Roman Abramovic Gets His Man
It seems that not even winning the Champions League can safely secure a manager his job these days, as Chelsea have swiftly removed Roberto Di Matteo. The shock departure comes only months after he won Europe's biggest prize and seems puzzling to the rest of the footballing world. The fans voiced their displeasure and had even planned to boycott their teams opening Premier League games of the season to show a sign of their anger towards the removal of the clubs former manager and Chelsea icon. Di Matteo chose to remain quiet on the situation but did however speak to Sky Sports News and admit that he had felt "let down and sacrificed" by his former employees. He did however state his love for the club and that he would always hold it in such high regard.
The Chelsea fans had been bemused for only a few days before their worlds lit up again. Chelsea FC had made a statement of intent to the world and promised to cause shockwaves through Europe with a major announcement which would be due imminently. Chelsea's training ground, Cobham Training Centre had been prepped and was now home to many members of the media. Sky Sports News was running wild with many different news stories and speculation over what the excitment would be over. Many speculated that the announcement would unveil who Chelsea and Roman Abramovic had chosen to be the clubs new manager. "Mourinho, Guardiola and even John Terry" had all been names tossed around on the Sports channels.
Finally the time had come, Chelsea fans held their breath, their hearts jumped into their throats, had Mourinho seen sence and finally returned home, was John Terry about to become a player/manager and take his place as Chelsea manager much earlier than expected. Or was it bad news, was Harry Redknapp coming to take over or was Scolari coming back, a man no Chelsea fan will want to remember.
Roman Abramovic walked into the room where the worlds media had gatherd. His smile seemed to almost tease everyone who was watching. He slowly waltzed over to a table which had been set up with at least eight microphones and two cups of water on. He pulled his chair out, sat himself down and gazed at his audience. Obviously revelling in the intrigue and attention he winked and said only six words, six words which will certainly change English football... "I give to you Josep Guardiola".
With the whole world silent Guardiola was left to explain his decison to return to managing so soon after having made the decision to taken a year out. He also explained his reasons as to why he had taken the Chelsea managers job. He started off by admitting that he had felt out of touch with himself throughout the start of the summer and that he was uncomfortably bored without the game. He spoke highly of his family and explained that although they are his priority and his main love, he just can't leave football for so long at the moment. He explained that at Barcelona he had enjoyed such success' that it had left him questioning what his next chapter and challenge would be. He thought time out would help him decide but after only weeks of being unemployed, it was too much for the Spanish mastermid. A phone call from Roman Abramovic soon after Chelsea's decision to remove Di Matteo added fire to the pan and re-ignited Guardiola's passion of the game. He explained that after having many discussions with Abramovic and after hearing about the Chelsea philosophy, it was something he wanted to challenge himself with now. The club which has lost it's way slightly in the Premier League recently and finished sixth last year, have only qulified for the Champions League this year due to their epic win in the competition last year. Guardiola was keen to voice his concern about the league position and promised that he will do something about it.
The whole world had been in awe of Guardiola's speech, it wasn't perfect English but it was understandable and clear enough. As the unveiling ended Guardiola shook Roman Abramovic's hand and then they both exited through a nearby door. Their was no interaction with the media due to the new Chelsea manager's busy schedules but further news was promised to be unveiled soon.
Guardiola Makes Chelsea His Own As Philosophies Start To Appear
The first thing picked up on by Chelsea's new boss and former Barcelona sensation Pep Guardiola was the fact that the backroom staff lack the cutting edge and ability to transform Chelsea into a combative force, both domestically and in Europe. After having discussions with the current backroom staff it was clear what Guardiola had to do. They say the game can be cruel and that cerainly seems the case for the outgoing staff who have had their contracts either terminated or withdrawn through mutral consent. Those leaving are as follows...
Eddie Newton - (Assistant Manager)
Steve Holland - (Coach)
Matt Birnie - (Fitness Coach)
Chris Jones - (Fitness Coach)
Ivan Orgega - (Fitness Coach)
Neil Bath - (Head Of Youth Development)
It can definately be assumed that Pep didn't think the players fitness was up to scrath after having sacked every fitness coach. Eddie Newton would make way for Guardiola to choose his own assistant and Steve Holland was also removed and told that his future lies elsewhere, Neil Bath Chelsea FC's Head Of Youth Development has also seen his contract revoked at the club and it is understood that Guardiola want's to oversee this side of the club with his own choice of Youth development employee.
With Chelsea losing six key members of staff and having so few coaches at the club anyway, Guardiola would have to make sure that he could cover the quality that had been removed and that the club already lacked. He would also have to see if he could do it without affecting the squad and club harmony. He himself described the work being done as that of a renaissance and explained that to further Chelsea, he would have to break a few hearts. Days later Guardiola's plans were starting to come to light as staff members from all over not just Europe but the world arrived at the Cobham Training Centre to start work as one of Guardiola's backroom staff.
