How Low Can Carlo Go?

A month ago, you’d be locked up in the loony bin, for suggesting any other club’s name but Chelsea’s for the Premier League title. Today, the loony bin has effectively set up shop at Stamford Bridge. Erstwhile-king of all things Blue, and architect of Chelsea’s all-conquering double last season, Carlo Ancelotti is now well and truly staring down the barrel of a gun.


Loose Ends

The reasons for Chelsea’s stunning reversal of fortunes and its rapid decline down the standings have been dissected to no end – with Russian owner Roman Abramovich taking most of the flak. The reclusive billionaire’s been torn to shreds for having held on to his petrodollars in the summer instead of fortifying the team’s ranks, for having sold off the deadweights without proper replacements, and for allegedly having shown Assistant Coach Ray Wilkins the door. Roman’s contributions in the shambolic proceedings may be undeniable, but the incessant harping on it only serves to let another equally culpable personality off the hook. Carlo Ancelotti, once Chelsea’s knight in shining armor, is now its weakest link. That the Blues have had to make do with a second-string side for the most of November is on public record, but something not quite so evident is that it was Ancelotti’s touch of lead that sank the team without even the slightest trace or even a semblance of a fight back this nauseous November.

chelsea boss carlo ancelotti FA Barclays Premiership. Chelsea v Everton. 04.12.10 Photo By Karl Winter Fotosports International Photo via Newscom
No high-fives for Carlo

Of Aged Mind And Broken Spirit

Ancelotti may be relatively younger than some of his contemporaries in the Barclays Premier League, but the Italian’s thought processes are gradually beginning to resemble those of someone who’s reached the frustrating end of his career. One might infer, with Ancelotti’s purchase of the talentless Ramires, that Roman did see fit to hand 22 million Euros to his manager. How Ancelotti squandered that on the purchase of this Brazilian substitute will one day be recited at The Shed End as a sorry example of fiscal imprudence.

Most clubs have had their share of duds in the transfer windows, and most managers have had the cojones to admit their failings and move on. Not good ol’ Carlo, though. The Italian, who lives in  his own personal universe sponging off the remnants of hope he still carries, believes that if he repeats a lie long enough, it might just turn out to be the truth. Cue the continued presence in the side of quite possibly the worst player in Chelsea’s recent history. In a midfield bereft of the midfield stalwarts Frank Lampard and Michael Essien, Carlo Ancelotti inexplicably chose to play Ramires despite it being evident to even the most naïve Chelsea fan, that you’d get more football out of a soggy spring roll than you would from Ramires.

Josh… Darn it!

In a league that celebrates its physicality, Carlo Ancelotti continues to risk the life of his only purchase in the summer when it is abundantly clear the Brazilian has neither the physique nor the venom to last a minute on English soil. Josh McEachran who costs the club next to nothing, and knocks the socks off viewers every time he plays, remains inexplicably on the bench. Carlo Ancelotti, ignoring the talented youngster, insists on committing hara-kiri on the field fielding a midfield whose strongest player is the unreliable John Obi Mikel.

The Oxford-born McEachran who sparked Chelsea’s renaissance in the Carling Cup game against Newcastle United, and nearly won the game for the Blues in collaboration with Anelka, towers over the players Ancelotti chooses to repose his faith in. If you were tempted to play the youngster, on the strength of his earlier performance against the Magpies, you’d fall under the majority. Carlo Ancelotti however, does not. Josh McEachran saw no action against a team he clearly rattled the last time around.

Chelsea v Sunderland, Premier League 14/11/2010 Jordan Henderson of Sunderland in action with Ramires of Chelsea  Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom
Kenyan Blues

Un Empereur Sans Vêtements

In the absence of Ray Wilkins, Carlo Ancelotti’s failures in team selection have come to the fore, and the chubby Italian has no place to run to. Whether this marks Carlo’s exposure as a one-trick pony who only managed to salvage his Premier League campaign last season thanks to an injury to Rooney, remains to be seen. One thing’s for certain : expect the whispers to get louder, of last season having been more United’s loss than Chelsea’s win.

Nowhere was Ancelotti’s meandering mentality more evident, than in the game against Everton, where the defending champions went 1-0 up undeservedly courtesy an embarrassing dive by a clueless Anelka. Rather than see if for the godsend that it was, Ancelotti rung in the changes after the hour’s mark, bringing in one weaklink after another in the form of Ferreira, and yes you guessed it, Ramires. With both the late entrants operating on the right flank, and Essien roving up front, little wonder then Everton’s equalizer came off a superbly lofted ball on the right.

