Being a Chelsea fan is hard. I find that true Chelsea fans spend about as much time cheering on our team as we do defending them. The public perception to those outside the club is that we have bad people for players (Terry, Cole), that we are a team with no history, and our success is only due to incredible financial backing from a Russian oligarch. That same oligarch that has never hesitated to send a manager to the gallows should they not perform to his extremely high, and sometimes, unreasonable standards.
I often defend Roman Abramovich, especially when arguing with one of my friends; an Arsenal supporter. He dislikes Abramovich because he feels like he started the trend of foreign investors trying to buy up all the best talent and throw a glorified FIFA team out on the pitch. My rebuttle is usually that the difference is Roman actually cares about the club, while the seemingly limitless members of the Qatari Royal Family are just looking for new toys to play with. After the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo though, I'm finding it harder and harder to keep this sentiment.
Now of course I understand that he wants the team to perform well, I get that. But my big problem with the Board and Roman in particular is the lack of stability. We are a club in a period of great transition, struggling to find its identity. We understand that "The Project" that AVB brought about (like him or not) is the right direction for the club, yet the Board/Owner are still impatient and can't seem to let it grow. Instead, there are employing a sense of backward logic to the way they are running the club, one that is both frustrating to its fans and giving fuel to its detractors. We are constantly trying to convince people that we are a top club, but the way we go about our business suggests that we are still far away from that status.
For example, one thing that is puzzling is the
lack of misplaced loyalty. It's no secret that we have had a revolving door with managers over the last decade (8 going on 9), and that lack of stability is hindering us from developing our identity and philosophy. Some decisions were right (see AVB) but most have left a bad taste in our mouths (RDM, Ancelotti, Mourinho etc...). But one person they have kept faith in has bothered us the most: Fernando Torres.
Now this isn't going to be a rant about Torres, but their handling of him has become mind-numbing. Instead of taking accountability for their mistake, the club have bent over backwards to put him in position to be successful, and it may have cost the manager that was finally able to deliver RA's biggest goal his place at the club.
There's no doubt that Abramovich's funds have contributed massively to the success of Chelsea since he bought the club, but it seems like he is moving us forward while at the same time holding us back. We are stuck in this in-between zone where we try to act like and convince everyone that we are a top club, but sometimes our behavior and the way we carry ourselves indicates otherwise. Because we're Chelsea, we don't get the benefit of the doubt like other big clubs, but at the same time we're not doing ourselves any favors.
I will leave you guys with this, seems like Roman didn't take a look before he claimed another managerial scalp...