mourinho and didn’t want to see him leave. I would sure like to know to what degree Avram Grant actively undermined Jose Mourinho to get his job. Maybe I am just a conspiracy theorist, I don’t know.

One thing I do know is that if Mourinho cannot take another job in the Premier League until next season, then it means Chelsea think he’ll return to haunt them. If so it means they know what they had in their hands and save for the inability of an owner to let the man do his job, he was the Special One. Chelsea have the richest owner, but he can’t manage the club. If Mourinho went to another Premiership club and beat them, well, you can just see the white handkerchiefs from the crowd now.

Look at it this way: you own a Formula 1 team, and you hire a designer who designs a world-beating car and brings you 2 World Championships in 2 years. Then, you tell the designer the car was not pretty enough and you wanted a more attractive car. So, good soldier you designer is, tries to do it, but in the process you see him turning inside out as two things start to happen: he starts to betray his principles and starts to feel like his effort so far was not good enough.
Can you think of a more corrosive force?

What manager on earth says to himself “hey, I am going to play attractive football and once my team does that, I am going to try and get results”?? None. And that’s why Roman Abramovich should sell Chelsea because he’ll never succeed being the hands on owner that he is.

Good management means hiring good people and letting them be creative and getting results with their quirks intact.

The problem with having the best manager in the world is that your owner and fans start to take winning for granted and assume trophies. While Abramovich probably reasoned that since his team was good enough, they could loosen the ropes and play more attractive –you know, step it up another level. It doesn’t work that way: a team has a certain character and you accept it for what it is. Another level is not necessarily another level.

The best example I can think of is Bolton. When Sammy Lee took over, he said he wanted to see more attractive football, but what he’s gotten is a slew of players who have forgotten the basics. Sammy Lee went for attractive rather than results, assuming he already had a good team. He did. But the focus was lost and that is what happened to Chelsea when the king proclaimed he wanted something prettier, what he got was a mess.



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Anonymous Anonymous said...


9/22/2007 2:16 PM  
Anonymous NYSpursFan said...

It's fairly standard to have a non-compete clause in a contract like this, stipulating that you cannot work for a competitor for one year. He's being compensated, so that satisfies the spirit of the non-compete as well (that is, Chelsea is not depriving him of his ability to make a living). With his kids in school and settled in London, it's hard to predict exactly what he'll do next. He doesn't seem like the type who would sit on the beach for a year writing his memoirs.

9/22/2007 2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Jose Mourinho has agreed not to return to the Premiership until next season as part of his multi-million pound settlement with Chelsea."

There is no unimpeachable source for this.

9/22/2007 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chelsea are still paying him. He negotiated that - he could have walked out with nothing instead. In return for the 12m or wht evere he should be working for them. He could even be asked to clean toilets as far as I am concerned.
However to be told to work elsewhere and not in the UK seems pretty reasonable to me.

9/22/2007 7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great, chelsea will now provide the comedic value to this football season :D
Poor club, abramovic will get all he has sown now.

9/22/2007 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guy, you have spoken my mind and the minds of millions of Chelsea FC fans and business managers. Roman Abrahimovic should sell off Chelsea and RUN OFF! HE WANTS TO END THE COMPETITION & FUN IN THE EPL.

10/02/2007 2:43 PM  

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