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Gathering dark clouds 6;

Gathering dark clouds 6;

Before I begin let me say upfront that despite what I write below we actually have much to be thankful for today; considering how we played today against Brentford we should consider ourselves blessed and fortunate to have a chance for a do-over in a few days time at Stamford Bridge; Liverpool and Spurs among others were not so lucky.

That having been said I felt compelled to write the 6th chapter to this rather dour series following two sets of recent comments I gathered on line supposedly from our interim manager Rafa Benitez. I reproduce them verbatim below for your information.

"If you go outside and it's snowing and you fall down, they say, 'Ah, he fell down'. But the reality is, it's snowing, which makes it slippery and makes you fall down.
So if you analyse all the managers [at Chelsea], how many had a pre-season here? Not me. How many managers have spent massive money here? Not me. How many managers have played in Japan in the middle of the season and have some players injured and some at the African Nations? Only me;" Rafa Benitez -Source: The Mail.

Dan Levene @BluesChronicle; "Benitez has confirmed there will be no more incoming transfers for Chelsea this January."

I will hasten to say that I have not seen any actual video nor heard any audio of these alleged statements from Rafa so this may all be the result of conjecture from the diabolical English Press who don`t exactly love Chelsea FC anyway. I frankly hope that is the case because if these two statements are actually true and actually the words of our interim manager they are ominous.

In my article a few days back on squad depth I referenced some recent comments Rafa made to the media regarding our squad depth issues and his discussions with the board on it. If these two statements above are Rafa`s follow up on that then we have one of three possible scenarios only one of which is palatable;

1. Rafa is being kept totally in the dark by Roman and the three Amigos and they want him to remain squarely in his place as coach/trainer and nothing else. Before the window closes they will get 2-3 players we need to bolster our squad depth, Rafa will be left with egg on his face and made to look like he hasn`t a clue what is going on in the club he is supposedly managing. I would feel for Rafa in this case but I wont lose any sleep..the important thing would be that the board does what is best for the team and our chances of a top 3 finish in the BPL by season`s end will be so much brighter. I could live with this (notice I said nothing about trophies..for me that boat sailed when Swansea kicked us out of the Capitol one cup).

2. Rafa has been rightly informed by the board..they have told him what will happen and come February 1 nothing will change. They will essentially be saying that they could care less about Rafa's opinion as regards squad depth and are essentially telling him; Do the job with the tools you have been given and stop complaining. If that is the case Rafa has already long begun his contingency planning because unlike RDM and Carlo who are gentlemen and good company men who wont bad mouth their bosses, Rafa is no such person. He is essentially sending coded messages through the media to indicate that he has had nothing to do with the Chelsea set up and like Jose famously called out Roman and the board after the Sheva signing, Rafa is essentially in coded language saying;

" I was given a train wreck to fix with no spare parts or tools so when the excreta hits the fan and is sprayed everywhere you know where to lay the blame..i had nothing to do with it and warned them before hand."

Whether you agree or not he is trying to insulate himself from the blame for what is coming and preparing the excuses he will offer at his next job interviews in the summer when Roman gives him his pink slip and he has to defend what may end up being a diabolical Chelsea record.

Anyone who knows Rafa's history at Valencia, Liverpool and Inter will realize that this is not new. This is the way this man operates. He never likes to accept nor shoulder any blame when results go south..most especially if the owners have not followed in toto what he has had to say.

3. Rafa may be playing a dangerous game of reverse psychology and without hearing anything from the board he may have planted this disinformation hoping that by saying this out loud to the media he can "shame" the board into action in the last few days of this transfer window. This could work with an end result similar to option 1 above in which case I have no problem or it could backfire spectacularly with the board so miffed by his temerity that they stick to their guns, refuse to sign anyone reasoning that the guy cannot be trusted to even tow the company line and then once he has one more embarrassing loss sack him immediately. Some may feel this would be wonderful but I don`t. For reasons I have articulated before I don`t feeling changing managers for the second time this season will serve us any good purpose.

The final question to ask though is why, if true would the board decide to get no more reinforcements to the squad either by recalling loanees or buying new players? There are many theories here. I will mention a few quick ones;

a)The board have already thrown in the flag for the season and don`t feel it is salvageable in any form so why waste money trying

b) the board feel that while we wont win the BPL we already have enough to comfortably retain a top 3 and at worst top 4 finish as we are now and so don`t want to spend any money at this point with an interim manager knowing that come summer a new manager will be coming and a major expensive reboot will then be needed

c) the board may actually feel what is all the ado about and actually feel that we are fine as is and can actually challenge for the BPL title itself as is so why bother?