Ancelotti’s griping about not being in charge a la Ferguson is more reminiscent of that of the eternally complaining Rafael Benitez. It’s hard to demand more power for Carlo, when what he does with the little power he already possesses is seemingly either misguided or counter-productive. Ancelotti’s tactical substitutions under duress are not befitting the stature of the club, the inherent desire to win, nor does it justify the enormous paycheck he draws. Ancelotti, like a man defeated, seems to have given up.

Final Call – Before Departure

Having been constantly out-thought by fellow countryman Mancini at Manchester City, and presiding over the worst home defeat for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in ages, and then trying to seek solace in successive draws to lesser opposition, Carlo Ancelotti has exhausted his bag of tricks. The faithful are gradually beginning to see their patience wear thin and Ancelotti could well find himself out of a job, and without the adoration of millions at West London he commanded just one season ago.

After the loss to Manchester City, had some trigger-happy journalist called for his head, millions would’ve rallied around the Italian. That wellspring of support has long drained away. Should the game against arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur end in what seems to be an inevitable heavy defeat for the Blues against Bale and co., the Italian might just find few people willing to stick their necks on the line for him. And Chelsea FC might just end up effecting its latest managerial change.

Un Empereur Sans Vêtements

In the absence of Ray Wilkins, Carlo Ancelotti’s failures in team selection have come to the fore, and the chubby Italian has no place to run to. Whether this marks Carlo’s exposure as a one-trick pony who only managed to salvage his Premier League campaign last season thanks to an injury to Rooney, remains to be seen. One thing’s for certain : expect the whispers to get louder, of last season having been more United’s loss than Chelsea’s win.

Nowhere was Ancelotti’s meandering mentality more evident, than in the game against Newcastle United, where the defending champions went 1-0 up undeservedly courtesy an embarrassing dive by a clueless Anelka. Rather than see if for the godsend that it was, Ancelotti rung in the changes after the hour’s mark, bringing in one weaklink after another in the form of Ferreira, and yes you guessed it, Ramires. With both the late entrants operating on the right flank, and Essien roving up front, little wonder then Everton’s equalizer came off a superbly lofted ball on the right. Ancelotti’s griping about not being in charge a la Ferguson is more reminiscent of that of the eternally complaining Rafael Benitez. It’s hard to demand more power for Carlo, when what he does with the little power he already possesses is seemingly either misguided or counter-productive. Ancelotti’s tactical substitutions under duress are not befitting the stature of the club, the inherent desire to win, nor does it justify the enormous paycheck he draws. Ancelotti, like a man defeated, seems to have given up.

Final Call – Before Departure

Having been constantly out-thought by fellow countryman Mancini at Manchester City, and presiding over the worst home defeat for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in ages, and then trying to seek solace in successive draws to lesser opposition, Carlo Ancelotti has exhausted his bag of tricks. The faithful are gradually beginning to see their patience wear thin and Ancelotti could well find himself out of a job, and without the adoration of millions at West London he commanded just one season ago.
After the loss to Manchester City, had some trigger-happy journalist called for his head, millions would’ve rallied around the Italian. That wellspring of support has long drained away. Should the game against arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur end in what seems to be an inevitable heavy defeat for the Blues against Bale and co., the Italian might just find few people willing to stick their necks on the line for him. And Chelsea FC might just end up effecting its latest managerial change.

16 Responses to “How Low Can Carlo Go?”

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  1. Howard Roark says:

    A man who had won Chelsea its first EVER double in his first season in England, now deserves this after what? A poor month of football for the club. A bad run of form that has lasted for as little as 5 games, warrants fans calling for his head.

    My dear fellow “Blue”, had you removed your short-sighted glasses and cared to look beyond 2-3 seasons, you would have acknowledged a few facts.

    1) Alex Ferguson has been in his Old Trafford job for 24 years, but he did not win a thing for the first five. Had United fired him, there would be no United as we know them today.

    2) All those Gooners who have left no stone unturned for criticizing their poor performers (read Almunia, Fabianski) stop way before calling for Wenger’s head; yes, this despite not winning any damn thing in the last five years. Instead they say, “In Wenger We Trust.”

    3) Liverpool, for all its glorious history, heavily underachieved under Rafa, with the team that they had. Their only solace was that fateful night in Istanbul. Yet, it took five years for the fans and the management to finally disown and fire Rafa. They gave the Spaniard every chance to redeem himself.

    But, we fickle minded Blues, can’t even give Carlo 5 game. 5 forking games. Then, we say Roman Abramovich is an impatient man. We define hypocrisy.

