Stamford Bridge side in mess of their own making.
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Carlo Ancelotti is a man under pressure. The Stamford Bridge boss currently presides over the poorest sequence of Premier League results in a decade and whilst the Italian may have completed the Double in his first season in English football the former AC Milan manager may find his position at Chelsea untenable if he doesn’t arrest the slide immediately.
Many reasons have been dished out for this recent poor run and clearly injuries to key players are a big factor but seemingly the biggest reason for the club’s current state is one that could so easily have been avoided.
On the 11th of November Chelsea Football Club decided to not renew assistant boss Ray Wilkins’ contract and not only did they do so they performed the act in a despicable manner which seemed wholly uncalled for. The much loved assistant was informed at half-time during a reserve team game that his services would not be required. Some speculated that the decision was made for cost cutting purposes and was enacted by Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay and was a decision that Ancelotti claimed he was not involved in making.
Ancelotti had stated in his autobiography that “Ray is one of those select few, always present, noble in spirit, a real blue-blood, Chelsea flows in his veins,” he wrote. “His heart beats in two languages, and that helped me. Without him, we couldn’t have won a thing, and in particular we would not have started the year at supersonic speed.”
So what has happened on the field of play since the decision to get rid of Ray Wilkins? Well Chelsea have taken part in six Premier League fixtures and have lost three and drawn the other three. The type of form that is quite unknown at the west London club in the recent past.
There is no denying the high regard the Chelsea players held Wilkins in. The 54 year old was the archetypal ‘go to guy’ who had been there and done it in footballing terms and was an easy going person who the players clearly had a lot of time for and many voices of dissension had come from the camp since his departure.
In making such a decision the Blues have very much shot themselves in the foot and their rivals are now reaping the rewards of an action that seems now to have been a huge mistake.
The decision has also left Carlo Ancelotti in a tricky situation. Depending on what you read or who you believe, the Chelsea boss either had some involvement in the decision to not renew Wilkins’ contract or he was totally unaware or unable to reverse it.
If he was unable to prevent his assistant from getting the chop then that would invariably anger Ancelotti and make him feel he was not in control of important first team matters. If he was involved in the decision making process then he may well have lost some elements of the dressing room for allowing such an appalling decision to be made in the first place.
Either way Chelsea are in a mess of their own making and it will take some time and effort to dig themselves out of their self dug hole and by the time they do so they may have seen their title aspirations go down the drain.
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