Or most ominously

d) the loss of interest that many of our rivals from other clubs always touted would eventually happen regarding Roman has begun. Could it be that our benefactor may actually for the first time in the decade he has been with us be saying "I am not spending a dime more..this is not worth me what the 80+ million I spent just this last summer has achieved before asking for one more dime!!!"
God forbid could we be seeing the beginning of the evolution of Roman from Santa Claus to Ebenezer Scrooge?

Whatever the underlying intrigue or reasoning, what transpires in the next 4 days or so I suspect will have major implications for our club not just for this season but possibly for the next few seasons as well. If we fail to secure a top 3-4 finish in the BPL at seasons end and Roman becomes more stingy with opening his check book we may suddenly be faced with the nightmare scenario that Liverpool faced after their climb to the summit at Istanbul.

I personally don`t feel at all assured that our position among the top 3 or 4 is secure with our squad as is does not help to remember that with their exits today, Spurs and Liverpool now both have less congested match schedules ahead than we do and remain in the hunt along with Arsenal and Everton for those valued no 3 and 4 BPL positions.

I hope I am wrong and just being paranoid but I see dark clouds ahead for the good ship Chelsea FC. May the Good Lord have mercy on her.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday January 27 2013
Time: 8:18PM


It was never realistic to think we could finish higher than 3rd this season and at the moment we are on target for that. The Swansea games were a complete fiasco but with a bit of luck in the FA Cup we could get to the semi-final without playing a top team. Unfortunately we'll need to throw in the towel in the Europa League. All that being said Rafa must not get the job full-time and if Jose is sacked by Real he should be Chelsea manager the next day.
27/01/2013 20:38:00
CobhamBlue Yes it was realistic, under Rdm but Roman f*** it up
27/01/2013 20:55:00
I don't see any silverware this season but its imperative to get top 4 to attract the players in summer we need.and I'm with @cobhamblue get jose back as soon has god he looked depressed on real madrids bench today
Chelsea ken
27/01/2013 20:56:00
@GabeU....Hmm....I am afraid to say I share your sentiments and fears...very unsettlingly...but lemme add...I have been supporting chelsea before Roman came in and If he were to tire and move on...,I am stuck with the club and happily so...we wont go down without Roman...its just that we might take a way longer route if roman were to exit at this point...Although I dont think he'll be leaving just yet....I give up already on all my dreams for this season and all I ask is a top 4 finish...afterwards I hope we have learnt our lessons in the hardest way possible and we can move on....somehow...I still believe in the chelsea dream...
27/01/2013 20:59:00
Well said,Layorh! If my memories are correct,most cfc fans came into the season deciding to make do with just a 1st 4 finish,with the believe that we have a team in transition...and we clearly are! Anyways,i agree with most points in the article and in as much as i dont want to see Rafa beyond summer,i believe he is entitled to one more signing or two. If not for anything,but to guarantee our CL qualification. Btw,the article is so lengthy,not that am surprised about it going the length of comments from the author. You make me sometimes to wonder if you've got a device that puts them in words as you speak out the lines of thoughts. Kudos mate!
27/01/2013 21:45:00
I wouldn't care if roman packed up and left tomorrow! I don't support him and what he has done at CFC this season has made him look a buffoon! I've supported CFC since I was 4 I'm now 35! Yes it's nice winning all these trophies but now I and loads of other fans I speak to on match days are losing there affinity with the club. It's not the same now it's starting to feel hollow and false like the poxy plastic flags rafa so rightly pointed out years ago! If roman left some other rich magnate would just come in and buy CFC and probably make it even worse. At the moment I don't see then around in sight. This club is getting torn apart.
27/01/2013 22:01:00
Dave-David , bye bye funds , bye bye wages , bye bye quality players , no more top 4 consistently and no CL footy. That's what we're potentially giving up if he leaves. Stop talking nonsense. He's made bad decisions and you lot are overreacting. We'll hopefully be under mourihno next season and all will be well.
27/01/2013 22:28:00
buck , gourlay and emenalo should all be to blame for giving benitez and di matteo a thin squad with a misfiring striker at the start of the season....we need another striker before the window ends , 4-4-2 would solve our AM rotation since we have 4 players fighting for 3 spots and it'll be 4 for 2 , 2 in each position and torres linked up with ba pretty decently...but no more signings this window....sigh. If you think roman's going to tighten his purse think again , he's spent more in previous windows and we've also had a rare trophy less season. Scolari/Hiddink(did well though).
27/01/2013 22:33:00