    We, at Chelsea should crave for stability, for someone to take the bull by its horns and make this high pressure job his own. Yet, the fans want the club to emulate Newcastle United.

    I will now try to answer sections in your article that are crying out for a reply.

    “The reclusive billionaire’s been torn to shreds for having held on to his petrodollars in the summer instead of fortifying the team’s ranks, for having sold off the deadweights without proper replacements, and for allegedly having shown Assistant Coach Ray Wilkins the door.”

    – We give this to the man who saved Chelsea from emminent bankruptcy, Who transformed this club that we “love” from one that underachieved to a force to be reckoned with in world football, who jumps in joy and recedes in sadness while sitting in his Stamford Bridge seat, who converted all the debt on the club to shares so that the financial burden on the club is reduced, who is not just an owner but is a fan.

    Some fans are still in denial – they blame the Russian for not spending as much as he did in his initial years, but fail to accept the reality. The club is yearning for self-sustainability and the owner understands this. If we keep spending his “petrodollars”, then your god knows that CFC will cease to feature in Champions League. People have to understand that we will no longer spend that kind of money and it is for the good of the club.

    “In a midfield bereft of the midfield stalwarts Frank Lampard and Michael Essien, Carlo Ancelotti inexplicably chose to play Ramires despite it being evident to even the most naïve Chelsea fan, that you’d get more football out of a soggy spring roll than you would from Ramires.”

    – There would be no Blue who is still breathing who will say that Ramires has been good, but there are still a few who understand that the nature of this league is tough for foreigners – especially for a midfielder. They can take as much as 1-2 years for settling down here and the Brazilian who is just 23 now has time on his hands. He has been poor, in fact very poor, but soggy spring roll – my friend, that he doesn’t deserve presently. You have labelled him a failure too soon. If he does not improve by the time this season ends, we can then bring out the daggers.

    “Italian has no place to run to. Whether this marks Carlo’s exposure as a one-trick pony who only managed to salvage his Premier League campaign last season thanks to an injury to Rooney, remains to be seen.”

    – Man United 1-2 Chelsea, Chelsea 1-0 Man United, Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal, Arsenal 0-3 Chelsea, Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea, and Chelsea 2-0 Liverpool, were the results last season against the rivals. A double against all top rivals. So much for being a one-trick pony. And, as far as I remember, Rooney featured and missed just two games out of six.

    When his preferred midfield diamond was not working for his last season, he was practical enough to switch back to a 4-3-3 formation, which suited the Blues.

    “Ancelotti, like a man defeated, seems to have given up.”

    – The same man who has apparently “given up” avenged the Istanbul defeat, by defeating the same opposition, at the same stage of the same competititon. The Italian, was a midfielder known for his exceptional game reading skills and was rated for his tactical prowess. A man who gives up easily or who is a one trick pony, does not win 4 Champions League medals – 2 as a coach and 2 as a player.

    “Having been constantly out-thought by fellow countryman Mancini at Manchester City, and presiding over the worst home defeat for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in ages, and then trying to seek solace in successive draws to lesser opposition, Carlo Ancelotti has exhausted his bag of tricks. The faithful are gradually beginning to see their patience wear thin and Ancelotti could well find himself out of a job, and without the adoration of millions at West London he commanded just one season ago.

    After the loss to Manchester City, had some trigger-happy journalist called for his head, millions would’ve rallied around the Italian. That wellspring of support has long drained away. Should the game against arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur end in what seems to be an inevitable heavy defeat for the Blues against Bale and co., the Italian might just find few people willing to stick their necks on the line for him. And Chelsea FC might just end up effecting its latest managerial change.”

    – Those who are gradually beginning to see their patience wear thin are not FAITHFULS, sorry if I broke your bubble. They are just people who are fair-weather fans, who boo their own team at their own ground, who call for the head of their coach after FIVE poor games, who cannot see beyond a few years.

    In all your generalisations, you have forgotten to take into account the ‘other’ fans. Those who still will stick their neck out for their gaffer. Those who are willing to give him time to build his legacy. Those who are not fickle minded to call for his head depite being engulfed in a wave of sadness cause of their team’s poor form. Those whose support only increase by reading pieces like this. Those who live for the club, and not just for the success.

    Moreover, if one despises the owner, has no respect or patience for the manager, despises most of the players, and is not ready to support the club though such extremely tough times, I wonder what is left for one to support to call oneself a fan.

    Anyway, I’ve said enough.

    – A hurt Blue.