Valdir de Moraes Signs As Chelsea Assistant Manager
Valdir De Moraes (Assistant Manager)
Elio Carravetta (Fitness Coach)
Valter Di Salvo (Fitness Coach)
Bernhard Peters (Head Of Youth Development)
Paulo Cesar Batista Dos Santos (Coach)
Anselmo Sbraglia (Coach)
Rodolfo Borrell (Coach)
Gianpiero Ventrone (Coach)
Flavio Trevisan (Coach)
Johan Cruijff (Coach)
Guardiola has now given Chelsea a huge boost by enforcing the club with a wealth of experience and coaching talent. Johan Cruijff another Barcelona legend will be on hand to offer his experience and along with Gianpiero Ventrone and Valter Di Salvo he will be one of the most experienced coaches at the club. Valdir De Moraes who is in his Eightieth year has been persuaded to be Pep's right hand man and Guardiola has referred to him as being one of the Brains in football. Liverpool will feel aggrieved as Rodolfo Borrell deserted them and took a place alongside Guardiola and with Chelsea. The other Premier League teams will have certainly been watching the Chelsea reinvigoration and will be concerned as to just how much talent they now possess coaching wise.
Chelsea Controling Mentality - Chelsea Attacking Mentality
Much of his time at Barcelona was applauded and looked on with envy from other managers around the world due to his ability to get his team controling the ball and retaining possession. Although Chelsea's tactics differ to his Barcelona prefernces it seem's Guardiola is keen on not straying to far away from his Spanish ideas. He has Chelsea training two different tactics. The Controling tactic has the players moving and passing the ball hopefully beautifully accross the pitch and providing the team with the lions share of possession. This should and with Chelsea's quality players give them enough chances to dominate most matches. Guardiola has understood the difference between Spanish and English football, opting to give his team strength when a corner and a freekick are delivered into the box. Barcelona were akin to taking short corners and freekicks. Guardiola wants Chelsea to power the high balls that come in from set pieces into the box. The Attacking tactic has been employed to give Chelsea the edge when in certain perils. It gives Chelsea the freedom to run with the ball and push foward whenever possible. If Pep thinks his team will dominate an opposition, he may be more inclined to use this formation. This see's the full backs act more attacking, although they will not overlap with the wingers. It seems the Chelsea manager see's his fullbacks as too defensive with not enough about them to act as wingers.
Josep Guardiola had been expected to make wholesale changes at Chelsea to kickstart his revolution and it seems he has done just that. The Pragmatic manager likes his side to be crammed with talent and is not afraid to make a big call when he feels a player isn't performing. With Chelsea already having a good squad at their disposal the likes of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Oscar, John Terry, David Luiz, Petr Cech and Frank Lampard will all be key men for Guardiola. Torres who so far has endured a torrid time at Chelsea may get time to prove himself to Guardiola or the manager may have already seen enough.
Marouane Fellaini | Age: 25 | Nation: | Former Team: Everton | Contract: 2016 | Wages: £200,000 | Cost: £20 mil + Add Ons |
Isco | Age: 20 | Nation: | Former Team: Malaga | Contract: 2016 | Wages: £77,000 | Cost: £17.5 mil |
Luke Shaw | Age: 17 | Nation: | Former Team: Southampton | Contract: 2016 | Wages: £4,000 | Cost: £3.5 mil + Add Ons |
Zakaria Bakkali | Age: 16 | Nation: | Former Team: PSV Eindhoven | Contract: 2015 | Wages: £55 | Cost: £2.5 mil |
Ademilson | Age: 18 | Nation: | Former Team: Sao Paulo | Contract: 2017 | Wages: £5,000 | Cost: £5.25 mil |
Wellington Nem | Age: 20 | Nation: | Former Team: Fluminense | Contract: 2016 | Wages: £21,500 | Cost: £3.5 mil|
Ross Turnbull | Nation: | New team: Manchester City | Cost: £500.000
Hilario | Nation: | New team: Everton | Cost: £150,000
Paulo Ferreira | Nation: | New team: PSV Eindhoven | Cost: £975.000
Daniel Sturridge | Nation: | New team: Everton | Cost: £10.25 mil
Oriol Romeu | Nation: | New team: Valencia | Cost: Loan
Some well thought out wheeling and dealing by Guardiola who has tried to clear out some deadwood in this window. Ross Turnbull and Hilario both leave after having less than successful spells at Chelsea. Daniel Sturridge was the highest calibre player to leave as he joined Everton in a ten million pound deal. Oriol Romeu who worked under Guardiola has now for the second time been cast out by Pep, he left to join Valencia on loan, however he can be recalled at any time.
Marouane Fellaini and Isco are the real eye catching transfers for Chelsea this season. Fellaini who has strength in abundance has been bought to sure up the midfield and offer powerful runs through the middle. Guardiola has described him as Chelsea's Yaya Toure. Isco has been signed and while Pep was in charge of Barcelona he admitted to having scouted him there and that he was pleased that he finally landed his man, albeit at a different club. Young Brazillian Prodigy Wellington nem also signed. Guardiola realeasing him on a three and half million pound buy out clause. He had been scouted by many clubs around Europe but Chelsea won his heart.
Marouane Fellaini ---------------------- Isco ----------------------- Wellington Nem
With Guardiola now setting up his own dynasty at Chelsea it shouldn't be long now until wecan see his team in action. His side will have alot of bonding to do. Coaches, Players and even Pep will have to adapt to a new slim line, well oiled Chelsea team. The Premier League may see Chelsea fall short early on as the squad learn to link up and play well together. Having said that the old Chelsea spine is in there aswell so perhaps adjusting can be made to be a little less painful and a little more comfortable. With Pre-Season friendlies on the horizion it has yet to been discovered if Pep can transfer his Barcelona credentials over to England or if he will only ever be considered great for his Cataln heroics.
Watch This Space.
Pre-Season Tour - America