@ Gabu well said. I agreed with most of your points. We all want reinforcements have we ever given a thought how are we going to pay for it? The media will have field day if fail to meet FFP rules. The board might just be thinking with so many players out on loan why buy another squad player just for the next 15 league games + plus few cups games? what will happen to these players when most of the loanee are back? Just maybe the board has review the season and has adjusted their targets accordingly.
jollyheart Torres
27/01/2013 22:34:00
@ CFCTalal a very very respond. I am sure Dave-David last 10 years as CFC fans eclipsed his previous 20 years in term of trophies all thanks to Roman. some fans are all overreacting again and we are never insatiable.
jollyheart Torres
27/01/2013 22:40:00
Our depth issues will improve a little bit once Mikel and Moses return, and with Benayoun we conceivably have another option, though not really in a position of need. I'd really like to see De Bruyne or Josh get recalled, but I don't see that happening.
27/01/2013 23:29:00
I think we will still make the top 3 and I feel we are getting at least one more player before the window shuts down... Will just wait and see how it all goes... As for those wishing for a new owner, I think anyone who has truly supported Chelsea in the last 30 years or more will not see our current state as disaster... We are 3rd in the league, we are still in the FA cup and Europa league...... I'm not saying we couldn't have done better or that there is no reason to worry but some of you need to just calm down.... Okay, we are not number 1 on the table, we are out of CL and COC, we lost super cup, CWC and community shield.... that is the evil RA has done? and the reason we need a new owner who would assure us at least 3 trophies every season.... some of you are pathetic and funny... I can bet no one will be asking for a new owner if we are currently number 1 on the table, had won the community shield, CWC, Super cup, and still in CL.... you feel a new owner will guarantee the success and trophies we are craving for, 3 or 4 trophies every season, 100 games unbeaten run... keep dreaming...
28/01/2013 00:20:00
i dont think if roman leaves, we will be in much trouble. We have become a big club already and we have all the infrastructure in place to sustain worldclass performance with minor changes in focus rather than wholesale changes. A good management team and a long term plan are all that is required to get back to winning ways. I just want to point one small fact here, with all the talent that oscar has, was he the best choice for us or would fellaini done better with similar transfer fee. Please understand that we have the biggest wage bill in the league and we can cut that by being prudent, and utilising our academy to its fullest. We have sufficient legacy for players to be attracted to the club. A manager like klop or moyes can build a winning team with limited resources. Also with our legacy it would not be difficult at all to attract investments from buyers. I also believe there still exists a few ways to earn more income through sources like stadium naming rights, higher penetration in asian markets, etc.
Blue India
28/01/2013 03:23:00
Another article suggesting the demise of Chelsea?? *smh
28/01/2013 06:49:00
Geez, for heavens sake Roman did not become a billionaire by accident and believe it or not, Ron Gourlay was already an executive before he came to Chelsea. These "amigos" are not as stupid as you think, better yet they are smarter than you'll ever be if you live your life 10 times over....
28/01/2013 06:51:00
Can we get better articles that allow for healthy debate without negativity? The way some of you's are negative, I feel sorry for those who rely on you's for advice.....*smh again
28/01/2013 06:52:00
The truth is our lack of squad depth became too obvious immediately Mikel and Moses left to repsesent Nigeria in Afcon. I dont think the situation will remain the same once they come back in few weeks time. Luiz too has been absent due to injury,if he gets fully fit,that will be another addition. And if the FA doesnt become anymore stupid by giving Hazard additional ban,then by this time next week he'll be back. I dont think we will suffer further disaster having all them 4 players back into the team. But atleast a striker (Gomis or Jovetic) and a DM, if they are not Europa cup tied will serve well.
28/01/2013 07:03:00
Lolz @ Mq, some people are wondering if you re an agama lizard that you re always shaking your head.
28/01/2013 07:07:00
Lolz @ Mq, some people are wondering if you re an agama lizard that you re always shaking your head. Some fear it will fall off.
28/01/2013 07:08:00
@Blue India mate No club can sway any company about the naming right of an existing stadium. That is the reason why chelsea is not able to fool any company to buy the naming rights of SB. Moving to a new stadium and calling it as samsung stadium is different. But no company in their right frame of mind will come and give 10M for a stadium naming right when 100% they know that each and every fan related to chelsea will always call the stadium SB only. Chelsea is trying for naming rights for more than 3 years now. Newcastle is also looking for more than 2 years now. Like i said only way to sell the naming rights is allowing one of the RA companies to buy that.
28/01/2013 07:16:00
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