  2. Parth Pandya says:

    Being a Rossoneri for as long as I have known football, I can say this with some authority that the man you guys presently are managed by, is a born genius. If at all, there is somebody who can make this London side a consistently winning unit, it is this man.

    What I do not understand is, why are you guys so tempted with an idea of one manager after the other? Or is it that overhaul for the sake of it temporarily pleases you people, even though it assures inevitable long term wounds! I mean 16 managers in 18 years and still you ask for more. Pardon my choice of words, but this is insane.

    Regarding Ancelotti, he is a man of character and it is needless to strenghthen his case by bragging about his managerial exploits. In the man, we have trusted for more than two decades – both as player and manager – and we still pass the blame to Berlusconi and Galliani for not having managed to retain him. Yes, you heard it right, even after losing the CL spot for the 2008-09 season.

    The team is never made up of the trophies in the kitty, it is remembered and revered in the longer run for the bond it shared under a quality leadership and for a bond to be developed, let the guy have enough time. Seriously, this is one thing to be learnt from the Mancs and Gooners.

    At the end of it, I once again reiterate, at some real good fortune of a club, a manager of Carlo’s character is found and to let him go only because the club believes in practising absurd, is so typically Chelseasqie – I would say.

    Better hold your acts together for this time, and remember, This man is better than your Mourinho. Yes, I dare say it and let’s keep it at that.

  3. NotCarlo says:

    NOWHERE is the author calling for Ancelotti’s dismissal. He’s just saying Carlo’s position is in deep trouble.

    I think so too. Lose to Spurs and Roman might kick Carlo out.

  4. NotCarlo says:

    @ Howard – Read the line about Abramovich again. There’s a DIFFERENCE between reporting that “someone’s been torn to shreds” and actually tearing someone to shreds.

  5. BlueFan says:

    I have enough respect for CA…but what’s been shocking is his refusal to change the system…even after so many defeats & pathetic performance..he still lays out the same formation & the same set of players day in & day out…
    ya its the same set of players who did the double last season but somehow there is a lack of cohesion among them…bench the under-performing guys CA…& if u feel the players are letting u down…just leave with your dignity intact before Roman sacks u.. (i would like to see a longer reign for CA..but knowing Roman & his thirst for trophies…its unlikely CA would be the coach of CFC if we don`t get positive results in our next 3 games)

    -KTBFFH

  6. Howard Roark says:

    @ Parth

    Well said, mate. Moreover, it is this attitude of a section of fans which disappoints me even more than the poor run of form.

    @ NotCarlo

    I know what I read and kindly don’t insult my intelligence by asking me to re-read. The content was clear enough.

    I hope Roman has learnt from his previous mistakes and patience has grown on him. I certainly hope that he does not do anything suggested here.

    In Carlo I Trust.

    Come on Chelsea, it’s time to shut up all the non-believers.

  7. Kunal says:

    I cannot stop my scorn,disgust and a sarcastic laugh after reading this article which has been written just for the sake of writing one.
    I am assuming that the author is a chelsea fan , and I guess before that you must be a football lover. How can you brand him “the worst player in recent chelsea history”. the guy has not even played the whole season , and I think you have failed to notice that even when all players like drogba,malouda,essien just vanish after 70minutes , resigned to a draw or a defeat, he is the one running after every other player to get the ball , though he does not seem to get it.
    My point is he is full of energy , players that are needed to stop teams like barcelona , even kaka labelled him as the next big thing in football.Give him time my friend.If he doesn’t play well in the next season also then yes you have all the right to label him a ‘bad buy’ but after 5 months? Hell NO……….
    No one is pointing fingers at the senior players , except terry , when they are the one losing any will to play after 60-70 minutes.I think they know that there is no one in the squad to take their place , unlike man yoo side full of good players and players who have no desire to make a name for themselves but just be in the man yoo squad (like o shea, or bown), but still atleast they do their job.
    Of all the reasons the one I cannot take lightly is why are our players not able to create any scoring chances.
    they are not able to cross the ball, lose the ball under even the slightest of pressures , get their passes intercepted (mikel gave the reason in a recent article), and have almost no shots on target in the recent games.
    You call CA an aged mind and broken spirit, but this comment does not deserve a reply.
    I just want to accuse CA for not changing the system coz its very predictable how we play.
    but then he does not have the personnel to adapt to such a change.
    I just wish to see a CB ( not a known name ) but someone like jones of blackburn , or shawcross of stoke or may be agger of liverpool (he wants to leave).they would hardly cost 7million and a striker in place of kalou.
    kalou is a goal shy striker , now I know you might say he has got some goals this season , but just notice those goals.Either tap ins or deflections. Scholari said it right , he just runs ( and i think that too without the ball).
    I would any day favour sturridge over (his blistering shots from the left are a treat to watch , and you might want to remember his impact in the community shield).

