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Chelsea Terrace Talk – Irish Examiner Article By Trizia

THE self-destruct button at Chelsea FC High Command must be within easy reach and very well worn indeed. We can’t let a period of success or neutral publicity go without throwing ourselves head first with total disregard into a vat of steaming controversy and negative media furore.
 
As I suggested last week, was it really worth saving the few grand it would have cost us to keep Wilkins in until the end of the season (his salary amounts to a couple of week’s wages for the star players)?
 
Now we are, once again, getting an absolute caning in the press. The rumour mills have gone into over-drive and some of the salacious nature of the gossip being put forward as reason behind the termination of his contract is absolutely bonkers. But then this is what you get when no plausible explanations are forthcoming.
 
One thing is for certain though — Ancelotti is not happy, and who can blame him? It’s one thing having players bought and sold above your head, as an Italian manager he is probably used to that. And as much as Ancelotti was obviously disappointed at Wilkins’ sudden departure, he is experienced enough to know that football these days is a ruthless and cut-throat business.
 
But then to parachute a man who already holds a position way above his experience, capability, and achievement into an important role within the club shows a complete lack of respect for a manager who only six months ago delivered the first Double ever to SW6. And in some style
 
Of course this has an echo of Avram Grant and Mourinho and we all know how that turned out. This time Guüs Hiddink may not be waiting in the wings to save us.
 
I initially thought the whole Wilkins thing was just a cost cutting exercise – albeit a crass and asinine way to carry it out, but now I do wonder if this was a deliberate ploy to begin to undermine the manager , to force him to quit, or to leave by “mutual consent.”  It worked for Abramovich before didn’t it?
 
Is Guardiola really waiting in the wings promising the Champions League and champagne football we are led to believe Abramovich craves? Even if he is – is he confident he can deliver with one of the smallest squads in the Premiership and constant interference from the owner and his acolytes? What if Mourinho collects La Liga and the Champions League with Madrid this season? Where does that leave Guardiola’s reputation in Abramovich’s eyes? And Guardiola himself is likely to be less tractable and pliable than Ancelotti. Why on earth would the proud Catalan come?
 
Wlkins has contacted the League Managers Association which tells us that as far as he is concerned at least, this was not simply a case of a contract coming to an end and not being renewed.
 
I feel quite sorry for those in charge of the PR at our club; they are on a hiding to nothing, powerless to prevent those with authority from continually leaving us open to being lambasted by anyone and everyone.
 
What is there to say about the game against Birmingham which the stats don’t already tell us? Not much. We dominated the game —played well, fought for every ball, created a myriad of chances and hit the woodwork to boot. Most importantly, we encountered a keeper who had built an enchanted force-field around his goal which seemingly was not going to be breached no matter what. On another day we would have won that game three or four one. This defeat was not in the same vein as the Liverpool, Manchester City and Sunderland setbacks, not that there’s any comfort in that.
 
The revelation that John Terry has barely had a game without pain in the last five years makes me even more incredulous of the players we let go in the summer. Equally to deny Alex a knee operation which he quite clearly needs is ill-advised to say the least. We seem to be the definition of how not to run a football team at the moment.
 
But in days of doom and gloom, one can always rely on Arsenal for a laugh. As much as I enjoyed Wenger’s hissy fit on Saturday, it really did come a distant second to the hilarity of their fans “ole-ing” when 2-0 up against Tottenham. If ever you needed proof of the arrogance and smugness of their support, there it was.
 
But closer to home. Carlo needs to carry on regardless. Things at Chelsea have a momentum of their own and will play out without any input by the manager. The team need to support him in the only way they can by pushing on from the good performance at Birmingham and hopefully we’ll get back to winning ways soon. 
 
Last night, against Zilina, Ancelotti was giving full European debuts to Jeffery Bruma and Josh McEachran, and playing the previously flaky Ross Turnbull in goal. By the time you read this we will all know how well that has gone. When this defensive combination was tried previously Newcastle won 4-3 in the Carling Cup at Stamford Bridge.
 
As for the rest of it — only one man has any clue how that will pan out, and he’s not saying.
 
Come on Chelsea.

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