    What I have written may not have a direct link with article , or the structure might be such that my points are not connected , but i am frustrated , unhappy , sad and writing anything and everything which I feel like.

  8. BlueFan says:

    well said Kunal…time is what Ramires needs…remember a certain ‘Florent Malouda’…even he had a difficult start to his life at Chelsea..but now he is one of the mainstays in the team. Another point is the lack of time youngsters are having in the middle….yesterday was a tie when CA could have given opportunities to the young players..but instead he plays a strong team…i know he wanted the players to ‘get into the groove’ but sometimes its just not about playing…his plan backfired…we lost the match…we lost our 1st choice RB in bosingwa…& now Ferrira will have to face Bale… :I
    Hoping for the best…dat finally we will be back to our best at the supposedly..’3 point lane’

    -KTBFFH

  9. Dibakar says:

    Well said Mr Howard Roark, the writer of this article is just like Mr. Eugene Tenenbaum….the ridiculous right hand of Mr. Abramovich who is d main culprit in influencing Abramovich and bringing about these drastic changes.He only cares about his own pockets being filled by commissions from constant changes and upheavels in the squad and managemnt and dosnt give a dome’s worth of concern about the state of the team…Abramovich’s ignorance and his belief that he and his board of directors know football better than the ones who played the game is solely responsible for all this mess that chelsea is in now.. This is absolutely no way to treat a man who won you the first double in a club’s history on his own with the team and staff he already inherited.He didnt make any changes of his own in his first season.Doesnt that show what the man is worth of? Even Mourinho takes his entire staff along with him to whichever club he goes. Ancelotti’s english is still improving and Wilkins was bery critical as he was teh link between him and the players. Then how can you expect him to deliver when you have taken away all the resources he needs to do so. Its like the example i have often quoted: “Hit Usain Bolt on the knees with a baseball bat as hard as u can and then ask him to clock the record once again”
    The condition is chelsea is pathetic to say the least, and it disgusts me to my wit’s end… and this article has only added to the disgust.. i dont feel any pain at seeing chelsea’s state..If ancelotti decides to leave tomrw, that’s absolutely right… this is what Mr Abramovich deserves. Hope he learns his lesson and understands money alone dosnt give u expertise in all fields…Somethings are just better to be let be handled by those who can…
    I hate man utd but i am forced to give them as an example…of how a club can fare if the coach who has proved his credentials is given all powers related to the team and squad.
    And just coz u hav mentioned the transfers. ancelotti has nevr had any say in it.. never since the initial mourinho days when the club was spending lik anything has the transfers been controlled by the manager…Mourinholeft for teh same reason as the powers of the manager was being curbed.. Ancelotti wanted torres, not ramires.. He is jus forced to acknowledge all the transfers as per orders… He didnot even want ballack to go… All were the deeds of the so called “HIGHER “lame” AUTHORITIES”…

  10. Rafa Sucks says:

    Keep moaning. Ancelotti will never lead Chelsea to another league title. He’s been found out.

  11. DenilsonsBaldHead says:

    I don’t understand the need for this article and the insulting title “How Low Can…” for such a modest character and one who has achieved both as a player and a manager. Anyways, keep such articles coming, and let Roman sack CA. He will be grabbed by some one even before he is out through the door.

  12. ‎This is what I was talking about. This is what I meant by CHARACTER. This was MY Chelsea. Well done, good sirs. You all have made us Blues proud. Thank you.

    This was a tactical master-class by Carlo.

    If any of you are wondering where was Bale or why was he not that effective against us – the answer is Ramires. The man ran and ran and never left the Welshman. Carlo had shifted Essien to the left and played Ramires on the right with an eye on utilising the Brazilian’s endurance abilities. Ferreira too was not overawed by the prospect of facing him and came out of the encounter unscathed.

    Then what can I say about John Terry. The man was IMMENSE. The way he won the ball with a double tackle and then ran all the way to the Spurs box to finish a move said it all. He knew how important this game was and led from the front.

    Drogba after malaria was not able to sustain the intensity level for the 90 minutes, so Carlo give him a 45 minute window to play with Dawson and Bassong.

    Today, the lads played for the shirt and that’s more important than 3 points. The club needed this. The fans needed this. And more importantly, the players themselves needed this.

    Now, with Sir Frank back and the real Chelsea standing up, bring on the Devils and Gunners.

    PS: I will finally sleep a happy man. :-)